Why We Must Defend the American Way of Life

The following article was requested by a Colorado publication that may or may not use it. It is a bit long, but I thought I would make it available.

When I was asked to write a piece on “Why We Must Defend the American Way of Life,” I was flattered and immediately accepted the request. Then I looked around for source material and came to the realization that I have not written on an assigned topic in many years. I always get the urge to pontificate on a subject and sit down and “tickle the plastics.” Bounding one’s thoughts can be a bit confining and, therefore, daunting. Well, they say you will usually find something when you are not looking for it; and that is exactly what happened. I came upon an editorial by Chuck Colson titled “What’s the Matter With Canada?” on Townhall.com., and it instantly gave me some clarification as to why we must defend the American way of life. This article, discussed below, shows how one group can erode the rights of another.

Before I go too far, it might be appropriate to define what I see as the “American Way of Life.” In today’s world I see this as a moving target. We can point to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and then add our modifiers such as equal opportunity, affirmative action and the like. Being a strict Constitutionalist, I prefer to look at the American Way of Life as those tenets envisioned by the Founders. I believe they looked at America as a place where there was little in the way of government intervention and regulation. They were individualists who felt free to express themselves in whatever way they were moved. This included the freedom to express their belief and love of God and Christ. They understood that it is the responsibility of each man to protect and provide for his family. It was, and still is, the responsibility of each man to protect and provide for the security of his country. I see the American Way of Life as an individual way and not a way dictated by government or special interests, whether they be religious or commercial. The founders were bounded by the cultural mores of the day and certainly did not envision the cultural changes that we have seen come about. I would advocate the return to the mores of fear of God, patriotism, and the centrality of the family.

Each and every one of us should be able to think of any number of reasons to defend our way of life. The short list should be the US Constitution and The Bill of Rights. Before 1773, there had never been the concept of a country that ruled by the consent of the governed. In that year, the colonists began taking control of their own destiny when their protest against the king’s tea tax prompted them to action in the form of the Boston Tea Party. The crown had been levying onerous taxes on the colonists to recoup the cost of the French and Indian war that had ended ten years before. As the independence movement progressed and then was articulated by the Declaration of Independence, penned mostly by Thomas Jefferson, Americans began to “think out of the box” and into a new concept of government. The first experiment in government, the Articles of Confederation, failed to meet the needs of the new country. This experiment evolved into the US Constitution, that magnificent document that places restrictions on the federal government, not the states. However, the states demanded greater guarantees of the freedoms of the citizens, and, in 1789, the first Congress proposed 12 amendments to the new Constitution. The first two were never ratified. These involved the number of constituents for each Congressman and pay for Congressmen. The next ten were finally ratified by ¾ of the states in 1791 and became known as the Bill of Rights. The amazing aspect of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is that they both restrict the powers of the federal government. This was a totally new concept.

Our precious freedoms and rights have prompted us to go to war a number of times since those struggling years immediately following our independence from Great Britain. Our first war as a independent nation is a good example of the young nation’s conviction that its autonomy with all the freedoms guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were worth defending at all cost . Only 30 years after we thought the fighting was over, the British navy was in desperate need of men and supplies under the crush of the war with Napoleon. They were regularly raiding American shipping and war ships to obtain supplies and sailors to fight the French. We could not stand by and passively allow our ships, shipping, and sailors to be plundered from the seas. We went to war to defend our freedoms and our sovereignty. Even though the war was officially declared a tie, it showed that the young nation was not one to trifle with.

Each war we have fought has been due to drastic and sudden threats to our freedoms and sovereignty. But what about those insidious “under the radar” threats? Those threats are just as real as Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Both the Pearl Harbor and 9/11 attacks were perpetrated upon US soil due to perceived injustices by despots’ intent on world domination. Japanese naval forces attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 for the purpose of destroying the US Pacific Fleet and, ultimately, our way of life. This would have left them free to wreak havoc across the Pacific while their partners-in-evil did the same across Europe and North Africa. And then on September 11, 2001 a group of evil men, guided by despots, used four airliners to kill over 3000 innocent people who had done no harm to the perpetrators or their bosses. Both of these attacks were carried out because evil men wanted to end our way of life.

Another example of evil people intent on taking over a culture is what is happening in Europe today. In France, militants riot at the threat from their legislature that they are going to have to work for the government support money they receive; at least that is the cover story. Just who are these French militants? The press uses the term “militants” as a euphemism for Muslim radicals. Paris police cannot even enter certain sections of the city or the surrounding area unarmed. In October and November, 2005, the violence was so brutal that thousands of cars were burned and several police were killed. On 14 November of that year, President Jacques Chirac pledged to create greater opportunities for the young people, showing the militants that they had won. French officials cite evidence that Muslim extremists are being pipelined to the Middle East for training and being returned home to conduct jihad. [1]

The expansion of Muslim radicalism in Europe has brought along with it immigrant enclaves where Sharia (Islamic) law rules. How many of us really understand Sharia law? I certainly do not, but I know a few of their tenants as illustrated by the following cases-in-point:
1. Islam commands that drinkers and gamblers should be whipped

2. Islam allows husbands to hit their wives even if the husbands merely fear highhandedness in their wives.

3. Islam allows an injured plaintiff to extract legal revenge – physical eye for physical eye.

4. Islam orders death for Muslim and possible death for non-Muslim critics of Muhammad and the Quran and even Sharia itself. Good examples of this are the death sentence against Salmon Rushdie for Satanic Verses and the threats against the Danish cartoonists that just drew a likeness of Muhammad.

5. Islam commands offensive and aggressive and unjust jihad. This has been an on-going effort since Muhammad was alive. [2]

While these provisions have not been accepted in the US to date, slow encroachments are making their way into our society.

For example, On August 03, 2008, in a news release by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, a new agreement with Tyson Foods eliminates Labor Day and the instatement of Eid al-Fitr as a holiday. Eid al-Fitr celebrates the end of Ramadan and falls on October 01 this year. [3]

A recent expose aired on Fox News outlined a number of “honor killings” perpetrated by Muslim men on their daughters and sisters here in the US. These killings are acceptable forms of punishment under Sharia law. Fortunately, our rule of law brings these killers to justice, but what about the floggings that are permitted under Sharia law? When a woman or man is murdered there is bound to be a body or an individual missing. But what happens in the case of a flogging when the victim does not come forward to notify the police of the assault? It’s likely that in many instances these crimes go unpunished.

The ever creeping encroachment of Sharia law is overtaking the societies of Europe and Scandinavia. Examples can be cited from any of the western European countries. In Great Britain, even the Archbishop of Canterbury has stated that he believes it is legitimate to have entire enclaves within the country that are Muslim only, where Sharia law can be practiced exclusive of British law. Having two legal systems in force side-by-side is an untenable situation.

But what happens when the rights that we have come to cherish are eroded ever so slowly over the years? Specific Sharia law is not the only assault on our freedoms. A possibly more insidious intruder into our free America is political correctness. I fear that this is what has happened to Canada, culturally our nearest neighbor and relative. A Canadian writer and popular blogger, Mark Steyn, wrote a book, America Alone, where he describes how America’s fight against global terrorism is basically a solo act. Maclean’s magazine, a popular news magazine in Canada, printed excerpts from Steyn’s book, and then the carrots hit the fan. Chuck Colson explains what happened like this: “Mohamed Elmasry of the Canadian Islamic Congress charged that the content of these excerpts about the expansion of radical Islam ‘subjects Canadian Muslims to hatred and contempt [4].’” This criticism is so strong, that both the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal have been brought into the fray. The Canadian Human Rights Commission did not pursue legal action but the BC body is, complaining that Steyn’s book “subjects Canadian Muslims to hatred and contempt.” As of July 21, a ruling had not been issued. While Maclean’s has the resources to fight the BC Tribunal, the average Joe next door who makes a derogatory statement about Muslims does not. As Colson explains, Maclean’s was given a kangaroo court without a jury. They are so afraid of offending the Muslim community in Canada that they have traded in free speech for some kind of cheap appeasement [5]. This is the level to which the Canadian ideal of political correctness has sunk. The average guy next door could expect the same. With the current attitude of the Canadian judiciary in British Colombia he is convicted before he gets to trial. But wait; why is there any necessity for a trial in a country with free speech? This is only partially a rhetorical question. The reason for the trial is the slow, steady decline of the acceptance of basic freedom of speech in Canada.

Remember the cartoons that were drawn by the Danish cartoonists showing caricatures of Muhammad? How many times have you seen them printed in the US? The State Department condemned their publication in the Danish press. Where was the ACLU during this furor? They were characteristically silent. The American press does not want to run afoul of the State Department and the ACLU. However, during this time, the press was perfectly willing to cover every sordid detail of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. This shows the lengths the press will go to appease those who want to erode out freedom of speech.

We have allowed our freedoms to be so eroded that they do not look like the same freedoms that the Sons of Liberty fought for. Are we going to go the way of Canada? Each of us is responsible for exercising our God-given and Constitutionally-guaranteed unalienable freedoms.
In this article, I have only addressed a few examples of our eroding freedoms but there are others that are appropriate to mention:

· If we exercise our God-given and Constitutionally-guaranteed right to express our belief in the tenants of Christianity and Biblical standards we are criticized for being intolerant irrespective of the intolerance of the Muslims or the atheists. If we are critical of the treatment of women at the hands of Muslim men, we are racist.

· Today, in many school districts, the discussion of the world having been created by God is completely out of the question. Only evolution is allowed in the discussion.

· In many schools there are Muslim clubs but Christian clubs are not allowed.

· Our children are not allowed to pray in school because it may be construed to be advocating one religion over another or one parent or student finds it offensive. The rights and religious preferences of the Christian are not allowed to be considered.

· If we advocate controlling our borders, we are called racist and/or isolationists.

· If we believe that a marriage consists of one man and one woman, we are called intolerant homophobes.

These are but a few of the freedoms that are slipping away. Make no mistake; there is a deliberate, concerted effort to make this happen. If you look around at the US today, you will find that there is a very big difference in the American way of life as envisioned by the Founders and the American way of life of today. This is a process that has been in progress for approximately 150 years.

I have always hated being told that there is a problem. I would rather be told that there is a solution. OK, here it is. It is incumbent upon all Americans to exercise their freedoms and speak out in no uncertain terms when those freedoms are trampled. Our elected officials need to hear from each of us, individually, that we are displeased with the direction our freedoms are going. When freedom-loving organizations such as Colorado Family Institute ask for a signature on a petition to stop the erosion of one freedom or another, sign it. In addition, write your Congressmen and Senators. Frankly, my Congressman and Senators are tired of hearing from me. That is unfortunate because I am certainly not through writing and expressing my views. I hope you are not either.

[1] John Anderson, “France Says Extremists are Enlisting Its Citizens,” Washington Post Foreign Service, October 19, 2005, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/18/AR2005101801632_pf.html
[2] The American Thinker, Top Ten Reasons Why Sharia is Bad for all Societies, August 03, 2008, http://www.americanthinker.com/2005/08/top_ten_reasons_why_sharia_is.html
[3] Speechless – Silencing the Christians, Tyson Foods Warms up to Islam, August 03 2008, http://www.onenewsnow.com/Business/Default.aspx?id=202506
[4] Townhall.com, What’s the Matter With Canada? , July 21, 2008, http://www.townhall.com/columnists/ChuckColson/2008/07/21/whats_the_matter_with_canada
[5] Mark Steyn, America Alone, The End of the World as We know It; Regnery Publishing, Washington DC, 2006