I have written about my heritage in other sessions but for a quick reminder. My father and his family came from Romania about 20 and my mother's parents came from another part of Romania in the early 1900s, my mom was born here. I know many have ancestors who came much earlier.
I love America and have been grateful for the good life my family has enjoyed but.... I know they say disregard what comes before the 'but' --- please don't in this case as what I have written there is true. My disappointment is coming from the fact that this country seems to be becoming too similar in too many ways to the countries our families left... left with the hope of an opportunity to build a better life. The came for many different reasons; some to find freedom of religious expression, some to avoid persecution in their homeland, some to find better jobs and a better life for their families. It did seem as though this country had created an environment where this could take place. I am not so sure that is nearly as true today as it was at that time!!
For me religious freedom means the right to practice my religion of choice without being told by other religions how wrong I, and my family, are. It means my responsibility to respect and allow others their right to their beliefs. Yet we seem to be judged, and told to live by, the beliefs of the faiths of others and, frankly, I resent that. I am more than willing to allow all faiths their freedom (except if its creed is the destruction and death of people who do not agree with them). I am perfectly willing to have schools closed, businesses closed on the holidays of some larger groups as a sign of respect for those celebrations even if mine are not celebrated in the same way. But I believe we have gone far beyond this shared respect. I am becoming uncomfortable with others telling me what I SHOULD believe and HOW I should behave in person matters in my life. I know that the pro-life call folks who believe as I do 'pro-abortion'. What nonsense!! I do not believe anyone in pro-abortion. I believe that I, and many others, are pro-choice. I do not believe I should make rules for your behaviors and I do believe others should make rules, in this area, for mine. The right to choice, in many areasm does not cause danger to others as laws are meant to do and in this case does take away the rights of many individuals.
Many of our ancestors came for the opportunity to earn a living and raise a family. They did not wish to live as a serf; to have their children subjected to laboring for hours and not have an opportunity to be educated while slaving away for a business owner. We had finally done pretty well in that area; we had gone beyond the age of the Robber Barons of the late 1900s. But we seem to have move right back in that direction. The greed and grab for power of some of those of our time is a disgrace to this United States. That politician, who are supposed to represent all appear to have forgotten that concept. The fact that those who want more and more are assisted by our government in sending American jobs overseas is beyond my ken. I have just learned that tax breaks for sending equipment, used here for our jobs, overseas to be used in factories (where more tax breaks are given to assist in the building of these factories) where child labor is used, were adults are poorly paid, where shoddy goods have been sent here and accepted is heartbreaking to me. Why do corporations feel that there is no limit to salaries at the upper end and no reason for those who are 'workers' to live a good life as well? I am so disappointed to see us moving to become like the places our families left.
And we still persecute those who are not 'like' us. No one gave man the right to approve slavery; why did he take so long for civil rights to take hold in this country... although today it appears some southern states still wants poverty and/ color to be a reason to find a way stop someone who does not think in the 'popular' to be deprived of the right to vote. Why are there some who think we must be alike in all our behaviors to be acceptable to society? From my point of view I think it is certainly worse to be a perons who has no sense of social justice or social responsibility; no sense of responsibility to care for the ill, to make sure that all Americans are educated; to make sure seniors retain their rights to care they have worked AND paid for then it is to be a person who has a different sexual preference.
What has happened here! When did greed, money, power become the most important thing in America? When did decide it was OK to call a corporation a person if it gave more power to the wealthy? When did it become OK for states to outspend themselves, not meet their financial responsibilities and then, I know it sounds impossible but it is not, tell those they have cheated to pay for their errors!! That is what is happening in states across the US. Teachers and school districts, for many years, have met all their obligations to State Pension funds and also managed to invest these monies in a responsible way; yet the states wants to take away and control money that is not theirs!!
We have come to a sad place in our history. I wonder if there will ever be a return to a sense of humanity again in this country. I watch our Representatives in Congress try to hold a hammer over the heads of those who know it is necessary to those US citizens who have suffered so much damage as nature, not man, attacked their cities and homes. When did the definition of humanity among men leave the vocabulary of these people?
Well, the rant is over. Thanks for letting me have my say. I know there are many who do not agree. I can only wish they could respect the rights and needs of all Americans... I wish I could feel respect not disappointment in the ways these folks have chosen to treat our country.