Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What I Learned From a Muslim

Gail has invited me to do posts on the blog, so this morning I'd like to talk about the meaning and impact of the word "movement," as it relates to our political situation today. How does that relate to learning anything from a Muslim?

I've noticed a tendency for human beings to lump everyone into a category and call it good or call it bad, or even evil. I don't care for extremists, no matter what their religion, and I resent being called an extremist because I believe in my Constitutional rights. So I began looking for examples of Muslims who aren't extremists and terrorists, in order to keep my perspective on Islam. It isn't always an easy search, because extremists are so vocal and violent, and the mainstream Muslim population doesn't often stand up against them.

There is a woman in San Antonio who organizes protests against Muslim extremists, and she has been on Glenn Beck a couple of times in the past. There's also a man who is head of a Muslim organization who has been on Beck quite a few times, and these two are rational human beings who do decry the activities of violence by the Muslim terrorists.

I found a blog which is co-owned by two quilters, one a Muslim and one a Jew. That was a good beginning. As they said, if they could find common ground, maybe the rest of the populations of their countries could, too.

Yesterday, I found another, Eboo Patel. A couple of years ago, he wrote a book called Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation. I read all I could on the Amazon site for his book, and it sounded like something I needed to read, so I ordered it. Here's the thing I learned from him -- the meaning of "movement," politically.

"In a world where the forces that seek to divide us are strong, I came to one conclusion: We have to save each other. It's the only way to save ourselves." P. 180

"Movements re-create the world. A movement is a growing group of people who believe so deeply in a new possibility that they participate in making it a reality. They won't all meet. They won't even know everybody else's names. But somehow, they all have the feeling that people on the other side of the city or country or the world believe in the same idea, burn with the same passion, and are taking risks for the same dream." P. 181.

The minute I read this definition of movement, I thought of the tea parties of April 15, and the few before and after. What these people want to do is re-create the United States -- or perhaps it would be more accurate to say we'd like to return to what the United States once was. Re-create our nation as a Constitutional Republic.

Next defining sign is a "growing" group of people. Again, the tea party groups fit that. The number of people across the country who are dissatisfied with the growth of government and the move toward progressiveism, socialism, fascism, whatever ism you choose to describe where our government is going, is definitely getting larger by the day.

Do we believe that we can create a new possibility for this country? Yes, we do! We have the legal process in place in the Constitution. We need to move forward now, while we still have the Constitution to back us up. If our country goes to "TransNationalism," our Constitution has no meaning any longer. If the Supreme Court, whose job was designed to keep the Legislative and Executive branches in control, begins to look toward "global" society for it's mores and laws, then it is no longer able to do it's job. At that point, the Constitution is suspended, for all practical purposes. But we who believe in the Constitution, in legal protests, in rallies and uniting as a group to protest the things we don't want government to be, believe we can make a change at this point in history.

Before this, we were not united. We didn't realize how quickly things were moving in the wrong direction. We were busy with our lives, and not paying attention. It isn't about being Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, Constitutionalist, or any other party. It's about *people* who have come together to protest something we don't want -- bigger, nanny-state government.

I don't care what you call it, I don't want it. I want the government to get out of my way, and let me get on with living my life my way. The government doesn't have the right to tell me when to be charitable, or even that I need to be charitable. It doesn't have the right to try to make me feel guilty because I've worked all my life in order to support myself and my chosen way of life. It doesn't have the right to insist that my labor production is too much and needs to be given to those who haven't produced.

I'm not wealthy. I don't care which of the guidelines, and there are many, from the current administration you use, I don't fall into wealthy in any of them. I live on a pension, and whatever I've managed to save, which is now pretty much worthless thanks to the poor fiscal policy of the last ten years. Nevertheless, I don't want someone making a million dollars a year to be taxed to give me more than I was able to earn for myself. I don't deserve it! That person who earns it deserves it!

My pitiful amount of taxes paid should not be going to those who pay no taxes. When did our country stop letting people fail? What incentive is there to work and earn when the government will take care of you if you don't? It didn't work for the Soviet Union, and it isn't going to work for us. You want to see the future of America under this kind of thinking? Look at Cuba, touted this week as such a big success. You want to feel wealthy when you own a 30-year old car? You want to be afraid to voice your opinion about the government or your leaders? You want to be arrested in the middle of the night and never be seen again? Sorry, move to Cuba! I don't want any of that in my United States.

The thing the Tea Parties did, and which must scare the pants off the liberals because their media is still making fun of them, days after they are over, was show us Patel's last sign of a movement. There are people I will never meet, from all over this country, who feel the same way I do. They don't want what's happening in our government. The infamous CNN segment from Chicago with a so-called reporter and the dad with his two year old is a perfect example of the extremes the liberal media will go to in order to confuse watchers about the issues.

The "reporter" tried to shout down the dad, who was answering her question, by talking about his tax "cut" and being darned rude about it. They don't get it. It isn't about paying taxes so much as it is about spending the taxes we pay. It's about going into debt for trillions of dollars that we can't pay, our children can't pay, our grandchildren can't pay! We'll be lucky to pay the interest on a continuing basis.

Our country cannot survive under this debt burden. What's it going to do? Go into Chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy? I don't think the debt-holders will go for that. Print more money? That doesn't work. The money has to be worth something, and the more you print, the less each dollar is worth. It's common sense, if anyone in Washington still has any, which I am beginning to doubt.

So listen up. We have a movement going here! And as I previously quoted Patel, "In a world where the forces that seek to divide us are strong, I came to one conclusion: We have to save each other. It's the only way to save ourselves."

1 comment:

Franie said...

Susan, well-said. All the things that I feel right there. DH and I discuss the same things. I don't go too far with friends here about it but more and more people are talking the same way as in this blog post. I just hope we can pull together to stop this stuff that is happening every day to our country.