Saturday, May 12, 2012

Back To The Mayflower: 2012?

Observing events and listening to rhetoric of the last four years, it seems to me that we are right back where we started some four hundred years ago. Or conversely: every year that's passed has sent us one hundred in the OPPOSITE direction. So much for progress.......
Ok, it wasn't just overnight, but what happened? Immigrants and settlers came to this country for many reasons: some to escape religious persecution or to more freely expand their beliefs. Fine. But we've gotten WAY off track here: 

"It strikes me as odd that the free exercise of religious faith is sometimes treated as a problem, something America is stuck with instead of blessed with," Romney said. "Perhaps religious conscience upsets the designs of those who feel that the highest wisdom and authority comes from government."
"There is no greater force for good in the nation than Christian conscience in action," Romney continued.     Romney 5/12, Liberty University

  "What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society?  In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people… A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not."  --James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance, 1785 

Everyone in this country has the freedom to worship in whatever manner they so choose, with NO ONE Christian, Jew, Muslim, atheist or government dictating how they may do so. Conversely, no religion may have ANY undue influence in  government legislation. The extremists seemed to have gotten the message a little muddled.

Nothing seems to be beyond the reach of overly "religious:"

NEW YORK — Long a lightning rod for conservative criticism, the Girl Scouts of the USA are now facing their highest-level challenge yet: An official inquiry by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
At issue are concerns about program materials that some Catholics find offensive, as well as assertions that the Scouts associate with other groups espousing stances that conflict with church teaching. The Scouts, who have numerous parish-sponsored troops, deny many of the claims and defend their alliances.

Since when does a secular, community-based, loose affiliation of young girls...those taking the time and effort to become upstanding young women, citizens, and contributors to society....have to follow approved church-based (in this case Catholic) teachings? 

And then we all know about this: 
It all follows four months of headline-making salvos that, to some women at least, have begun to feel like a bombardment of sorts. Think: Susan G. Komen ending cancer-screening grants to Planned Parenthood (quickly reversed). And disputes over laws designed to protect women against wage discrimination (Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker last month signed a repeal of his state's equal pay law, while a U.S. Senate candidate in Michigan called a federal equal pay law a "nuisance.") 

Each side blames the other for the histrionics, and the end result is that  all women's rights, not just reproductive, are being whittled away. That's all well and good for those that actually believe these tenets. The rest of us SHOULD NOT be forced to bow to these archaic, unfortunate rulings, and politicians who say we do are simply pushing their own religious views.The rights of some should NOT mitigate the rights of ALL.
And don't get me started on the current treatment and denigration of unemployed workers, the poor, nonwhites, children, students, single mothers, seniors, people who don't know where their next meal is coming from, those without decent medical insurance.....

In the latest budget reconciliation package is a proposal to cut $400 million in bonus money used by states to find and enroll children who are likely to qualify for and benefit from CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program)...  “The whole purpose of the funds is to make sure that children who are eligible based on state-determined standards have an easier time — getting enrolled.

People found their way to our shores from England, Spain, Ireland, Africa just to name a few. They came to escape prison, to make money and own land, start a new life, for adventure, as indentured slaves (whites and blacks), as brides for settlers already here....for all sorts of reasons. This was the Land of Opportunity. Now in 2012, life seems as if it going the other way.....are the opportunities going to be elsewhere? Where is our Mayflower?  Do we have to board a ship, take to the sea, and search for a better land, or can we make our voices heard right here?  Or SOS? The choice is ours. Make your voice heard.

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