July 2, 2015

Might I live long enough?

Our Independence Day holiday is almost upon us and the “conservatives” are in full feather. Xenophobia is oozing out of every crack and crevasse of the Internet; almost all of it baseless and more than a fair share of it bald-faced, cable news, hate radio lies. Immigrants and “teh gaze” are the conservative Republican hateed du jour, but that is today. Seems that they've always got some new target lined up for their hate and bigotry once they lose their current attempt as spreading discontent. 

I suppose it's due to the season, but the big argument has turned to what it takes to be an authentic American, and to be that one must have been born here, look like the gallery at the Masters, and be a genuine, evangelical xian. If you ain’t from here, and you ain’t like me… you fail the test.

This is highlighted by the recent Public Religion Research Institute poll that asks questions about what it takes to be a real American. Number one qualifier is that one should be capable speaking English. 89 percent of those polled said this was the deal maker/breaker, born here or not. I don't disagree that if you're going to live here you should speak the predominant language, but we have no official language so barring citizenship based on this is nothing short of bigotry.

A finding that crinkles my brow, considering our history, is that 58 percent believe that being born in the United States is prerequisite. Even more disturbing is that 69% percent said that a belief in God is required, and fully 53% percent believe that must be the Christian god. Hindus and Buddhists need not apply. 

The only bright spot is that the number of those polled claiming no belief in any god, commonly called the "nones," has gone from 15% just three years ago to 23% today. This is attributed to the number of Millennials who are getting quickly fed up with the regressive attitudes of the Christian Right (who are seen as neither Christian nor right) and a Tea Party overflowing with southern bigots.

Looking at it with that perspective, and considering the disarray within the old establishment of the national WASP Party (Republicans), I’m beginning to think it may only be a matter of time before we hit critical mass and throw off the shackles of nationalism once and for all. 

Other countries (Finland, Norway) have reached that point already. Why not us?



JEG43 said...

Good one.
Have missed your posts.