Repost from 9/11/2010
I am going to be controversial here – but the controversy fits within the perimeters of my mission statement: raising sons – and in this instance, raising sons in a world that challenges their freedom and their faith.
About 19 years ago, my oldest son was five. We were at Disney World, in a very long, exhausting line leading to the Dumbo ride. As we inched closer and closer, my son gripped his hands in a mixture of boredom and anticipation around the security railing lining the path. As we stood, watching the ride, watching him, another young boy walked up – a Middle Eastern Boy. He moved to stand beside my son, and gripped the railing. They both stood there for a few moments, just watching the ride when the little Middle Eastern Boy reached over, put his hand atop my sons, and squeezed hard until my son let go and stepped back. His mother watched and did nothing. No rebuke. No apology.
My sense of justice, correctness, my “treat-others-as-you-want-to-be-treated” mentality reeled. I stammered to my husband, “His mother . . . she did nothing!?”
And we went on, in our little world, raising our children the way our parents raised us, the way our grandparents raised our parents – and their parents raised them– in a country framed in Judeo-Christian principles.
Our principles are constantly challenged within the framework of freedom. Citizens burn our flag. Citizens burn our Bible – our Holy book filled with the tenets that, as I said, framed the foundations of America. . . . I don’t like this burning of values. But they have the freedom to do it. I may disagree – but my actions are not going to infringe on that right. No president has ever said, “Please don’t burn the Bible.” No president has condemned such action as being “unhinged.” If anything, these actions has been praised – encouraged – by the media, by our leaders, by our educational system. Like the two little boys at that Dumbo Ride – initially, two little boys with differences, side by side. Except, no one squeezing, using force to make people step aside. I think that is called respecting differences.
But 9 years later, it is opposite day in America.
No more standing side by side with differences. No more respecting. A man wants to burn the Middle Eastern religious book. The media is squeezing him, pushing him to step back, defining him as “unhinged.” People who do not like freedom of expression are threatening his life, including the life of our soldiers and citizens. I do not condone the burning of books. I think it is stupid. I think it is similar to the tantrum of a 3 year old who is not getting the attention needed.
However, whatever happened to equal freedom of speech – if it is o.k. to burn a Bible, then it is o.k. to burn The Cat in the Hat, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and the Quran. Except now Christian’s are being pushed back, told they do not have the same freedoms in a “Shut-up-and-take-it-like-an-American” diatribe. The president calls to say, “Shame on you.” The media harps, “Unhinged.” And people say, “If you burn the Quran, we’ll kill Americans.”
Somebody’s squeezing America’s hand of freedom pretty hard. Somebody wants America to stand down.
We see the same action with the mosque slated to be built at Ground Zero – where Middle Eastern Men squeezed America hard. American lives are threatened again with a childish tantrum rant “If you don’t play by my rules, then, well, we’ll come and get you – and make you cry. That’s what they’re saying. Except these are not children. This is not a playground or a Dumbo ride.
These are life and death threats, not just aimed at people, not just aimed at buildings, but aimed at America – an America inspired by and built on the tenets of the Bible. The Bible is the foundation, the pillars, the I-Beams securing each level of freedom. And that foundation allows freedom of speech, freedom for all religions to worship, freedom for differences to exist side by side. Freedom to speak, to be different, to not be censored, to not be lashed – verbally or physically, to not be considered by our government as inferior for disagreeing. After all, “All men are created equal.”
Sadly, though, right now, people are using that freedom as the 4th 9-11 plane, 12 years later, only they are not flying into a building in New York City or The Pentagon. They are driving it into the foundation of American principles, squeezing really hard, hoping America will just step back and let another’s “justice-for-only-me” mindset destroy America from within – using freedom without compassion, without equivalency as the 4th 9-11 plane to destroy American at her very heart.
Using America’s Constitution as a weapon against itself. Our Constitution is like a knife – designed to cut our meat to feed ourselves at the table of freedom. However, others are choosing to use that knife as a weapon at the table of freedom.
Somebody is squeezing America really hard right now. It is not with an American voice, whispering, “Love your Neighbor as Yourself.” It is a voice crying, “Death to America if you dare to disagree.”
It is as simple as two little boys standing in the line at Disney’s Dumbo ride. One standing, gripping freedom; one squeezing hard to take it away.
15“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7: 15-20).