Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The price of freedom

It's something to give lip service to when you're proposing or conducting a war of aggression, preferably a hopeless, poorly organized one. When it comes to tolerating the views of others, the freedom of others: speech, religion and the rest of what the bill of rights guarantees, our hypocrisy comes shining through. Our cowardice, our irrational fear, our bigotry.

My thanks to Libby at The Impolitic for disgusting me with yet another view of America that will be broadcast around the world and justify more hatred of us and more acts against us and more revulsion at our pose of being a moral example. We're not and as Jefferson said " I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just." If I were a believer, I'd be headed away faster than Lot could run out of Sodom.

It's infuriating that one of the bravest men I've had the privilege to observe was called a coward by a mob too cowardly to allow religious freedom in New York, cowardly enough to make disgusting religious taunts they'd never tolerate against themselves even if they were accurate -- which they would probably be. I tremble for my country. I tremble with rage at the bigots, the cowards, the enraged hordes of ignorant savages and I tremble at he dawning conclusion that perhaps we have no reason to be proud of America and that we've rarely been any better than this.

There is a price to be paid for freedom, but it can't be paid for in this kind of currency. It's not paid for by attacking Iraq or by supporting corrupt governments or toppling democracies abroad. It's certainly not paid for rioting against freedom and the allegedly sacred rights of man. If this is the voice of America, everything our enemies say about us is true and we have no right to pretend to be a moral example to anyone.

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