by Connie H. Deutsch
Every time the government tells us they are passing a law to protect us, I shudder because I know that another one of our civil liberties will be taken away from us.
They wave the American flag in our faces and tell us that wiretapping is to protect us from terrorists and drug cartels. The Department of Homeland Security is to protect us from terrorists. The TSA (Transportation Security Administration), an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is also to protect us from terrorists. If we are so protected from terrorists, why don't we feel protected? In fact, why aren't we better protected?
Why is it that passengers have to go through invasive pat downs at airports and have their nail clippers confiscated as dangerous weapons, and yet many people have gotten away with carrying guns on planes at the same airports?
Who doesn't remember the joys of getting on a plane for a quick weekend getaway or taking a trip for business or to be with loved ones? Nowadays, with all the measures the government has taken to protect us, traveling anywhere has become a nightmare.
Traveling used to be fun. Now people travel only when it's absolutely necessary because they don't want to endure the hardships that the government has imposed on us.
There have been so many violations of the First Amendment that someday we may lose the very freedoms we fought for when we gained our independence from England.
We always took for granted that we would continue to have freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, yet when people get together to protest something they deem unjust, armed policemen beat them back, use tear gas, taser guns and regular guns, and imprison the protesters who won't disband and bow down to government hoodlums. We have only to look at the Occupy Wall Street groups that have sprung up around the country and see how their First Amendment rights have been violated.
There used to be a solid separation of church and state. Where has it gone? I can't ever remember an election where all the candidates felt compelled to list as their qualification for running for President that they are Christian. Is this a requirement? What about all the people in this country who are not Christians? Do they not count? Do they not vote or is that voting privilege going to be taken away someday?
I can't ever remember campaigns where the central theme of a debate centered on Creationism and religion rather than domestic and foreign policy. With the failing economy and the huge numbers of home foreclosures, bank fraud, joblessness, homelessness, etc., why is religion even mentioned? Where is the separation of church and state there?
When candidates start waving their religion around, they need to be mindful of their behavior when they are not making speeches on the campaign trail. I can't think of anything more unchristian than these same bible-thumping candidates giving their permission to have ads filled with vicious lies and innuendos about their opponents appearing on television.
We are becoming a nation of irrelevance. In the last decade we have seen candidates running for President who are accused of not being good Americans unless they are wearing a silly little flag pin on their lapel.
Does the wearing of an American flag pin show that you are a good American? I think not. The actions by which we live, demonstrate our loyalty to this country, not some little pin on a piece of clothing. In all the years we have had elections, it has never been necessary to wear a flag pin in order to be seen as a viable candidate for the office of President.
We have gotten so far away from the guiding principles of this country that we are losing our place in the world as being the best, as being the poster children for decency and democracy.
We torture prisoners and force them to sign meaningless confessions in the unrealistic hope that we will get them to divulge government secrets. Most people, when tortured, will sign any confession and make up things just to get the torture to stop. And the people who endorse torture tell us that this is necessary to get information. Hasn't the Geneva Convention after World War II taught us anything?
The government is about to pass more laws to protect us. These are the censorship bills they are so anxious to pass. Right now, it is designed to protect a small segment of society but once the government gets its bureaucratic teeth into it, it will expand into every aspect of our lives.
We will find ourselves being denied freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of petition, and freedom of religion. They will have the legal right to censor and control everything we say and do.
But don't worry about our loss of rights under the First Amendment. By that time, the government will pass legislation that orders us to become Christians to protect us from terrorists.
We have seen our beloved country go to hell in a handbasket as we've watched the politicians who should be protecting our welfare, only interested in amassing their personal wealth at our expense. We have heard lobbyists and ex-senators and ex-congressmen freely admit they took huge payoffs to vote for bills. But while they are in office, they sound so sincere and so concerned about us that they consistently fool the voters.
Abraham Lincoln said, 'You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.' With corruption at every level of government and the voting public more interested in good sound bites and political theater, we're coming dangerously close to fooling all of the people all of the time.