Saturday, May 06, 2006

Of Causes and People

Our country faces serious problems today. Problems having to do with the legitimacy of law and its enforcement and the legitimacy of granting amnesty to people who have no respect for those laws. Problems having to do with security and problems having to do with the loyalty of our representatives to the people who elected them.

Our Nation faces a time in which its citizens are, all too often, complacent in the political arena, in which they pay little attention to issues of grave importance to the future of our Nation when each of us should be giving our all in support of values and traditions which have been passed, generation by generation, down to us by ancestors who were active in their political system and who cared enough about the future of their descendents to pay attention to what their representatives were doing in Washington. I have a story to tell about causes and people.

There is a woman in Springfield, a woman who, for years, stood alone to support the mission of her country's military in its fight in the war against terrorism, which includes the war in Iraq. A woman who has fought against the mind set that there is or should be no cost of freedom, that there is nothing worth fighting for, there was and is nothing worth laying our collective all on the line for, there is no country deserving of more respect than any other country, no system of government or values for which to hold higher respect than others, no country to be held to higher standards than its global political opponents who would have us believe that a system of hierarchy and totalitarianism is just as commendable as a system which has held its people should have a voice and should elect and hold responsible its government, elected by and of and for the people. A mind set which holds Hugo Chavez in high esteem as well as other dictators, a mind set which would place on a pedestal entities such as a Cindy Sheehan when she would call our President the biggest terrorist on the face of the Earth, as though his cause was less moral than those who would fly airplanes into buildings, killing approximately three thousand American citizens in the process, citizens guilty of nothing but going to work to earn a living to support their families, citizens with Mothers and Fathers, sisters, brothers, wives, children and friends. Citizens who believed in freedom of expression for all, who were accustomed to living their lives in absolute freedom and in absolute abundance so long as they were willing to work for that abundance and keep themselves free of their own, self accepted chains. But enough, I digress from my point.

Are we people of causes or people of loyalty to those who would promote the causes in which we believe? Are we people who will fight for freedom, or people who will blindly follow others? Are we people who no longer question the motives of others and, most of all, are we people who feel that if others do not toe our own individual ideological lines that we would cut them out of our lives entirely, never to look back, as though everyone in the world somehow owes us deep respect and we are above questioning? Do we, any of us, find ourselves holding others to higher standards than we hold ourselves? Do any of us question others motives and yet leave no room for questions about our own loyalty and if we do, while championing our cause, is it our cause we are championing or ourselves?

There is a story, of which I have become privy to the inside discussion. A story in which I have read private email exchanges and heard public admonitions. A story in which one who immigrated, legally, here to America and stands against anti war protesters and illegal aliens thumbing of their noses at our laws but in the process... the process, does not allow for questioning of what he does, at least in this instance, by doing so he would take questions to a wide public audience, and though not naming you by name, this person will question your patriotism because you dared to question his motives. Is it about people, or is it about the cause? Is it about "getting off the couch," or is it about following the leader?

My friend has a daughter in the Navy. I have her permission to post an email she sent to a particular radio talk show host and I have the reply of that radio talk show host to her email. I do not have this radio talk show host's permission to post his email and therefore I will not. That radio talk show host read my friends email on the air, without identifying her. I could certainly post his here without identifying him but I would not without his express permission, that does not prohibit me from commenting on it's content, however, and I intend to do so. He has a platform which he may use to speak to the entire region, my friend has only her consistent and historic support for an ongoing cause to represent her. I have no *blind loyalty* to offer her but she has earned my respect. Here is my friend's email, which I must type for you as I didn't save it in my mail but I do have a paper copy of it and of the reply of said talk show host.

The email of my friend, just as it was read on the air in Springfield and the regions surrounding it. I made no corrections but did emphasize a point glossed over by the host and I removed names:

"Just want to let you know how disappointed I am in your choice of program guest. As you know I strongly believe in the ability to exercise our freedom of speech and since it is your program you certainly have the right to have whoever you wish on. I guess I'm trying to figure out why you would give your air time to help support the peace networks most highly publiced figure. I have received many emails and phone calls this morning from different people trying to figure out exactly what you're doing. The person who has tried to build a solid reputation here in springfield for supporting our Military and upholding high family values and openly showing their strong Christian Beliefs has really got a lot of our Springfieldians shaking their heads. That's not to mention the reaction and the fuel you have given certain big church leaders who have tried to discredit you and your program. Wow ____ I dont think that I've been more disappointed since I found out there wasn't a Santa Claus. I feel that this has greatly discredited us and besides it really warps me the wrong way its crap like this that gives fred Phelps group a chance to speak out...Think you missed the boat on this one _____ ____ ___"

This email was replied to venomously, in my opinion, by the talk show host. My friend's "loyalty" was questioned. My friend's trustworthiness was questioned. His guest was touted as being good at furthering his point of view and those who questioned what he was doing were excoriated for not calling into the show to counter that point of view, though my friend had called in that day. My friend's intelligence was questioned as though she weren't "cerebral" enough to understand what he was doing and the person, my friend, who stood on city streets in counter protest to anti war activists all alone for years before this talk show host ever hit town was told not to ever email him again. Now, reader, go back and read my friend's email again, did it warrant such a diatribe? I ask you again, are you supporting your cause or are you blindly following your leader? Is this about questioning our leaders?

I must say I am somewhat amused. The great champion of all our causes, the one who excoriates certain other city leaders for being unwilling to go on the air with him to answer his questions is above questioning in a private email by one who considered him friend. Don't ever email me again!? Puhlease.

Today there was a Pro-America rally, I was unable to attend because I had some things to do for my Mother, sometimes our little lives get in the way of our activism, don't they? :) but my friend was there. Let's not ever forget the "cause" is sometimes bigger than the "personalities" who promote them. Let's be sure and take advantage of every opportunity for activism in support or opposition of important issues but let's do it for the cause, not for the people who may or may not support it.

It is not my intention to take sides with one or the other personalities involved in this story. I merely wish to be active in supporting my own causes and in the truth. I welcome the promotion of important causes by radio talk show hosts and private citizens, alike, that said, respect is something earned, not something to which any of us, including myself, should feel entitled.

End of sermon. ;)

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