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Americans Aren’t As Divided As You Think

November 23rd, 2017 No comments

I don’t think we should deny that it’s been a rough year. It doesn’t look like it’s going to get any easier any time soon. There is a spirit of destructive division in the air. Malicious forces seek to divide to achieve selfish gain. It’s not new, but it is now very pronounced.

Perhaps we should ask, as Ronald Reagan once did, “How can we love our country and not love our countrymen?” We do not have to agree on anything to be respectful toward each other. It only takes an adjustment in focus to see that we agree on much more than we disagree on. As much as there are challenges facing us, we have much to be thankful for. Some of the people I love and respect the most hold views I profoundly disagree with. I have found that in areas where it is impossible to hold a civil discussion of the issues that divide, it is better to focus on what unites. Nelson Mandela once remarked, “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” When we join in common cause, we re-discover our common humanity.

Perhaps we can take just one day to be thankful for the many blessings we have all received, without merit. To be grateful for the right to openly disagree. When we can disagree without being disagreeable, we show the true greatness of America. And we also defeat the bad guys.

Americans Aren’t As Divided As You Think

Every day, America is being misled by the political parties, our political leaders and the press. We are told that the other side – whether it’s liberals or conservatives, Democrats or Republicans – are not just wrong on the issues, but full of destructive intent.

Still Believe

November 12th, 2017 No comments

It’s easy to get discouraged and even bitter. But some still shine the light of hope.

A Muslim American’s Veterans Day message

Last year, two defiant minutes on the stage of the Democratic National Convention turned Khizr Khan into an unwitting celebrity, but he has held onto his humility. He stands now before this North Carolina audience, slightly hunched in a dark navy suit and striped tie.

#BernieWouldHaveWon

November 2nd, 2017 No comments

 

Brazile: ‘Proof’ that Clinton rigged nomination process ‘broke my heart’

Former Democratic National Committee (DNC) interim chairwoman Donna Brazile said it “broke her heart” when she discovered evidence that she said showed ‘s campaign fixed the Democratic nomination system in her favor.

ESPN: Ex-Green Beret Nate Boyer pens open letter to Trump, Kaepernick, NFL and America

October 14th, 2017 No comments

Dialog is one thing and I’m all for it, but the issue is much deeper than just kissing and making up. This protest was never about political division; it’s about a deep wound in the heart of America caused by centuries of systemic racism. If Trump and Kaepernick shook hands and became great friends, which is not unthinkable, our country would still be left divided, with one group suffering injustice that another group refuses to acknowledge, and a third group perpetuating and capitalizing on the tragic brokenness. If we love each other it will show not in our grand proclamations of unity but in the ability of each person to live in peace, dignity, and security.
 
If we want to make America great we have to come together to fix those things that are not great. It will never be great as long as our discourse is driven by fear and anger.

Ex-Green Beret Nate Boyer pens open letter to Trump, Kaepernick, NFL and America

Editor’s note: More than a year after penning an open letter to Colin Kaepernick, former Army Green Beret and NFL player Nate Boyer writes another one, this time calling for unity across all sides of the United States. Here’s his letter, as told to ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter Nick Wagoner.

Who’s disrespecting who?

October 12th, 2017 No comments

Veterans? Deport them. Active duty families? Deport them. Constitution? What a crock!

Having served in U.S. military, immigrants fight deportation orders

WASHINGTON – Olivia Segura hauled her daughter’s photo and the distinctive triangle-shaped wood box holding the flag that draped her daughter’s coffin and through the hallways of the building where members of Congress have their offices.

As if we needed Cardinal Dolan to tell us…

September 23rd, 2017 No comments

“We are called not to politics or partisanship, but to love our neighbor,” it continues. “Let’s reject the forces of division that insist we make a false choice between our safety and our humanity.”

Cardinal Dolan: Steve Bannon’s comments on immigration are ‘insulting’ and ‘ridiculous’

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said claims by a former senior adviser to President Trump that Catholic bishops advocate for immigrants for economic benefit and to fill pews are “preposterous and rather insulting.”

“Hold the line…”

August 27th, 2017 No comments

Apparently not everyone in the Trump Administration is crazy…

Mattis to US troops: ‘Hold the line until our country gets back to respecting each other’

Defense Secretary James Mattis James Norman Mattis Trump to tackle Afghanistan strategy at Camp David Four members of Joint Chiefs denounce racism US, Japan conduct air drills after North Korea issues Guam warning MORE gave a pep talk to U.S. troops stationed abroad during his trip to three countries last week.

“…to bigotry no sanction…”

August 21st, 2017 No comments

George Washington’s Letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport 17 August 1790

Washington Letter

Touro Synagogue is America’s oldest synagogue and a national historic site. Find information on history, services, tours and accommodations.

Once again the nazis

August 16th, 2017 No comments

“All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

“Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.” – W.H. Auden, “September 1, 1939” (Germany invaded Poland on that date, beginning World War II)

The Poetry of Tragedy

August 15th, 2017 No comments

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the independence and partition of India. Most Americans know little about Indian history and the struggle for independence from British colonial rule. If you only know the movie Gandhi, then you will believe that the British and indigenous peoples (Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim) shared common liberal values (i.e., a secular state based on popular sovereignty and individual freedoms). But liberalism, a European invention, did not dominate Indian politics.

Before the independence of India, there had never been a unified Indian “nation.” What we call India was a collection of states and districts that eventually came under the direct control of the British Crown. At the time of partition, there were approximately 1600 different dialects spoken on the Indian subcontinent, in other words, 1600 different ethnic identities. The idea of a unified liberal state, championed by Gandhi and the Indian National Congress, was a Western invention.

Islam entered the Indian subcontinent beginning in the 8th century. The tragedy of Indian history is that Islam, with its insistence on the one-ness of God, is antithetical to the dominant religion of India, Hinduism, with its multitude of Deities. This antipathy led to conflict and violence between followers of the two religions.

When India came under the rule of the British, religious tensions faded to the background, but conflicts remained. The Sepoy rebellion of 1857, which eventually led to direct British rule, was sparked by resentment of Indian Hindu and Muslim soldiers (Sepoys) against the British use of either pork of beef fat in its ammunition. When the country moved toward independence in the 20th century its major proponent was an alliance of Hindus in the Indian National Congress led by Gandhi and Muslims in the Muslim League led by Mohammed Ali Jinnah.

It was Gandhi’s goal to unite all of India into one new liberal state. But when the prospect of independence became real after World War II, the old animosities between Muslims and Hindus resurfaced. Fearing persecution, Jinnah insisted on a separate Muslim nation. The British eventually conceded to allow the creation of two states: India, with a majority of Hindus and Sikhs, and Pakistan, with a majority of Muslims. The plan was hastily drawn up and the border (the Radcliffe line) defined just five days before independence.

The problem with the line was that, while it was true that there were a majority of Muslims in the area designated Pakistan and a majority of Hindus and Sikhs in the area designated India, there were Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims in every district of the subcontinent. Fearing discrimination by the majority, religious minorities in both regions were displaced, seeking homes in the country dominated by their religion. The resulting suffering during the mass migration of millions led to mob violence and brutal attacks on both sides. An estimated million people died.

And what was gained? Take a step back in your mind and marvel that millions of people suffered and many died trying to cross an imaginary line because of fear and mistrust based on ideological differences. All of this suffering was created out of fabricated disunity, and all of it could have been avoided by political leaders recognizing the “other” as neighbor.

History does not repeat itself. But it does rhyme. And here we sit in the United States in 2017 tapping our feet to the rhythm of this tragic ode.

Indian Independence Day: everything you need to know about Partition between India and Pakistan 70 years on

70 years ago, Partition came into effect, dividing British India into two new, independent countries: India and Pakistan. At midnight on August 14 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India, gave a famous speech which hailed the country’s decades-long, non-violent campaign against British rule: At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.

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