I was browsing the Facebook pages of some former and current associates and following some of those links through to others. Many of those associations are “former” due to certain underlying assumptions:
- The Constitution needs no interpretation.
- Protest should never challenge patriotism or nationalism.
- If you don’t agree with me, get out of my country.
- Gun control is unnecessary.
- Family (America) first.
- The Constitution needs interpretation because society, culture and technology have changed. That’s why we have the Bill of Rights and Amendments 1-27. If every nuance required an amendment, when would we have time for anything else? Does the right to privacy apply to electronic data? Is it okay for my ISP (such as Verizon or Comcast) to sell faster access while slowing me down. Should search services be allowed to limit what I see when I use them based selling that access or prioritizing their own sites and services? Should cloning of human beings be allowed? Should girls have equal access to education and participation in sports? Should two consenting adults be allows to form sexual and marital partnerships regardless of gender? Is it okay to offer or deny public or commercial services based on race, gender, religion or sexual orientation?
- As President Theodore Roosevelt said, “To state that we must not criticize the president is unpatriotic, servile, and morally treasonable to the American public.” The American public has a civic responsibility to hold government accountable and improve the circumstances and treatment of all citizens. I would argue that this supersedes patriotism and especially nationalism and all its symbols. Protest at a funeral, military or civilian, is reprehensible. Protest at community events by individuals able to reach a wider audience is more than allowable, especially if it doesn’t disrupt the event. It is laudable.
- Telling everyone who disagrees with you to get out of “your country” simply disregards reality. First of all, the only individuals who can actually say that are the indigenous and native peoples … of North America, South and Central America. Second, under those terms we’d with still be a British colony or divided in to Confederacy and the Union (two separate “United” States of America). Finally, change and improvement requires discourse. Oddly enough, most of those told to “get out” are citizens, immigrants and non-Christians and anyone who supports them.
- Oddly enough, I agree with: “Guns don’t kill people – people kill people.” However, gun control to responsibly limit access to guns and the types of guns, saves lives. And I am not just talking about limiting the victims of mass shootings. I am also talking about preventing suicide and domestic violence by requiring background checks and waiting periods. (Check out Australia’s statistics! Check out Europe.) Finally, the Second Amendment right to bear arms: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” We have a state militia called the National Guard and self-defense and hunting clearly do not need military weaponry.
- Human beings are tribal. We are most comfortable with people who resemble us, think like us and act like us. The world has gotten smaller and that isn’t going to change unless civilization collapses. We routinely associate with people who aren’t in our family or our “tribe.” We live next door to them, we work with them, we marry them, we form families with them and we compete with them. Competition does not preclude respect or cooperation. I’m not a Christian, but that philosophy permeates our culture: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Chaos, isolation and violence are not my goals and I hope to keep others from using them to rule my life.