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Corruption of the American Ideal: The Politics of Hate and Religious Superiority

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The hatred, racism, and xenophobia still being fostered, through direct mail and robo-calls, by the McCain campaign and the Republican Party is dangerous to our great Country. Those tactics state, by their very existence, that is acceptable, all in the name of winning an election, to distort the truth, incite fear, and develop dangerous hatreds.

I was a small child in the deep South prior to Civil Rights. I remember the hatred visited upon the “other” — the Blacks who sat in fear on their front porches as my White family drove down their streets after Church on a hot, sunny afternoon. I remember Afro-American people who could not get a job other than janitor, cleaning woman or garbage man just because of their skin color. I remember learning that Black people lived in rumbled shacks without doors or windows because those shacks were the only places they could find to live. I remember being told that I could not play with Black children because they carried dreadful diseases that I would catch.

Everything – EVERYTHING – I learned in that deep South regarding race spoke against the Christian teachings I was taught in Baptist Church each Sunday. I was taught Jesus loved the little children, all the children of the world. Race, creed, culture, religion and ethnicity did not matter. It was the essence of people’s hearts that mattered. Jesus loved everyone.

As an adult, I learned that homosapiens — human beings — originated in Africa. Each and every person living on the earth today has only to look back at his/her furthest ancestors to discover that they were Black. As a result, skin color becomes irrelevant. We are all kin beneath the skin. Even Shakespeare, in the 1600s, acknowledged the sameness of all humanity: “…if you prick me, do I not bleed?…”

Thomas Jefferson wrote that this country welcomed people of all faiths: Christian, Jewish, Hindus, and Muslims. If Jefferson can accept people of all faiths, then why, after 200 years of this nation’s inauguration, cannot we?

Our Constitution is strong enough support us all, regardless of race or religion or ethnic background. Espousing hate for any group, however innocent that group may be, is not only anti-Christian, it is anti-Constitutional and anti-American.

As emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

It is incumbent upon each of us – nay, required of each of us – in order to fulfill the dream of America…the finest dream of our founding fathers…and the hope of the world to set aside our prejudices to do as Jesus admonished us to do: love our neighbors.

The prejudicial, false claims and hatreds sponsored by the Republican Party against Sen. Obama must be excoriated by anyone who claims to be a true American and a patriot. Anyone who loves this great Country should denounce the hatreds being fostered in this campaign by the Republican Party, regardless of whether you lean left or right. Stirring up hatred is not acceptable for either political party.

Hatred is un-American and anti-Christian.

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Written by Valerie Curl

October 17, 2008 at 4:42 AM

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