Vigilance…That is the Price That We Continually Have to Pay (Opinion Piece)

For the last few months, I have been reading apocalyptic postings from friends and others – all warning of impending doom (oooooh) and gloom (aaaaah). I tend to be more of an optimist – always trying to find that sliver of sun breaking through the dark clouds overhead. So, naturally, I poo-poo’d many of those points – and moved on with my daily path. When I offered my perspective that things were not as bad as everyone was making it out to be – I was told I was walking through life with my head firmly stuck in the sand (certainly strikes up weird visions of walking around a circle where my head is in the sand – or walking around with my head in a huge bowl of dirt, ala Jack Sparrow). Time to make a slight change of opinion.

No, this is not about global warming – a phenomenon I do believe in, where mankind can help reverse with more responsible manufacturing and better emissions control. But no, that’s not my point. Nor does my point fall towards the dying bee population around the world. Perhaps I’ll freak out over that in the future, but I barely understand the concept of why the bees are just dying off. And before you decide to help “educate me” in the comments – I would appreciate you pointing me towards areas of understanding through an Email instead — elfster@gmail.com. I truly would prefer to read over any scientific research for myself and draw my own conclusions. I am not a scientist, but I do prefer to not just accept what is handed me. But no, that’s not it either. Its more political and social in nature. Extremism.

I have seen it everywhere.  In the news, we hear about Muslim Extremists utilizing violence to bolster their attempt to foist their beliefs on a region of people. But let’s not just pick on one belief system. Hidden deeper in much of the news media’s materials are the extremist actions of Christian groups throughout the world. And while I would not consider them to be “Christian” – their own stated beliefs are that they are. That is the Westboro Baptist Church. Any drive along the tolled-aspect of Interstate 35 (north- or south-bound) in Kansas will have the traveler seeing signs that “The End is Coming” or that “Abortion is a sin”.  Not so extreme, since they are poorly painted advertisements along the side of the road. But coupled with the actions of a single “Christian” group located in Wichita, Kansas (Westboro Baptists – in case you’re missing the tie-in), its a definitive example of one group attempting to subjugate others to their beliefs. Not convinced? Well, here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, we had a rash of crimes against Christian churches just to the east of the area near Tyler. Several small Christian congregations have received letters filled with a white, powdered substance. The items were believe to be Anthrax (not the band), but turned out to be harmless baby powder. But the intent is clear. To foment terror in the targeted individuals. Once can only speculate on the reasoning, but the intent is fairly obvious. Pagans face discrimination, and outright hatred from others – simply because they suddenly announced that they were “Pagan” to the world. Insert LGBT into that statement, and you find a plethora of hate crimes visited upon members of that group – simply because they were open about their own sexuality. It does not stop there. We see many politicians in America’s political environment introducing legislation designed to oppress voters (Texas currently has a law designed to keep women from voting – in 2013!), or to promote one particular theological perspective over any other.

Bill O’Reilly of the Fox News Network made a statement a few years back that America was in a “culture and values war”. Give you a single guess which side O’Reilly was advocating for. Many of the other Fox News contributors have picked up that batlle flag – and have marched themselves into the homes and minds of hundreds of thousands of people. They tell these folks how America is being destroyed by people who do not think like they do…and that those non-conformists must be destroyed at any cost. And those people have done just that. The Tea Party radical movement was formed – originally under the guise of unfair taxation, but this movement (and that may be an apt description of them – in a non-flattering way) has moved into other arenas to carry forth their “values” fight. If you do not believe in their version of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit – then you are damaging the United States – and should be classified as an “enemy” in much the same way that Extreme Muslims have been.

Here’s the truth of it folks. Those of us who do not think like they (the Tea Party) do – we out-numbered them by a large degree. We do not need to stand toe-to-toe with them in the streets and shout slogans and slurs back and forth. We can place this movement in the schtako can right where it belongs – by going to the ballot boxes EACH AND EVERY ELECTION AND VOTING OUR OWN INDIVIDUAL CONSCIENCE. Its not going to take a single election to get rid of these folks…and as Captain Jean Luc Picard tells Lt. Worf in this clip from the episode of “Drumhead” – the price we pay is vigilance.

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