The President is a master of rhetoric in situations like this; ‘I Want America To Be As Good As She Imagined It,’ is a phrase that will live long in the recorded history of these tragic murders and criminal assaults.
It’s unfortunate that we won’t apply the words to our behavior in areas related directly to this event, as in improving delivery of mental health care, being much more careful about who has access to guns, or taking people to task for incitefully violent public commentary.
It’s even more of a shame that we refuse to listen to this young girl’s voice when we wage war on innocent people all over the globe, when we deprive or abet the deprivation of the availability of basic human needs, of clean water, food, shelter and dignity.
Shameful too, both here and abroad is our ongoing practice of locking people away indefinitely, without charges, submitting them to torture, without legal recourse, without evidence that they have wronged us, under the pretext of keeping America safe.
The differences between what our children imagine is America, and what is actual, what is true, should be required study for children in early grades to prepare them for the traumatic shock of the realities that lie in wait just over their horizons of innocence.
I’m not a big fan of symbolism, religious or political; the flag waving at the Olympics, hands held over hearts at ball games and auto races, fingers pointed at the sky or genuflection in the end zone strikes me as empty, meaningless, affected behavior. I prefer more tangible substance, facts and deeds over these public “going through the motions” displays of piety and patriotism. But that’s just me.
If I did care for symbolism this would be the week that I opted for the great symbolic slam dunk, the turducken of religious and nationalistic display. I would get a bunch of “holy books” all the usual stuff “the majors” and all the other “holy” tomes I could find and wrap them in an Israeli flag, then an Iraqi flag, followed by the flag of Iran and the US Stars and Stripes. I would tie the package up in a prayer rug of the kind advertised by late night TV evangelists in exchange for a “love offering” and set fire to the whole silly mess in the nearest place that allows bonfires, sit down, pop open a beer and call the media.
I’d likely become as famous as a rock star in 24 hours.
They call him “pastor,” they call him reverend, they say he is “godly,” a holy man, beloved of and by “god.” “They” as close as I can determine, are the approximately 50 people who are members of his Florida “church,” the Dove World Outreach Center… honest, that’s what they call it and it earns them a federal tax exemption. I’ve seen him. (more…)