You are correct about the Electoral College and the Supreme Court. Although not a perfect system, it has worked for the most part for over 200 years. I agree with you that we cast so much "do as I say, not as I do" edicts around the world and this has been a real problem for me and many, many others. The thing I take issue with in this matter is that a lot of people around the world discredit us. They speak of only the misery we create and never about the good we do. We are the most benevolent nation on earth, from both a personal and governmental standpoint. It's disheartening to hear so much grief from so many of the mouths we feed. It hurts when monies we donate are corruptly used by rogue sovereign governments to purchase weapons that will eventually be used against us instead of helping their own people who need it the most. Of course, we supplied weapons to bin Laden to fight the Soviet Union. Now he turns those same guns on us, and I believe it was Stalin who said that America will sell us the rope to hang them. No country and/or government is without fault. Yours, mine or anyone elses. To that, I quote, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
Fundamentalism, for the most part, is not a good thing. Not the way it has evolved, anyway. Again, I pretty much agree with you, but what about religious leaders such as Billy Graham? He is a fundamentalist Christian who preaches non-violence and of human suffering. There are leaders of all faiths who espouse very similar doctrines, yet they too, could be considered fundamentalists. Not all blow themselves up or bomb abortion clinics. Many Islamic clerics teach laws that were written centuries ago and that takes fundamentalism to an extreme. Rules a thousand years old might not apply in today's cultures, yet at the same time, most of these same clerics do not send messages of hate and violence. My point here is that fundamentalism in and of itself is not inherently bad or evil. The fringe elements of humanity that step into the realm of extremism for their own personal gains are what destroy the goodness in religion. I ask you, where are the moderate voices of Islam? I sense you and your father are amongst them and I am hearing your voices, but where are the rest? When suicide bombers attack, when Israeli buses are blasted into oblivion, killing innocent children, where is the condemnation from Muslim leaders? Why do governmental heads remain silent? Who pays for the explosives they strap on their bodies? I condemn the bombing of abortion clinics. Religious leaders in America condemn these acts, too. The president on down to local officials cry out for the arrest and punishment of such criminals. We do not harbor them.
Sure, there's plenty of violence in the streets of America. There are drive-by shootings and gangs of low-life thugs. Many came from foreign lands, though. The Mafia, for example, took root in Italy long before it migrated here. There are the Russian and Chinese Mafias, too. Where do you think they originated? The only reason they are here is because we are internationally perceived as the "land of opportunity." Perhaps, we should be more like some of the Middle Eastern countries that, according to Islamic law, lop off hands and heads to curtail crime, but wouldn't we then be looked upon as barbaric? It's a no win situation for us. We are a nation of freedoms and rights and these thugs know that. They are back out on the streets the next day. What should we do?
Here, we are also free to worship in the manner of our choice. You don't even have to believe in any form of god. That's OK, too. There are Muslims and Jews living side by side. There are mosques and synagogues side by side. These people do not blow themselves up in the name of religion. Catholics and Protestants do not kill each other in the name of Christianity. Can Shi'ites and Sunnis say the same thing? Would I feel just as comfortable and safe as a Christian living in Iran? It is an Islamic Republic. Might I add more on the subject of fundamentalism? It is a nation based on the 1979 Constitution called the "Qanun-e Asasi" ("Fundamental Law"). We pride ourselves in the separation of church and state. How would you feel as a Muslim living here if we were a staunch Christian Republic? Can you tell me there are no Islamic countries in the Middle East practically run by fundamentalist religious leaders brandishing guns that are sanctioned and protected by their respective governments?
Territorial and religious wars have been the backbone of all corners of the earth long before these united states ever existed. We cannot be blamed for all the ills of the world. Somewhere along the way, others must admit fault and render good old fashioned, fundamental discipline upon themselves for a change.
Friday, September 15, 2006
For Dessert, I'd like a Slice of Peace Pie
There is a blog I stumbled upon I thought was pretty interesting. It is called Desert Peace and it's about a Muslim living in Israel who wishes for true peace in the world. His son wrote a response to my initial comment and I didn't see it until today. The post is titled, "Hatred ... 5 Years Later" and I urge you to read it and all of the comments to get the gist of what I wrote and why I did. These are not voices of radicals or jihadists, but the political cartoon certainly caught my attention. I believe that an open dialogue is a great way to express all views. So does he. This is my comment back to his son. The author is now on vacation and it is in moderation awaiting his return.