Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Post-Orlando: A House Divided

A depressing measure of how divided this country has become is our collective response to the Orlando Islamic anti-gay terrorist attack.

After 9-11, we became remarkably united as a country.  Yes, there were those who said we did something wrong to provoke 9-11.  But they were a small minority, despised when not ignored.  The unity we experienced in the weeks after 9-11 was perhaps the most we’ve had in this country since the 1950’s.  People put flags on their cars.  Texans were in solidarity with New Yorkers.  Non-church goers even suddenly went to church!  I could go on, but words would fail.  You had to be there to know and to grasp the heady atmosphere of unity and patriotism of the time.

But now?  We have roughly 40% of the country and the party now in control of the White House saying the problem is guns and the solution more gun control.  Some were also so eager to blame Christians and Republicans that when the shooter turned out to be Muslim and Democrat, they blamed Christians and Republicans anyway! At the same time, their leaders can barely bring themselves to say “radical Islam” or “Islamic Terrorism.” 

And we have roughly a very much other 40-50% of the country saying the problem is Jihadist Islam, and the political correctness, associated timidity, gun-free zones and too loose immigration enabling attackers.  And they see politicians of the first group importing and releasing Islamists and other criminals while trying to take away the right of Americans to defend themselves against the Islamists and criminals they are importing. 

And the two groups are at each other’s virtual (and increasingly actual) throats.

You can guess what group I’m in, but that is beside the point.  We have become a profoundly divided country often angry more at each other, at enemies domestic, than at enemies foreign.  And the contrast between 9-12 and today illustrate that all too well.  I’ve had acquaintances remark that once they got their necessary online business done, they were getting off the internet, the conflict is so toxic.

I think defending ourselves against Jihadism will prove easier than functioning as one country with our divisions.

I hope I am wrong.  This honest post from a gay man is a ray of hope.  It begins:

This is the saddest day of my life. I can't even wrap my mind around the horror of what happened last night in Orlando, where 50 joyful dancing queers were murdered by a religious extremist. I'm sad -- devastated, in my soul -- about that; but I'm also sad that the events of Orlando have shattered my political beliefs, as I can no longer swear allegiance to a peace-love-and-unicorns progressive philosophy that only helps to get my fellow queers killed.

Do read the rest.  And do pray for the United States.  We need it.

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