I have to wonder, where is America these days? I don't recognize the country I live in any more. I used to live in a country where you were proud to be an American. We said the pledge of allegiance, we respected the flag, we honored our soldiers, and we believed in our government. We lived in a Christian country, founded on Christian principles. We welcomed any religion, or no religion, and we fought for the right to choose.
We believed in human rights, that any person, anywhere, has the right to live free of oppression. We believed in the two party system of checks and balances, with respectful and fair discourse. We didn't feel the need to vilify the opposing argument or the person presenting it. It was a country where journalism was an honorable profession, dedicated to presenting the truth without garnishment or opinion.
What do we have now? We have a country where schools don't say the pledge, where courts are battling to remove 'In God We Trust' from money and official documents. Our laws and Constitution are based on the Ten Commandments, but they are not allowed to be displayed. The majority of American's are Christian, yet Atheism is rapidly becoming the state religion. Why?
We used to be proud of our children, when they chose military service. Flew our flags in support, spoke of opportunities and careers. Companies fought to hire our veterans. Now instead of being respected as the elite group of representatives they are, the military is dismissed as being the last resort for the troublemaker and high school dropout. Universities try to ban recruiting, parents are appalled when their child speaks of joining up. One thing is the same though, companies still fight to hire our veterans. When you are paying for skill and knowledge, you want the best. The military is a far cry from the 'point and shoot' the liberal media would paint them as. Today's military is made up of intelligent, skilled, and disciplined men and women, who are using the best technology in the world to accomplish their goals. They use high tech equipment, complex programs, and must be able to keep a multitude of scenarios and possibilities in their minds ready for action at all times. A far cry from those of us in the 'real world' who can't find their car keys this morning, or regularly crash their e-mail program.
Freedom isn't free. We give lip service to that, but no one wants to back it up with action. There is genocide, slavery and starvation all around us, but we don't want to get involved. We don't want to hear about it, so it doesn't make the news. Just like we didn't want to hear what was happening to the Jews in Europe during WWII. Just like we didn't want to hear what happened to the Cambodians after Vietnam. We didn't want to hear about Bosnia, Rwanda. We don't want to hear about Dafur. So we don't. Unless you search the internet for alternative news sources, you won't hear about the evils in the world.
When did it become ok to personally and visciously attack other Americans because they don't agree with you? When did political cartoons become not just no longer humerous, but outright nasty? What is the purpose of that? (and why is anyone buying those cartoons?) When did it become ok for an instructor to humiliate a child in class, because he had different views (or different news sources) than the instructor? We all have the right to express our opinion, but that freedom ends where the next person's freedom begins. Everyone has a right to not be harrassed, or oppressed because of their beliefs, whatever they are.
I remember taking education classes in college, and supervisior training in the workforce. Both emphasized always being neutral when discussing any subject. Politics, religion, race, gender, all have to be spoken of with respect, and no attempt on the part of the person in authority to coerce the other person to agree with them. Isn't this the basic principle for teaching? When did that stop?
I remember in college reading the Journalist's Creed by Walter Williams, founder of the Missouri School or Journalism.
"...I believe that the journalism which succeeds the best-and best deserves success-fears God and honors man; is stoutly independent; unmoved by pride of opinion or greed of power; constructive, tolerant but never careless, self-controlled, patient, always respectful of its readers but always unafraid, is quickly indignant at injustice; is unswayed by the appeal of the privilege or the clamor of the mob; seeks to give every man a chance, and as far as law, an honest wage and recognition of human brotherhood can make it so, an equal chance; is profoundly patriotic while sincerely promoting international good will and cementing world-comradeship, is a journalism of humanity, of and for today's world."
How did we get from that ideal, to where we are today, with sensationlist newspapers rushing to print whatever rumor they hear, and writers spouting their opinions as facts? Where newspapers publish information on goverment agents, risking their lives just for a cover story?
When did is start to be so fashionable to hate America, to hate ourselves? Why does it make people feel smugly superior to degenerate their own country? Like it proves they are smart, or enlightened because they don't like America anymore. Have we gotten so shallow?
Suddenly I feel like I am back in grade school.