This Just In

I’ve been debating for a week about this post.  After listening to Mayer Bloomberg’s speech, and Chris Matthews’ closing words tonight referencing that speech, I know I can’t be among those who don’t speak up.  And seeing yet another post in my Facebook feed with anti-Islam/anti-mosque sentiment, I know anyone who wishes for peace and appreciates freedom shouldn’t keep her tongue either.

When I was celebrating the last* of our troops leaving Iraq, I came across a thread from a High-School phriend.  Phriends are people who don’t know you (and maybe never did) but want to add you to their list on Facebook because you a) know some of the same people, b) went to school together, or c) grew up in the same vicinity. 

After moving back to St. Louis for a few months, I acquired quite a few new phriends, mostly from my hometown.   

Many are conservatives.
Some post highly political comments.
A few make my blood boil.

Reading that thread which insinuated that our President, addressed as “Hussein Obama,” is secretly a Muslim (and that there would be something horribly wrong if that were true), I felt my face redden.  Seeing violence threatened against the mosque to be built within blocks of ground zero by profile pictures of happy smiling 30-somethings, I recoiled with disgust. There were posts that attempted to justify their proposed hatred and violence because “they,” meaning Muslims, started the violence & hatred.  The ugly commentary was labeled ‘patriotism’ and somehow bled into how the U.S. has gone to hell because Christianity has been taken out of our schools.  Some people find that frenzied fear-mongering entertaining.  I think it’s fascist and hypocritical and I said so.

It earned me an “unPhriending.”  

You’d think an uber-conservative would have gleaned my lefty disposition from my very candid profile but in case anyone missed it,
This Just In:  I am a Liberal, A Capitalist, and a Cubs-Fan.*

Sure, I felt frustration that mine was likely the only contrary commentary his circle might hear and by removing me from the thread, I was taken out of the conversation.  Discourse and diversity are core to this country.  So while the poor fella who couldn’t stomach my retort to hate speech might not read this, I cannot keep quiet about hate. 

Here is the comment that earned me an “unphriending.”  I wonder how many more are about to bite the dust.    

There isn’t much about this thread that doesn’t appall me. The initial post is blatantly xenophobic and propagates disinformation circulated during our shameful election process.

The outrage over the mosque in NY is absurd. There are plenty of religious buildings near ground zero. Why is a mosque any different? Because the terrorists were Muslim? I’m pretty sure Oklahoma didn’t raze every church after the bombings there. It’s just ‘too bad’ we didn’t have any foreigners to blame for that despicable act or we could have started a few more unnecessary wars! Isn’t that the great American way? Do as we say or else we’ll bomb you to death?

Do you know what a terrorist is? Do you know the 100+ definitions for the term? Don’t you think that we are considered monsters for invading and ravaging sovereign nations whose guilt has yet to be determined?

As for religious freedom and the “taking back” of your country? Your privilege to worship as you choose is only as good so far as it does not interfere with mine.

Your right to wave a flag and threaten with shotguns and say God Bless America will and must be tempered by my right to burn that flag in protest, plant a daisy in your gun barrel and exercise my right to not practice a religion.

Pluralism, my friends, is what makes America great. Not Christianity or Conservatism or Democracy. Pluralism. We allow for a great many ideas, beliefs, habits, persuasions, and truths.

To support otherwise would place you squarely in the fundamentalist camp – not unlike the extremists we claim to have been fighting.

You can’t have it both ways.

It wasn’t that long ago that the Russians were the most evil people on earth according to the great American propaganda machine. It turns out that they love their children, cherish their spouses, and bleed just like we do. Huh… what do you know about that.

I’d be careful about using terms like “us” and “them.” We are but one people, universally. You can choose not to accept that but to your own detriment.

Since when is it appropriate to only do right when others do? If we are to ever fulfill our promise as a nation, we must learn to lead by example. Our pluralism is revolutionary. Clearly, 200 years on, we still breed people who aren’t prepared for the responsibility it imbues.

I hate to tell you, but Jesus was a liberal.

As of 8/25/10, 10:15 p.m. CST, the count is at 738.

3 thoughts on “This Just In”

  1. This drove me crazy too. Muslims are all about peace, actually. (And people would know that IF they took some time to learn about them.) It sickens me how so many people are so quick to want to destroy things they don’t understand. Fear propells them. Too blinded by it to seek understanding, practice tolerance or find some common ground.

    And I had the same thought – We were considered terrorists at certain points too.

  2. Amen, sister! There are people from my hometown who try to argue that same kind of jackass/racist angle & it burns me up. If they’d only take the time to educate themselves, they might just see how ignorant they are. I’m so glad you stood up to the “Phriend” & it sounds like you’re a whole lot better without him/her.

  3. omg, i love your definition of “phriend” and the unphriending. i can so relate. thanks for your thoughts on the muslim topic, way to make some people think, and it was obviously so uncomfortable for them that they were forced to eliminate the trigger. “Jesus was a liberal”…amen!

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