03 June 2008

America? Who ARE You?

I think I've learned something in speaking with my foreign friends. I've learned that I don't really live in America.

Oh, I DO live in Missouri, but you see... it isn't really America. When you live in a place where your child is locked in a closet in public school by officials with impunity, and you hear the shock and horror from your foreign friends about how barbaric your country is, you realize... it isn't really America anymore. When you find yourself explaining to a foreign social worker that an anonymous phone call is all it takes to ruin your life, to find your children gone and yourself labelled as a child abuser, you realize... it isn't really America.

I look at the news of the FLDS parents and the things they felt they had to consent to to get their children back. I'd agree to almost anything as well! But look at the list, which includes not being able to leave the state or travel more than 100 miles. Allowing your children physical and mental evaluations at any time. OH my goodness. Please think of the horror of these families and the idea of their five-year-old girls being inspected with a speculum any time some little Miss Priss decides maybe it's warranted. Horrible.

I've also been reading about pre-written DUI reports for police officers. They just have to write in name and address and then select-with-mouse the offense description (As I leaned in the cab of the car to retrieve the license, I encountered the smell of alcohol on defendant's breath... Defendant wobbled 2-4 inches off the line during the walking test...). I've heard of people getting pulled over who have NOT been drinking, charged with DUI offenses. Red light cameras going crazy. Children kissing in first grade and it being treated like a sex offense. Zero tolerance for cough drops. And AMERICAN citizens held without trial in Guantanamo?

Where are we? How did things get to this point?

I'm teaching my children American Revolutionary history, and the sad thing is, I don't see why they bothered. Taxation without representation is actually pretty common: my husband MUST pay 2% of his gross earnings to Kansas City, but because we do not live in the city proper we may not vote for mayor or bond issues, etc. Not to get too personal, but that's more than Uncle Sam himself gets out of us each year once you figure in all of Daddy's little deductions. Yet we can't vote. Might as well have sent our money to King George and have done with it. (We'd at least have had the cool accent to show for it.) History seems to indicate that we'd have gotten rid of slavery sooner that way, too, without that bloody Civil War.

Why did the revolutionaries take a few pennies on a jar of paint or a crate of tea so seriously? And why don't we? I haven't found a satisfactory answer in my third grade Bob Jones curriculum yet. On the one hand, we're going to learn about inalienable rights from God and the good patriotic spirit of the Founders etc., yet in Bible class, we learn to submit to those in authority.

Confused here.

4 comments:

  1. Wonderful post, Mrs. C! Dare I say it? Brilliant, even! Unfortunately, I have no answers to your insightful questions. Only more questions of my own.

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  2. Aw, wow! Why am I having trouble getting my head through the door now? Seriously, thanks.

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  3. Another example of taxation without representation: I worked from the ages of 16 to 18 and was taxed just like any adult. I got less than half back, I think, because of the different things being taken out - not all of it was given back....Not worth arguing about perhaps, but still against the principles on which this nation was founded.

    The rest, quite honestly, scares me. This is a world where police officers are allowed to say they're letting you off with a warning, then you end up with a warrant out for your arrest six months later because there was some hearing you were supposed to go to - and they didn't tell you about it, so that they didn't have to waste money on postage or sending a police officer to your house with the info, or something...
    and that's just the tip of the iceberg...

    Very good post.

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  4. *sigh* I don't know about the FLDS people, I still have a hard time working up sympathy for them in some ways. Their misguided religion just bothers me.

    Don't get mad at me, Mrs. C.

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