OK, I admit to being surprised, my Dad actually wrote back shortly after that last message, about 4 hours later, according to the timestamps.

Instead of writing them separately, like I did in the previous entry, I am going to just put my second response. I accidentally lost the first one and had to write it out a second time. I liked the first version better, but didn’t get a chance to spend enough time to replace it in its entirety.

This was mailed on February 4th, I have yet to get any comments…

Dear Robert,
I am not sure exactly what your reply has to do with my email.

Sorry about that, I get so many of these pseudo-patriotic e-mails that I may have unloaded my irritation and frustration onto you. Sorry about that.

I understand from it why you would like to change our leadership. However, your reply does give me reason to ask two questions.

Putting politics aside:

Do you believe that Radical Islam is any threat to the world or us?

Radical Islam unto itself, No. Al-Qaeda is a different subject, they have been a threat in the past and if we don’t finish the mission in Afghanistan, they will likely be again. That war I am in complete agreement with and just wish the Administration would put a bit more attention to.

In my opinion, radical Islam is no more a threat than radical Zionists in Israel or radical Hindus in India. Personally, as far as this country goes, I am more concerned with radical Christians like the “Army of God” who have no qualms with committing murder, fire bombings and arson in their crusades to purge America of what they disagree with, in this case abortion and the doctors who perform them.

I am personally more concerned about the sect of Christians who believe that they can hurry the second coming by destroying the world around us. Talk about an arrogant state of being. Some have accused the administration to be part of or pandering to this group, I doubt it, I think it’s just greed and power lust myself, always looks good until you project it into the future.

Strange that in a nation that prides itself on its freedoms and finds theocracies to be such terrible things (personally I agree completely with the last), we are trying to create a Christian theocracy in this nation. We call it “family values” or some other nice name, but look into history and see how people like Hitler used the common belief and fears of the people to get them to do what they never would have if brought out directly. If there is one thing that can be learned during the Third Reich, it’s that it only takes a small percentage of people to manipulate the masses into allowing horrible acts in the name of power, tradition and/or purity.

If so, what efforts would you like to see our government implement to defeat that threat…………in other words, what should be our strategy?

I think a re-evaluation of our foreign policy’s tendency to bully people should be looked at as it seems to be detrimental to our stated goals. I have felt for the longest time that our tendency to act as if we are the only country who knows what’s going on and to strong arm everyone into playing by our rules, no matter what the consequences doesn’t help us, it makes us look like thugs on the world stage. Like it or not, our usual practice is still very much a colonialism technique that has become reviled outside our nation since many nations have been on the wrong end of that in the past.

It’s about time we started talking with, not at, other nations, started taking into account that other cultures are valid and may need to be addressed when trying to work together and most of all, have respect for those who are different.

What would happen if we actually started following our proclaimed Christian values and treated others as we would want to be treated? Some people are not particularly honest in how they deal with things, but why should they feel like it is in their own best interest when we don’t always present the truth ourselves?

I’m sure you think that nations would take advantage of any trusts that were put before them and I’ll be the first to admit that there is difficulty, especially initially. But we are the sole big boy on the block, if we set a bad example, what’s to make anyone want to trust us? We need to treat the rest of the world as younger siblings who need guidance, not threats and beatings, so that they may grow.

For example on the current world stage: Iran. The majority of people in Iran are fairly moderate and progressive and was working its way clear of the rule of the Ayatollahs until we scared the daylights out of them in Iraq and they voted Ahmadinejad into office to balance what they saw in the world (all my Iranian friend claim it was our country’s policies and actions that got him elected). I have worked with and for many from Iran and other than feeling that we had meddled in their country with the Shah, basically like us a lot. They have become an Islamic Theocracy, but are surprisingly open to ideas. From our perspective, their President has been quite inflammatory, but from their perspective, he’s actually been fairly tame. We can continue on our current path, to ignore their culture and government, making our demands and playing by our rule-book, and it will probably amount to nothing going forward. What if we were to sit down with all the involved parties and try to work out a solution that would address our concerns while at the same time be something presentable to the people he has to answer to back home in Tehran?

If I know you, you think this is quite simplistic and naive. Maybe. But I will tell you this, I am a firm believer that world is what we make of it, if we don’t like what we have made, redo it. It takes work but nothing is impossible. The fact is that the world has gotten too small for squabbling children who would rather beat each other up than share their toys.

As far as on the domestic front, quit with the playing to fear and paranoia of the masses, it’s counterproductive. The big problem with playing the fear card is that after awhile the people are afraid of everything, including the ones playing the card, it truly is a two edged sword.

I could go on and on, but I think I will stop here. The facts are not always clear and the dangers are great, but to change nothing and continue down our current path doesn’t seem to bode well either. As to your quote from Blair, if we keep outsourcing all the manufacturing and industrial jobs to where the labor is substantially cheaper and replace those jobs with Starbucks, how long will more people want in than out?

Written by R. A. Burgener

After finishing the 850 mile trek of self-rediscovery on California's El Camino Real from San Diego to Sonoma, California, Robert continued, via Greyhound, to Portland, Oregon, where he is becoming familiar with the concepts of weather and seasons after 30 years in Los Angeles.

This article has 2 comments

  1. avatar
    Rev. Don Spitz Reply

    You should be more concerned about the eternal hell fire you are going to for rejecting Jesus Christ.
    SAY THIS PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I am a sinner and am headed to eternal hell because of my sins. I believe you died on the cross to take away my sins and to take me to heaven. Jesus, I ask you now to come into my heart and take away my sins and give me eternal life.

  2. avatar
    Spirit Geek Reply

    Thanks for being a perfect example of why I don’t call myself a Christian.

    Strictly as a matter of point, I believe in Jesus and everything he had to say. I disagree with many of the interpretations and dogmas that have been added to it over the last 2000 years.

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