What Kind of People Are We Becoming?

It is time for Americans to take a good look at themselves and ask whether or not they like what they see. Is this how we want to be remembered by posterity, the way we are today?
During the Sixties there was a phrase and movie called the Ugly American. That is the way we often appeared to the outside world, arrogant, greedy and ill-mannered to say the least. Yet that was also the decade of the Civil Rights Movement, one of the greatest movements in American history. You had to admire the participants’ willingness to stand up for their rights, peaceably, nonviolently, suffering all kinds of abuse. What strength of character and courage they displayed! It was also the decade of the Peace Corps, Vista and many Appalachian programs which utilized thousands of volunteers who gave of themselves to help others. Thousands of men volunteered believing we were fighting for democracy in Vietnam. Many more stood up for what they felt was right and opposed the war. There was much to admire in America.
Can we say the same thing today? Sandy and Moore, Oklahoma certainly brought out the best in us as we sought to help each other to recover from such tragedy. But what about every thing else going on in this country? Our Congress can not work out compromises about anything. Despite Sandy Hook there has been no compromise on gun control. In one weekend this summer there were 12 killed and 74 wounded in shootings in one city, Chicago. It was safer in Afghanistan that weekend. Why can’t we do anything?
Can anything be uglier than the emails floating around the Internet? People who claim to be Christian forward notes which are thinly disguised racism. The Klan would be proud!
Is this what we fought for in the Sixties? Is that why our soldiers suffered in World War II, Korea and Vietnam so we could forward racist trash? Are we worthy to call ourselves American?
Look at TV especially reality shows. Have we lost all sense of shame? Do we really want to be seen by millions of people cursing our heads off? Is that how we want to be remembered? Is that what we want to tell our kids about when we’re old? What did you do important in life? Do we really want to answer that I was on national TV cursing my head off? Is that really such a great accomplishment?
Look at events in Texas this past week. Are we proud of fighting for the right to unlimited abortion carrying bottles of urine and feces? Is that what we learned from Martin Luther King Jr.? Wouldn’t that have been the tactic of the Klan?
One argument against a 20 week limit is that we wouldn’t know if a child has Downs. We insist on the right to kill a baby with Downs. How is this different from what Hitler did? Wouldn’t he support our position if he was alive today? Wouldn’t our tactics remind him of his brown shirts? Do we really believe in the Democratic process?
What makes us different from Nazi Germany and Red China? Abortion in America has quadrupled the number killed in the Holocaust. The number of abortions in America is almost as high as the total number of deaths in World War II including those killed in the Holocaust by disease, hunger as well as combat in Europe, Asia and Africa. One wonders why we bothered to fight the Germans? We seem to be just as bad, only we kill people from all backgrounds not just Jews. Is this progress? Shouldn’t we be different? Doesn’t this country stand for better than this?
We talk about Tolerance a lot but no one is allowed to disagree with us. Those who oppose Abortion are labeled terrorists by Homeland Security and harassed by the Internal Revenue Service. Christian teaching and preaching on marriage is labeled as hate speech. At the same time conservatives are just as bad when it comes to gun control and immigration reform. God help the politician who actually tries to do what he believes is right rather than toe the party line.
We’ve been taught to love our enemies. We used to be able to put aside our differences for the good of the community. We disagreed with ideas, plans and proposals based on what they were rather than who made them. Our politicians weren’t afraid to compromise to work together. Now none of that is possible.
We are a people full of anger and hate. It is not enough to disagree with someone. We must destroy their plans. We can’t accept jury verdicts but go on and on for weeks stirring up anger and hate. Just look at the reaction to the Casey Anthony verdict a couple of years ago. Ironically, those TV pundits who stirred up anger over the Casey Anthony verdict have been virtually silent when it came to Gosnell. Why don’t the children literally torn apart by him matter?
Is this who we want to be, a nation of angry, hateful people ready to bombard politicians who disagree with us with feces and urine, a people unable to work together, to seek the good in a proposal, to come to a compromise? Do we really want to do anything that Hitler would favor? Do we want to be remembered as stubborn children who have to have their own way? Is this how America became such a great nation? Can we be proud of who we are when we resort to such tactics?
We are supposed to be the most advanced nation on earth? Are we really? What would Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Martin Luther King think? What would those who fought our wars think? Is this the country so many have given their lives for?
What would women like Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony think? Did they really struggle for the right of women to kill their children? Did they struggle for decimation of the African-American race by Abortion?
Didn’t all these people struggle against hatred, oppression and exploitation?
How would they feel?
We were once the greatest nation on earth, one with flaws but still greater than any other nation in history. Now we seem to have abandoned the characteristics that made us great, our willingness to sacrifice for the common good, to work together, to compromise to stand for what we believed, to fight courageously to change our flaws through hard work.
The abolitionists, women’s movement, labor movement, civil rights and other reform movements all illustrate the dedication and courage of our predecessors. Are we living up to their legacy?
What will our legacy be? What do we want our legacy to be? Will our generation be the one to destroy all our predecessors fought for?


Author: ronquinlan

To me the message is what is important. Feel free to copy and use anything on this blog. Some pieces were originally published by Catholic Lane so please give them credit. I am a charismatic Roman Catholic and former Social Studies teacher in Catholic Schools. Pieces I've written have been published on Catholi Lane, Catholic Exchange and the Women of Grace blog.

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