the one that believes in freedom of, and from, religion. The one where
traditional family values include compassion and charity. The one with the big
harbor, and Lady Liberty, and the inspirational words of Emma Lazarus.
We have lost our way as a people. That much seems clear. What is not at all
clear is whether we will find our way back to our core values without great
social upheaval or, perhaps, something much worse.
From history we know that silence in the face of bigotry and injustice equals
complicity. Therefore, I believe that as an American patriot it is my obligation
to speak out now. I realize I have only a few readers, but that doesn't diminish
So, to anyone who may be listening (and I sincerely hope someone is), I make the
I, Lynne Rhys, for whatever it may be worth, condemn the planned burning of the
Koran. I would similarly condemn the burning of Christian Bibles, Torahs, or any
other sacred writings.
I support the construction of an Islamic community center two blocks from Ground
Zero, whether or not it includes accommodations for other faiths. I respect
Islam just as I try to respect other faiths, because I believe that there are
many paths to Truth.
I am proud to call Barack Hussein Obama my President. I believe him to be a good
Christian, but it would make no difference to me if he were a good Muslim. Or,
for that matter, an atheist.
I am Jewish, and I believe both Israelis and Palestinians have frequently
engaged in human rights violations. I support a two-state solution in the Middle
I condemn the use of violence for political ends, whether by (or against) Jews,
Muslims, Christians, Israelis, Palestinians, Americans, or Keebler elves.
I am not afraid of immigrants or foreigners. Although I believe we need to
secure our borders, I support compassionate treatment of people who are
currently in the U.S. illegally.
As a white American, I do not fear people of color. I am not frightened of the
prospect of being in the minority. Regardless of our demographic makeup, we will
still be people first, and Americans second.
I am not afraid of Republicans, Democrats, socialists, communists, Libertarians,
or Marxists per se. I am not afraid of gays, lesbians, or the transgendered. I
am not afraid of pagans or witches or Catholics or Southern Baptists.
In fact, about the only people I fear are those who believe there is an "us" and
a "them." Even they only have the power that we, as a society, give them.
Unfortunately, we have given them a great deal.
I hope people who agree with me will leave comments to that effect. I also hope
people will feel free to pass this post on to someone else.
But in any event, I stand by these words even if I must stand alone.