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Stand for Reason and Decency

Please read the following and forward this link to at least two friends. The idea is to get as many hits as possible to this site. This is not about ego. This is about standing up for what is best in each of us.

The sense of security we so often take for granted in this country has been violated. We have been the victims of a brutal surprise attack on a mostly civilian population. We are feeling a justifiable sense of shock, anger, grief, and outrage. These are the times that test our humanity. Stories that show the very best about us as people are already emerging. Stories of courage, heroism, selflessness, and compassion. Unfortunately, these tragedies also bring out the very worst of human nature.

As we heal our wounded, mourn for and bury our dead, there will be a growing hunger for retribution. In the coming weeks and months there will be an abundance of those calling for blood. This is an understandable and even justifiable vent for our human emotions. Clearly, all decent people want those behind this attack to answer for their barbarous acts. But a subtle and insidious menace lurks in the shadows of these natural emotions. Along with the desire to strike back at the culpable, we have begun to see glowing embers of intolerance. There will be those among us with a desire to fan those embers into flames of hatred. It starts with careless words of hate. Then we'll see an unreasonable suspicion of people who are "different". In our rush to judgment it will be easy for some to characterize certain religious or ethnic groups as evil. People who look or dress or speak a certain way will be "the bad guys" and they will be vulnerable to violence.

As responsible members of this community we need to be vigilant and speak with one voice. We must not let hateful ideas stand unchallenged. Random brutality and religious zealotry, that we find threatening and unacceptable in others, must not be tolerated in our own ranks. In our rightful desire to punish the hateful, let us not become the hateful.

As we pick up the pieces and try to carry on with our lives, it is imperative that we remember and hold tightly to the fundamentals of decency. For all our differences in religion, country, and culture- we have so much in common. We are all human beings who need to share this planet. Most of us want nothing more than to get on with our lives in peace. We want the love of our family and friends. We want to prosper and offer our children a secure and happy life.

This is an opportunity to show the world our best face. We have the choices before us. We can offer real and tangible help to our neighbors (and our leaders) with our own thoughtful and personal-best response to this crisis. Five or ten years from today, when emotions and memories have focused into some sort of perspective, will we be proud of America and Americans?

Why should I be thinking about this now?

The answer is simple. Emotions are running high. This is as it should be. Thousands of innocent people have been murdered. We should feel horror and sadness. We should feel anger. It is to be expected that grieving people will even act in an irrational manner. Each of us is capable of that sort of behavior. I would even say that it is natural and may be part of what makes us human.

I want us to simply take stock of ourselves and our actions and our plans for action. Let's do what needs to be done. Let's act in a sober manner and not out of our irrational grief. Let's not do anything that doesn't need to be done.

There will be no end to the calls for hatred, retribution and war. To be sure, God, the Bible, and the Flag will be invoked over and over. And, I fear that there won't be much of the new testament love-thy-neighbor references. In short, there will be more than enough volunteers hopping on that band wagon.

But who will call for thoughtful and directed response? Who will stand for reason and civil rights? Who will oppose the "mob" mentality that is surely coming? My guess is: those will be the lonely few-and-far-between voices. I am proud to add my voice to that side of the equation.

Let's ask ourselves:

Does this mean that I am less affected by these heinous actions?
Do I feel sadness and sympathy for the innocent victims?
Do I have a deep concern for the welfare of my fellow citizens?
Do I think we should stand by and let ourselves be attacked?

However, am I willing to be thoughtlessly drawn into actions that exhibit the very worst part of our human nature:

These will be trying times. Be strong. Don't forgive the guilty. Don't forget the fallen. But most important of all: Don't let go of the ideals that make you proud to be an American!

Please sign the guestbook and refer someone else to the site. I will be updating the site regularly.

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Life would be so much simpler if there were only one side to be considered in any situation . . .
Another view for those who dare.

Something we could all use a bit more of these days.