Patriotic speech now 'hate speech'
Even before Sept. 11, the term hate speech was common. We have laws to punish those who use hate speech. Many would debate what is hate speech, what is criticism or opinion. Could politicians and bureaucrats decide when words of editors, columnists, political analysts, pastors and rabbis become hate speech?
As one of my readers stated, "Who started this hate stuff anyway? I was always taught to hate evil. I know, they erased evil!"
It's difficult to identify politicians' positions on religious beliefs. Most make an effort not to identify with any faith. They believe that is not politically correct or politically smart if they hope to win re-election.
A few days each year during the "holiday" season we hear about love. A few years ago most Americans celebrated Christmas as the "birth of Christ," the Messiah, Son of God, Savior, "Prince of Peace," teacher of love one another. That is no longer politically nor socially correct in our "anything goes" society.
True servants of Christ do not hate Jews and Muslims. After Sept. 11, we have been hearing the word fear as never before. It is sad that anyone should fear a Muslim or that a Muslim should fear a Christian or Jew.
One of my readers wrote, "Columnists should consult the dictionary regarding love, hate, fear. American Heritage Dictionary: Love: intense affection for another person. Hate: Animosity, hostility, to detest another person. Fear: motion and agitation caused by expectation or realization of danger."
He pointed out, "Fear is not the opposite of love. There does not have to be love to seek truth. It takes intellectual honesty to illuminate truth. Our major focus since Sept. 11 should be on our nation and not other nations. Our citizenship is more important than international citizenship." I would add that more important than our citizenship and survival of our sovereignty is that our nation return to the God of our forefathers. If we don't, citizenship will mean nothing, and our sovereignty will disappear.
In Madison, Wis., the home of one of the most liberal, left- wing-dominated, tax-supported universities in America, the school board voted to ban the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem, "To protect our children and staff's individual rights."
They reversed their decision when outraged parents started a recall drive. Mark Twain was right: "God made the Idiot for practice, then made the School Board."
After Sept. 11, many said God was punishing America. The God I know is a loving God and would not punish us for idolatry and carnality this way. Like many followers of Christ Jesus, I pray He never abandons us. God showed his love for us when He sent us Jesus to teach us the truth and the right way to live. He gave America God-believing, Bible-quoting founding fathers to create a Declaration of Independence and Constitution that has been an example for humankind.
At this special time of the year those of us who place more faith in God than in government, politicians, bureaucrats and the laws of man pray that Sept. 11 was a turning point, a return to the God of our forefathers. Have a blessed, thankful day! God save our Republic!
(Thom Strawn was a political activist for 30 years, and is now a TV and radio talk show host in Prescott. E-mail him at TBA1776@mindspring.com)