We Don’t Have to Choose

You know we don’t have to choose, right? You know we can support BOTH veterans (like my Dad) AND people who use their First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression, right? Okie dokie… carry on then…

 

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Only Half of What Makes America Great

We’re all twisted-up logic-wise
like a bunch of guys
who can’t stop telling lies
My veteran friends went to fight
for our citizens’ first amendment rights
but now we’re told to honor their service
we can’t use the rights they fought
to preserve us
If we honor the person who’s kneeling
somehow that dishonors the feelings
of the veterans who fought so they COULD be kneeling
But why can’t we honor both?
Why do we have to make an oath
to only honor half of what makes America great?
Is forcing people to stand going to get rid of hate?
– Karen Molenaar Terrell, proud daughter of a WWII veteran

Honoring Moz and Dad

Dear friends,

I am going to continue to post things now and then that you may not agree with. This does not mean I don’t like you, or that I think you’re a bad person. It doesn’t mean I’M a bad person, either. It just means we disagree. It happens sometimes. But it’s not in my genetic make-up to stay silent or keep my thoughts to myself when I feel strongly about something. Moz and Dad were writing letters to newspapers since as far back as I can remember – and they set an example to me of how I should use my own First Amendment rights. I honor them by following in their footsteps.

You don’t have to read my stuff, of course – you can just skoot right by my posts and I won’t get hurt feelings or anything. But I’m going to continue to write them. For Moz. For Dad. For the causes that matter to me.

Karen

Semi-Annual Job Review for Our President

Semi Annual Job Review
Dear Pres. Trump –

Bless your heart. You must be feeling mightily frustrated. You’ve discovered by now that being President of the U.S. isn’t at all the same as being the CEO of a corporation. You can’t just fire people from citizenship in your country if they don’t do what you order them to do. You can’t boss Senators and Representatives around like they’re your employees. You can’t scramble around the laws of the land like they don’t apply to you. You’ve discovered that you don’t actually own America. You are not the boss. You’re supposed to work for the people now. You’re supposed to be their servant. You are the employee. Your actions can be questioned. Your sketchy alliances with foreign powers can be scrutinized. You can be removed from your position.

I know. I don’t blame you if it’s all making you a little grumpy. But take heart. There’s hope for you. You can learn. It’s not impossible. You can take this opportunity to actually make the country a better place for your employers. Maybe you’ll hear what Bernie Sanders has to say about health insurance for all – and you’ll be like, “Oh! What a great idea! Let’s do that one!” Or maybe you’ll take the time to talk to the athletes who are using their First Amendment rights and kneeling, and you’ll find out why they’re doing that – and you’ll be, like, “Oh! Let’s see how we can fix that for you!” Maybe you’ll visit Puerto Rico and realize it’s, like, actually a part of the United States – and maybe you’ll decide to do what you can to help the people there. Heck, maybe you’ll decide to do what you can to help your neighbors who are dealing with death and destruction in Mexico, too.

– Karen, one of your employers

Protecting and Defending the Constitution

Here is the oath the President takes when he gets sworn into office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

When a President bullies those who are practicing their First Amendment rights and says they should be “fired” from their jobs, he is neither protecting nor defending the Constitution of the United States. He is, figuratively, pissing on it. And HE should be fired for not carrying out his oath of office.

Protesting for Their Lives

The people in the wheelchairs were protesting the proposed cuts to their health care insurance. Some of those people will, quite literally, die without the health insurance the Republicans are proposing to cut. I think it’s important to understand why those protesters were there. They were fighting for their lives. This is not hyperbole.

I myself rarely use my health insurance – so rarely, in fact, that my doctors’ office was surprised when they found my 30 years of doctors’ visits could be printed out on one page. But I am concerned for my friends who are dealing with serious health issues, and I support the folks who were outside Sen. McConnell’s office protesting. They had every right to be there.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
– First Amendment to the United States Constitution

Freedom of the Press and The Christian Science Monitor

For me, the most important passage in the Constitution of the United States is this one:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
– First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

The citizens of the United States need to be informed to be able to carry out their duties and responsibilities. To stay informed we need a press that isn’t owned by corporations or politicians. To stay informed we need members of the press who have the courage to bring the truth to their audience. To stay informed we need a citizenry receptive to what the press has to share, and able to question, for themselves, what they hear, read, and see. 

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, was witness to the yellow journalism of of the late 1800s and, in 1908, at the age of 87,  created her own newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, in response. Eddy wrote that the mission of her paper was “To injure no man, but to bless all mankind.” She wrote:

“It is the pulpit and press, clerical robes and the prohibiting of free speech, that cradles and covers the sins of the world,—all unmitigated systems of crime; and it requires the enlightenment of these worthies, through civil and religious reform, to blot out all inhuman codes.  It was the Southern pulpit and press that influenced the people to wrench from man both human and divine rights, in order to subserve the interests of wealth, religious caste, civil and political power.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings

“When the press is gagged, liberty is besieged; but when the press assumes the liberty to lie, it discounts clemency, mocks morality, outrages humanity, breaks common law, gives impulse to violence, envy, and hate, and prolongs the reign of inordinate, unprincipled clans. At this period, 1888, those quill-drivers whose consciences are in their pockets hold high carnival. When news-dealers shout for class legislation, and decapitated reputations, headless trunks, and quivering hearts are held up before the rabble in exchange for money, place, and power, the vox populi is suffocated, individual rights are trodden under foot, and the car of the modern Inquisition rolls along the streets besmeared with blood.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings

The passages about the press that Mary Baker Eddy wrote 120 years ago seem timely today, too, don’t they?

A month ago I began a subscription to The Christian Science Monitor. According to the Quora website: “The Monitor has a solid reputation in the industry, especially in the field of international reporting. They hold 7 Pulitzer Prizes for their work in journalism.” And according to Allsides.com: “The Christian Science Monitor has maintained its reputation within the news industry as a well-run, high quality news organization with minimal bias.”

I suppose there are folks who might see the words “Christian Science” in the title of the newspaper and immediately assume the paper has a religious bias… which… actually shows a bias in the person assuming a bias. Right? 🙂

I have really come to appreciate this newspaper in the last month: It is unbiased and fair; It presents news without sensationalism; It presents at least one “feel good” story in each edition that helps give me hope for the world; and it presents me with the information I need to carry out my duties as a responsible citizen of the United States.

Mary Baker Eddy did a good thing when she started this newspaper.