Don’t Be Afraid

As I sit drinking my coffee and perusing the Internet, this thought comes to me:

“Don’t be afraid.”
The news is filled with chaos, anger, foreboding and all sorts of rip offs.  If we take all of this too seriously, we’ll be severely depressed.
But there’s a truth for us that keeps us from fear:
What each believes and the choices we make are squarely in our hands; no one else’s.

I don’t need to be afraid because I know who God is and who I am.  I know my boundaries and limits.  I will choose how I think, feel and act; no one can make me do otherwise…unless, of course, I choose to give them the power.

I admit that I write this as an American, sitting comfortably in the United States.  There are no soldiers outside my door who insist that I look and act a certain way.

These days, there are challenges arising here:  Will I turn in an illegal immigrant or support that person?  Will I join in the hateful speech and actions of many or risk alienation because I choose to honor all?

Dear fellow patriots:
For those of you who face grave consequences as you choose to be true to God and yourself, I am praying for you.  Stand tall; don’t be afraid.
To all who are more like me:  The risks are less threatening; the choices more subtle, I pray for you as well.  Take a stand for goodness and all that is right; don’t be afraid.

When you are tempted to say that somebody is making you think or act in a particular way, remember the heroes around the world who refused to acquiesce, even if it meant giving their lives.  The power is yours; stand firm, don’t be afraid.

If enough of us stand for what is right, refusing to give in to corruption and chaos, peace and joy will reign.
Let’s join together as one loud, clear voice:  Speak truth and act with the welfare of all around us in mind.  As an army of peace, we have strength and power that cannot be stolen or quenched.  Together, we will not be afraid!

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Patriots All

When  I registered to vote, I chose “nonaffiliated” as my party association.  The main reason for doing this is that I often see bits of the truth “on both sides of the aisle.”

I am discovering a couple of other reasons as well:
*I am an American first.  When it comes to the welfare of the nation, I want all people to prosper, from the most wealthy to the poorest; conservatives, centrists, progressives and those of us who don’t seem to fit any category.  Oh that the powers that be in Washington D.C. would hold to this value!  Perhaps they would stop bickering, manipulating and posturing so that they could get some real work done!!!

*In times as chaotic as these, I need to be true to myself.  I find that I am less willing to jump on a particular bandwagon or pick up the latest catch phrase, just because it is being promoted.  Integrity is a quality that strengthens and heals all around me.

So, who are you?  Regardless of your nationality, partisanship, specific bents or position in life, you are a person and a patriot – A fellow citizen in the land where you live.

Why does this matter?  Each of us needs the other.  I need you to step up to the plate and do your part in seeing to the welfare and safety of my country; you need me to do the same.  When we all stand and work together, we get something wonderful.

A very wise piece of advice I heard recently is that we are most effective when we join in building our local community.  I like this:  One of the biggest causes of apathy is the sense that we have no say.  On the national level, there is some truth to this; on the local level, however, we have lots of power.
Fellow patriots, I challenge you to join in building a great nation, one community at a time:  Recognize and honor your leaders; ask questions, make suggestions; voice concerns.  Most of all, roll up your sleeves and help out.  That is how we build a strong, prosperous land for all.

Thank you.

The Trump Administration: America’s “Third Reich”?

“Energized By Trump’s Win, Alt-Right Extremists Gather In Washington To ‘Change The World’ : NPR
“yalists of the self-described white nationalist, alt-right movement from around the country gathered in D.C., Saturday afternoon, enthused by the election of Donald Trump and optimistic that their controversial, offensive views such as calling for a white, Ethno-centric state were on the rise throughout the country.
Spencer called Trump’s campaign “the first step towards identity politics in the United States.”
fore Trump, Spencer said, the alt-right was like a “head without a body,” but then Trump came along and his campaign became “kind of a body without a head.” He described the alt-right as having a “psychic connection” with Trump in way they don’t have with other Republicans, and expressed hope that, “moving forward, the alt-right can, as an intellectual vanguard, complete Trump.”
One of their chief policy proposals they hope to push through is a 50-year immigration freeze, with a preference given to European immigrants coming into the U.S. Spencer told NPR’s Kelly McEvers in an interview Thursday that their ultimate goal was “a safe space effectively for Europeans,” arguing for a return to the white origins of the country and protecting the white race.

There were well more than 150 conference attendees — mostly young, white males dressed in suits — at just the afternoon press conference at the Ronald Reagan Building, sitting behind journalists, often heckling or booing questions. NPI said more than 250 people had registered for the conference. Some donned the signature Trump hat emblazoned with his slogan “Make America Great Again.” When asked what the biggest Trump priority should be, there were loud cheers of “build that wall” reminiscent of Trump’s massive rallies.
Several said they were longtime attendees of the conference, and that there was definitely a new energy injected into their movement after Trump’s victory.
It was more like a cocktail party among old friends,” Forney said of previous gatherings. “Now, it’s like we’re the vanguard of a new movement. People are happy and ready to change the world.”
an Thomas of Michigan said that alt-right in a way was a misnomer, and he preferred the moniker “identitarian.” He said that could encompass all sorts of people — as long as they were white.
and while Trump had certainly energized white voters, he cautioned that unless immigration of any kind were ceased, Trump’s re-election in 2020 would be an uphill battle.

“He’s got to act very tough, very quickly to reverse the demographic decline of European Americans very swiftly. The coalition that brought him to the White House, he’s got to keep that going and strengthen it, otherwise he will be a one-term president,” Thomas said.”

From
http://www.npr.org/2016/11/20/502719871/energized-by-trumps-win-white-nationalists-gather-to-change-the-world
Written by (Ariel Zambelich/N, NPR;  Greg Dixon contributed.)

**********

Hitler had joined one of the many small right wing political groups in Munich, the German Workers’ Party, in September 1919. Germany was a country in considerable turmoil and there were many such groups forming, disbanding, forging or breaking alliances, and fighting each other on the streets. The city of Munich was a center of political activity where meetings at its beer halls drew large crowds of people some of whom were attracted by the prospect of violence. By February 1920, Hitler had drawn up this party program together with the original founder of the party, Anton Drexler. It was introduced at a meeting at the Hofbräuhaus on 24 February to which nearly 2,000 people turned up. Hitler was not the main speaker, but when he spoke, some of the crowd became vociferous and violence broke out. However, he managed to overcome the noise and confusion to speak in its favor, and the program was adopted…
*******
Back to the Present:

“A former spokesman for a major super PAC backing Donald Trump said Wednesday that the mass internment of Japanese Americans during World War II was a “precedent” for the president-elect’s plans to create a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries.

During an appearance on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News show, Carl Higbie said a registry proposal being discussed by Trump’s immigration advisers would be legal and would “hold constitutional muster.””
Derek Hawkins
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/11/17/japanese-internment-is-precedent-for-national-muslim-registry-prominent-trump-backer-says/

 

This is a sad, unfortunate precedent, for which we have apologized; that does not need to be repeated.
There is a more dangerous one:
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The document adopted with Hitler’s help clearly identifies three fundamental principles that were to underpin Nazi ideology and policy for the next twenty-five years;

“‘We demand equality of rights for the German people in respect to the other nations; abrogation of the peace treaties of Versailles and St Germain [between the Allies and Austria].

We demand land and territory (colonies) for the sustenance of our people, and colonization for our surplus population.

Only a member of the race can be a citizen. A member of the race can only be one who is of German blood, without consideration of creed. Consequently no Jew can be a member of the race.’

(This was extended to anyone who was not white with a fair complexion and blue eyes, along with people with disabilities, gays, lesbians and all who opposed the regime.)
You don’t need me to remind you about what happened to these precious souls.
“Freedom and Bread,” was the slogan used by Hitler to great effect during the Nazi campaign against tired old President Hindenburg.
In his speeches, he offered the Germans what they needed most, encouragement. He gave them heaps of vague promises while avoiding the details.
Hitler promised to overturn the Treaty of Versailles but also to stop reparations and bring pride back to the German people, specifically the middle and lower classes. He was essentially preying on their needs and fear

Many in Germany saw the Nazis as the wave of the future. After the stunning success of the 1930 election, thousands of new members had poured into the Party. Now, in the spring of 1932, with six million unemployed, chaos in Berlin, starvation and ruin, the threat of Marxism, and a very uncertain future – they turned to Hitler by the millions.

*****

While the United States is not in nearly as much trouble as Germany was when Hitler came to power, we have plenty of people who struggle or are simply unhappy.  There is a deep discontentment among Americans that needs to be addressed if we are to stay out of some of the same traps.

I have known people who pointed fingers at the German people for not stopping Hitler.  Remember this:  If you point one finger at someone else, you have three more pointing back at you.

“But for the grace of God, there go I.”  (John Bradford)

So what do we do?
1.  Check your own heart.  Are you buying into the discontentment?  Are you listening to angry rhetoric and joining in all of the blame that is going around?
2.  Speak up.  Protest the registration of Muslims, immigrants or anyone else who gets targeted.
3.  Offer sanctuary; in fact, encourage your city to join with NYC, Chicago, Santa Fe, San Diego and others who are commiting to that.
4.  Find ways to encourage and build in your own community.  Get to know people around you.
5.  Stay informed.  I especially dislike this, since I don’t enjoy reading the distressing news, but I will so that I stay informed.  Choose your sources well; check more than one.

 

References:
https://www.reference.com › History › Modern History › World War 2
http://time.com
http://www.npr.org/2016/11/20/502719871/energized-by-trumps-win-white-nationalists-gather-to-change-the-world
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/11/17/japanese-internment-is-precedent-for-national-muslim-registry-prominent-trump-backer-says/