Tuesday, July 4, 2017

We Are All Americans - Go Fourth!

Image credit: diversitynursing.com

Happy Independence Day, Everyone! 

In honor of the holiday, I am republishing an older post which still manages to be true, even in these challenging times. The post was in response to remarks made by one Bishop Giminez, the organizer of a prayer rally back in 2012. She declared that America was "mired in moral depravity" and that nothing but a mass rally begging the favor of the Almighty could ever put us to rights again. I had something to say about that:

No. America is not mired in moral depravity. America is a land of diverse people; hardworking, industrious, innovative, tolerant, forward-thinking people. We are red, brown, white, black, and every beautiful shade of human skin. We are all American. We are atheist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and every religious and political stripe. We are all American. We are female and male, gay and lesbian, bisexual and transsexual and every gender identity on the wide, wonderful spectrum of human sexuality. And 

We are all Americans

We coexist in relative peace, as imperfectly as current human limitations might predict and as transcendently as human aspiration can occasionally soar. We have succeeded as a country because America is founded on principles which limit the power of religions to divide, conquer and destroy us. As messy and imperfect and unjust as much of our history has been, it has still stood out as a beacon of hope in a world of messy, imperfect and unjust systems of government which - nearly always using religion - continued to oppress and abuse their people long after the American journey toward 'liberty and justice for all' was haltingly begun. For more than 200 years, we have struggled and fought and inched our way toward realizing the dream - toward living the ideals - that those founding documents point us toward. We are a people evolving, with a roadmap to liberty in the Declaration of Independence and a blueprint for achieving it in the Bill of Rights. We will continue to negotiate and argue and push and pull toward a more perfect union of equal citizens because this country is a work in progress. And we are all American.

No. America is not mired in moral depravity. It is power-hungry wealthy and religious elites who are mired in moral depravity. It is the religious elites who call injustice "justice", who fight relentlessly against equality and human rights and who seek to enshrine bigotry and misogyny into our laws without a shred of remorse or compassion for the human suffering they would cause. It is the conservative religious right which seeks to overturn the natural order of things - calling myth "science", calling oppression "justice", calling evil "good", calling what is immoral "moral". Those who call themselves "righteous" - who pretend to speak for God! - are the ones who are mired in moral depravity. They have lost their moral compass, but their fellow citizens can help them find their way again. Because,

We are all Americans

America does not need theocratic "saving". It needs protection from dangerous, ambitious, vicious religious power-mongers like Bishop Giminez, and the wealthy Christian elites that they represent. America needs saving from the approaching train wreck of Christian totalitarianism which a privileged few wish to force upon all of us. America does not need "saving" by ambitious men claiming to represent their silent, invisible God. America needs saving from them. This nation has the tools to fend off this attack from the religious right. We have the diversity and the strength in numbers to resist a takeover attempt by one hardline fundamentalist faction among us. We can weather this storm. We are all Americans!

No. America is not mired in moral depravity. America is mired in political and social turmoil which was deliberately created by the conservative Christian right-wing for their own political gain. It is the powerful, wealthy elites who seek to drag this entire country to the brink of disaster, just as religious extremists elsewhere in the world have done to their countries. It is the power-hungry religious elites who hope to precipitate a cultural crisis in this country out of which they hope to wrest ultimate control over everyone and everything that is American. Right wing extremists hope to destroy the America that is and build an America that they can control. But they underestimate the passion for liberty and justice in this country. They underestimate the American spirit. We are not all Christians. Yet,

 We are all Americans

Whether or not one believes there is a god - or any higher power that cares about the welfare of humanity - constant historical evidence has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that He does not reside within the ruthlessly implacable ambition of religious elites. The success of the great American experiment in nationhood has only been possible - painfully, lurchingly, imperfectly and minimally  not thanks to religious belief, but in spite of it. Before the ink had even dried on the founding documents, religious groups launched their efforts to subvert the American dream of a more just and democratic Republic to their own theocratic agenda. And they have never ceased in their efforts since.

We are red, brown, white, black...
every beautiful shade of human skin.
We are all American. 
There is a seat at the national table for conservative Christians just as there are seats for every other kind of American. The difference is that conservative Christians want to banish everyone else except conservative Christians from the American table and in that sense, they are profoundly unAmerican. I only hope the basic goodness and common sense of the American people has been awakened to this looming crisis at last and that we can come together for the good of the country before it is too late.

America can only be saved by Americans. By performing our civic duty: educating ourselves on the crisis before us, registering and voting in every election and holding our elected representatives to their Constitutional responsibilities, the American people can save America.  Let's not allow one religious sect to hijack the ship of state and sink the hopes and dreams of freedom-loving people everywhere. It is not the silent, invisible God, nor the men who claim to represent ultimate godly authority who speak for America. Only Americans speak for America. 

Educate yourself. Register. Vote. Let no one speak for you. Speak up for yourself. We are all in this together and the future of this country depends on all of us. We are all Americans.

No comments:

Post a Comment