Friday, November 11, 2011

Freedom, Even For 'Those People Over There'

I've posted about Veterans Day; AKA Armistice, National, Poppy, and Rembrance Day; before. Links to some of those posts are under "Veterans Day posts," below.

This post isn't about Veterans Day, or the folks who served in the military. It's more about why there's been a fairly steady stream of folks willing to sacrifice for this country's welfare.

That other post is about two related threats to freedom of speech: which I think warrants doing links and excerpts here.

"My Take on the News: 'There Oughtta be a Law?' "
A Catholic Citizen in America (November 11, 2011)

"The threat of Islamic laws forbidding blasphemy, and hostility toward religion, have been in the news. I think both are really bad ideas...."

"...I've noticed that many folks act as if it's their duty, or right, to force others to act 'correctly.' I remember the trailing edge of McCarthyism, endured American academia when political correctness was in flower, and didn't particularly like what either philosophical fad did to personal freedoms...."
As the blog's name, "A Catholic Citizen in America," suggests, I'm a practicing Catholic. One reason I like living in America is that folks here are free to worship as they see fit, or not worship at all. That's a big plus for someone who's part of a religious minority.

Back to that other blog's post:

" 'Everybody Knows What Those People are Like' "

"On the whole, I'm glad that I've never been part of a self-identified group of self-righteous do-gooders who had the power to make others act the 'right' way. Not being part of 'the establishment' can be an advantage.1"

"If that doesn't sound like what 'one of those religious people' should say: I'm not surprised. I'll get back to that...."
(A Catholic Citizen in America)
After that bit, I discuss bias, and offer a Bias Made Easy checkoff list of qualities often ascribed to 'those people over there.'

Freedom of Religion, Not Freedom from Religion

Editorial views of The New York Times notwithstanding, people with religious beliefs are not necessarily ignorant weirdos.1 Which brings me back to religious freedom and that other blog:
"...I'm a practicing Catholic, so I have to support freedom of religion. It's in the rules (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2104-2109)"

"Freedom: For Everyone

"That freedom is not 'freedom to worship my way.' Even if I could, I wouldn't be allowed force someone to 'act Catholic'..."

"...Today's threat to freedom isn't just 'those terrorists over there.' I think Americans should be at least as concerned about folks in today's establishment who seem determined to protect us from religion.

"'For our own good,' of course...."
(A Catholic Citizen in America)
I am grateful to the generations of American veterans who fought and died so that we could remain a free nation. I sincerely hope that America's upper crust don't accomplish what enemies abroad have failed to do: end this country's long tradition of freedom.

Veterans Day posts:

1 The New York Times ran an editorial recently, that compared people who admit having religious beliefs to those who believe in flying saucers. I am not making this up:I can't know why the NYT editor made the assumptions he did, but I suspect that he may be like the expert who only reads his own books. Old-school American journalism's upper echelons are, I think, an increasingly isolated and insular little subculture. Which may explain why they they act the way they do:Finally, despite what Americans often see in the news, these colorful folks aren't typical Christians. In my view, they're not even representative of American Protestants:

(Reuters photo, via, used w/o permission)

(Oakland Blog, via SFGate, used w/o permission)

I've made the point, in another blog, that not all Christians are dolts:


Anonymous said...

Nice perspective. I am new to blogging. Please have a look and let me know what you think.


Brian H. Gill said...


Thanks for the good words.

I read your latest post, "Pick the difference - Osama / Obama." I think you're right, about quite a few folks having very fixed, very simplified, and very strong opinions - which they confuse for facts.

That said, I still think that Osama bin Laden is responsible for some objectively bad actions. I also think that he's a human being: and no more "diabolical" than former president Bush; or 'Satanic' than today's president Obama.

I remember when finding reasons/excuses for folks who committed atrocities was coming into vogue. Thankfully, we've gotten past the Freudian fad: and that's another set of topics.

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store


Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.