I am happy to report that my Dad is on board with this project, and sent me his first installment. Here goes:
I wanted to write this as an introduction before watching the video. I thought it might be a good way to start. Thank you for your ideas that led me to find the direction in this first discourse. Your project is a good one. Let’s hope that this project can inspire some change in thought, some moving together for the people that read it.
Always proud of you,
November 7, 2012
The election of 2012 has come and passed. Barack Obama has won a second term and I support our president. I did not vote for him either time but once elected the nation should stand behind our president and pray that the decline in our country will halt its steady downhill progression.
There are things that have happened during the first term of the Obama presidency that lead me to question my own sanity at times. Certainly I question what is going on in our country. I don’t recognize some of it any more. Of course there is always a great amount of change in science, technology, politics, to some degree morality etc. These changes can be both good and bad; an improvement in one area can be a benefit but at the same time there can be unforeseen unintended consequences that don’t appear till later.
The automobile is a case in point. The first exhaust emitting engines were dirty. Human innovation made engines that were cleaner burning. The early days of coal production created an unhealthy environment in the air and water, but now coal burning is cleaner and is not a threat to the environment as it once was. Let’s not forget cell phones and text messaging, oh how we need them. It is certainly a great invention. Then along came distracted driving causing accidents and deaths, people walking into light poles and falling into pools, people so busy they can’t have a one on one conversation with you but must share the conversation with a myriad other things going on. I’ve heard of parents who must communicate with their adolescent children via texting while in the same room with them! Have you noticed that another unintended consequence is a whole segment of our society that does not know how to have a conversation or put together cohesive and cogent sentences?
What is it that leads me to question my own sanity? I have a core set of principles and values that I live by. I’ve also made many mistakes in my life. Not everyone shares my values of course and everyone is entitled to believe what they will. My dilemma is that some voices have become so loud that to disagree with them automatically casts you in a negative and biased light. The result is a silence, a non-communication. Better to stay quiet than to be labeled intolerant, racist, sexist, or judgmental. Better to stay quiet than be the one person with a differing view and be mocked for it.
· If you are not pro-gay rights you are labeled a homophobe and bigot. It does not matter if your belief is based on religious teachings. It does not matter that you believe a person’s sexual orientation is no one else’s business. You do not discriminate because of that.
· If you criticize this president you are automatically a racist. It does not matter that your criticism is based on what you believe are mistakes in foreign policy, economic policy, or lack of leadership.
· You are not allowed to believe that there is a segment of the population that does not work even though they are able. To think them to be leeches or scammers of the system is not allowed. If you believe this then you are close minded, intolerant, and a racist to boot.
· If you believe that a 33 year old able bodied woman should pay for her own birth control pills instead of the taxpayer, then you are part of the war on women. And if you are dumb struck that this woman is actually a model for others then you are a sexist. You certainly do not understand.
· If you believe that the media has shown very little outrage or even interest in some of the serious events that have occurred during this administration you are an extreme right wing fanatic. To express the opinion that the same events under a republican administration would create such a media frenzy that it would be difficult or almost impossible to govern, then you are a crazy conspiracy loon.
In this reconciliation project that Andrea has started I am hoping that I will be able to express an opinion based on my view and experience. Many of you who read this undoubtedly will disagree with me. I expect that. But I will have you know I am not a bad person, I do not automatically hate. I just have a differing opinion. I dearly love my family. My wife and sons is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I get immense joy watching the antics of my first grandson Max. I look forward to that joy being multiplied as more grandchildren enter this world.