religious tolerance

Katie – We are Fighting for that Shining City on a Hill

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Katie,

You have lots of friends and lots of people who respected how well you were doing your job in Congress.  And while I only know of you and don’t really know you, we can never really be sure of all the details in the private lives of others (nor, obviously, should all have any right to know all those details).  Regardless, I read your article in the New York Times. You have presented yourself with distinction in the face of less than distinguished circumstances and it is to be admired.

I know your road will still be tough. However, I have no doubt you will make a full recovery.  And I also suspect that if you wanted to return to public life to serve our country again one day, you could successfully do that.

The fight to return this country back to the ideas Americans used to value about liberty and justice for all and respect for the individual as a creature bestowed with certain unalienable rights by their creator needs to continue.  And those thoughts that guide unwarranted hyperactive fears about fear itself at the hands and whims of a demagogue whose arbitrary actions are inspired by cable driven tabloid news needs to be rejected.  And we need to succeed in both these objectives.

If we don’t succeed in these objectives, it will mean a road paved towards autocratic despotic government or even Russia itself (where Putin couldn’t be more pleased with the results of his interference efforts into our 2016 Presidential election).  If that should happen, America’s democratic republic based upon the rule of law as envisioned by our Founding Fathers is certain to collapse as certain as the Ancient Roman Empire collapsed for similar reasons.

The lack of respect shown you with the release of pictures no decent human being would ever take let alone would ever release will be common place but exactly the type of “dirt” unprincipled characters currently holding some of our more important Federal government positions crave and propagate. It is a severe divergence from that Shining City on a Hill that we had all once wanted and another famous American from California once spoke about.  We need to get back to being Americans who are less concerned about what divides us and more concerned about what unites us.

These visitors to that city on the Potomac do not come as white or black, red or yellow; they are not Jews or Christians; conservatives or liberals; or Democrats or Republicans. They are Americans awed by what has gone before, proud of what for them is still… a shining city on a hill.”—Ronald Reagan.

Ancient Rome’s Migration Disaster

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We have it good here in America.  We need to appreciate that.  We live in a world that is interconnected.  We need to appreciate that.  In the late period of the ancient Roman Empire when migrants encroached on their borders, the people in charge thought much like Trump thought.  The Romans called them “barbarians,” gave them a label, made them an enemy, a target people could blame for all their troubles (the “Bad Hombres” of their time).

That thinking cost the ancient Romans an empire.  The ancient Romans completely forgot what their ancestors, just two hundred years prior, had brilliantly done to manage migration.  We need to appreciate that too, understand it and study it.  There is a way to solve our migration woes but what’s happening now, mismanaging how the money is allocated, misappropriations, inhuman conditions along with a sideshow of unacceptable bigoted Facebook postings by a small segment of CBP officers, this unthoughtful zero tolerance administration policy, this unchristian administration policy, is just going to make things worse.

We need to quit looking at migration as a negative and start looking at it as a positive.  Fortunately for my Irish ancestors, we had Presidents dedicated to unifying the country with ideas of liberty and justice for all.  There was no demagogue elected to the Presidency, to such a powerful position, who had any desire to fuel the fires of the prejudices and misconceptions Americans had at that time towards the caravan of Irish immigrants during the 1840’s and 1850’s.  The Irish were the “Bad Hombre’s” in the eyes of many Americans who felt threatened by this influx of foreigners to their country but they weren’t.

My Irish ancestors helped make our nation great.  We need to realize we are a nation of immigrants.  Once we do that, there are some real policies that can be put into place.  Rather than being that 30 foot multibillion, very expensive Band-Aid, they are cost effective policies that can help to address the sources of the problems.  It will give the CBP what they really need, what they really want and what America really needs.

We are America, the land of the free, home of the brave, with emphasis on brave.  We aren’t the home of the frightened little citizens threatened by caravan people who are only hoping to escape their unbearable conditions to make their lives better.  We need to start acting like the country we were meant to be, what we used to be, full of honor and integrity and fearlessness, before we end up losing our republic in a way similar to the way the ancient Romans lost theirs’s. We need to grow up, learn and, most of all, be decent human beings about it.

Benito Trumpolini and His Great Government Shutdown Wall!

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Trumpolini is implementing his glorious “Trumpolini First” policy by making our country and Federal Workers poor again!  Come celebrate this amazing accomplishment at the border with us today! Entertainment will be provided.  Some of the festivities will include watching hordes of amnesty seekers subjected to tear gas and loads of other fun but we’re running out of money for some reason to provide you all this great entertainment (we blame this on all the nasty Democrats).  So please go to our “GoFundMe” page!

There will be caged children, fireworks, plenty of name calling and testimonials from Federal Workers so happy not to receive their lousy unpatriotic paychecks while the rest of us at the congressional and executive levels feast in celebration!  And it should be noted that all Federal Workers know that their scant sacrifice during this shutdown is for the greater good of the great nation of Trumpolini!  And remember and don’t forget by supporting this patriotic shutdown endeavor you are working to, “Make Trumpolini Great Again!”

This has been a public service announcement sponsored by the Trumpolini Government’s Trumpolini First Ministry of Public Affairs.

 

A New Edict of Milan in America

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Tolerance needs to begin with us and we need to start by recognizing that baseless, absurd conclusions with the intent to invoke emotional responses from its target audience is the reason why intolerance begins to take shape in the first place.  I recently ran across an article entitled, “Repealing the Edict of Milan: Obama as the Anti-Constantine,” written by either Ralph H. Sidway or Raymond Ibrahim (it’s not entirely clear which), that indicates Obama is the Anti-Constantine because he, supposedly, refuses to help the Syrian Christians against the horrific persecution they are suffering at the hands of ISIS. The argument made is weak containing unconvincing evidence that is irrelevant or inconclusive, full of emotion, yet; still, it will have no problem appealing to a conservative audience anyway.

This idea that Obama is the Anti-Constantine only adds to the intolerance (the intolerance and disdain Republicans have towards Democrats). It does nothing in the way of offering a real compromising solution so that, perhaps, we really can make a change in the Middle East forward towards a fully realized state of religious tolerance. Secondly, the “Edict of Milan,” while an important concept in the formation of our own country’s ideas towards religious tolerance, did not really exist as a historical event.

There was no real edict made in Milan. What is often referred to as being the “Edict of Milan”, instead, was a letter by the Emperor Licinius distributed to the eastern provinces in 313. Although, Constantine’s name may have been referenced in the letter, it was not written by Constantine. Dr. Timothy Barnes states in his book, “Constantine: Dynasty, Religion and Power in the Later Roman Empire:

“The surviving document often falsely called the ‘Edict of Milan’ is in fact a letter which Licinius sent successively in 313 to the governor of each province of Aisia Minor, the Syrian region and Egypt as they came under his control after he defeated Maximinus.”

In fact, Barnes makes the case that intolerance was nurtured by Constantine in his later reigning years as he consolidated power, as he began to embrace Christianity more fully and as he steered the empire towards a more totalitarianism solution to the problem of governing. So, the premise that Obama is the Anti-Constantine doesn’t make much sense if the intent of “Repealing the Edict of Milan: Obama as the Anti-Constantine” is to prove Obama approves of totalitarianism and intolerance.

How about we make real inroads towards tolerance? For example, let’s respect each other’s politics, quit making inflammatory remarks about the opposition and then sit down at the table and talk about how we can make this world a better place that includes more tolerance (much more tolerance, including the concept that the parties begin to tolerate each other more respectfully than has recently been the case).