Subject: THIS SAYS IT ALL!!!!!
> Broken Arrow, Oklahoma School officials remove "God
> Bless America" signs from schools in fear that someone
> might be offended.
> Channel 12 News in Long Island, New York, orders flags
> removed from the newsroom and red, white, and blue ribbons
> removed from the lapels of reporters. Why? Management did
> not want to appear biased and felt that our nations flag
> might give the appearance that "they lean one way or another".
> Berkeley, California bans U.S. Flags from being displayed on
> city fire trucks because they didn't want to offend anyone
> in the community.
> In an "act of tolerance" the head of the public library at
> Florida Gulf Coast University ordered all "Proud to be an
> American" signs removed so as to not offend international
> I, for one, am quite disturbed by these actions of so-called
> American citizens; and I am tired of this nation worrying
> about whether or not we are offending some individual or
> their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on September 11,
> we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of
> Americans. However, the dust from the attacks had barely
> settled in New York and Washington D.C. when the "politically
> correct" crowd began complaining about the possibility that
> our patriotism was offending others.
> I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against
> anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to America. In
> fact, our country's population is almost entirely comprised of
> descendants of immigrants; however, there are a few things that
> those who have recently come to our country, and apparently
> some native Americans, need to understand.
> First of all, it is not our responsibility to continually try
> not to offend you in any way. This idea of America being a
> multi-cultural community has served only to dilute our
> sovereignty and our national identity. As Americans, we have
> our own culture, our own society, our own language, and our
> own lifestyle. This culture, called the "American Way" has been
> developed over centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by
> millions of men and women who have sought freedom. Our
> forefathers fought, bled, and died at places such as Bunker
> Hill, Antietam, San Juan, Iwo Jima, Normandy, Korea, Vietnam,
First of all, let me clear a couple of misconceptions in the beginning of your message. The Florida Gulf Coast University example was true (although the University quickly overruled the librarian who banned the signs). The Long Island, New York example I was unable to verify, so I'll assume it is correct. However, the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and Berkeley, California examples are simply not true.
In Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, there were complaints by some parents, but the removal of "God Bless America" signs is simply not true. The school system issued a statement (found at http://www.edweek.org/ew/newstory.cfm?slug=06speech.h21):
<<After word mistakenly spread that the school boards' association had advised the Broken Arrow district to avoid the slogan, the group sent a letter to all schools in the state stressing that "we have not advised any school to avoid use of the expression 'God Bless America,' nor have we advised any school to take it down.">>
As for Berkeley, California, this is a distortion of what actually happened. A statement from the mayor of Berkeley (http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Mayor/) stated everything very clearly:
<<Last Wednesday, September 19th, I was stunned to learn that the City of Berkeley Fire Chief and City Manager would not allow the American flag to be displayed on City fire trucks.� They said the reason for this decision was concern that someone might attack the flag during a peace rally scheduled for the following day, Thursday, on the University of California campus.� Such attacks had happened in the past.>>
Now that I got through with that, I'll give you my opinions. I think this article is taking the problem way out of proportion. Sure, it is absolutely ludicrous and incomprehensible for our flag or our motto to be banned, but it only happens in extremely rare cases (I have lived in some of the most liberal areas of the country all my life, and never witnessed any such bans). This article takes a few rare cases and tries to portray them as a national trend and a pressing problem.
As for the paragraph about America being founded on the principles of God, I do not dispute that one bit, and I do not mind that at all. But it doesn't mean that, "If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture and we are proud to have Him."
Fundamentalists, like Osama bin Laden, believe that history has gone awry. This belief that "history has gone awry" is what the author of Cav's article is mentioning. America was founded on strong Christian beliefs, and Christianity dominated all aspects of life (from school to the government) up until the end of the 19th century. With the onset of modernity, Christian orthodoxy became the minority, as opposed to the majority that it used to be, and hence the belief emerged that history had gone awry. However, what we often neglect to mention was that the people who founded our nation on Christian beliefs also believed in slavery of people based on the color of their skin; that it was fine to cheat and murder American Indians and take their land; and that women are inferior. We are the great nation that we are today because of the changes and progress that we have continuously made. Fundamentalists want to bring us back to the old ways.
The author of the article demonstrates my point about fundamentalism by saying, "The American culture is our way of life, our heritage, and we are proud of it. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. We are Americans, like it or not, this is our country, our land, and our lifestyle." I am an American, and I certainly do not believe in that. Neither do most other Americans, I presume. Unless we are perfect, which we are certainly not, I believe change is required.
My point is that the author of the article is a classic fundamentalist, trying to convince us that society has taken the wrong path. The reality is that the incidents of prohibiting little flag pins and "In God We Trust" mottos are very isolated, are perpetrated by a tiny minority of extremists, and are harmless in comparison to the other problems we face.
Heard a discussion yesterday. Seems a grandfather had purchased pins for his two grandsons showing the American flag and the words "God Bless America". They had been forced to remove the pins on penalty of suspension. The grandfather was asking for help.
The response was to provide him a telephone number for an organization on the west coast (can't remember the name, but it was described as "the moral ACLU") that defends the right of free speech in such circumstances and, apparently, they were starting to take action.
In the meantime, the youngsters were advised to pin a U.S. dollar bill to their clothing in a way to show prominantly the words "In God We Trust".
I liked that, but it raised the thought: If there are people so opposed to the official use of "God", are they also refusing to accept anything with that on it--such as American dollars(?). Or, is this only a problem when it creates troubles for others(?).
In my state, and hopefully in others, there has been a resurgence in efforts to re-introduce regular pledges of allegiance to our flag, apparently over the objections of some who feel it will put pressure on students with opposing beliefs. Maybe, sometimes, pressure is extremely appropriate(?).
Great food for thought. Although, historically, my beliefs have been a little left of conservative, there comes a time when we've got to take a stand. That time is now.
It's easy to believe in non-threatening "in" idealogies. September 11 changed all of that.
While I'm disheartened to read and listen to our liberal media, it's interesting that ever poll I come across (most generated by that liberal media), indicate that we are much more united than some would lead us to believe.
> We speak English, not Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese,
> Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to
> become part of our society - learn our language!
> "In God We Trust" is our national motto. This is not some
> off-the-wall, Christian, Right Wing, political slogan - it
> is our national motto. It is engraved in stone in the House
> of Representatives in our Capitol and it is printed on our
> currency. We adopted this motto because Christian men and
> women, on Christian principles, founded this nation; and
> this is clearly documented throughout our history. If it is
> appropriate for our motto to be inscribed in the halls of our
> highest level of Government, then it is certainly appropriate
> to display it on the walls of our schools.
> God is in our pledge, our National Anthem, nearly every
> patriotic song, and in our founding documents. We honor His
> birth, death, and resurrection as holidays, and we turn to
> Him in prayer in times of crisis. If God offends you, then
> I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new
> home, because God is part of our culture and we are proud
> to have Him.
> We are proud of our heritage and those who have so honorably
> defended our freedoms. We celebrate Independence Day,
> Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Flag Day. We have parades,
> picnics, and barbecues where we proudly wave our flag. As
> an American, I have the right to wave my flag, sing my national
> anthem, quote my national motto, and cite my pledge whenever
> and wherever I choose. If the Stars and Stripes offend you, or
> you don't like Uncle Sam, then you should seriously consider a
> move to another part of this planet.
> The American culture is our way of life, our heritage, and we
> are proud of it. We are happy with our culture and have no
> desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things
> where you came from. We are Americans, like it or not, this
> is our country, our land, and our lifestyle.
> Our First Amendment gives every citizen the right to express
> his opinion about our government, culture, or society, and we
> will allow you every opportunity to do so. But once you are
> done complaining, whining, and griping about our flag, our
> pledge, our national motto, or our way of life, I highly
> encourage you take advantage of one other great American
> freedom, the right to leave.
> If you agree, pass this onto other Americans!!
> It is time to take a stand!!