Honestly, I would have thought the world would have had it all figured out by now. I thought civilized society would eventually become nearly perfect. At least that what I might have said half a century ago, back in the mists of time. Back when I was just a kid, still in school. I thought we were on the right track. After all, America, along with the rest of the western civilized world had just defeated the Nazis, and Hitler’s German war machine. The Korean conflict was over, settled largely in favor of the good-guys. Sure there was the little problem of the nuclear arms race, the Soviet Union, the Cold War, the Berlin Wall, and our increasing involvement in Vietnam—but that was just pretty much details.
We still felt good about ourselves. Self-doubt and self-loathing weren’t staple items on the menu back in those halcyon days. We hadn’t lost our way yet. Nobody back then had a clue what “political correctness” might be. American was still the Industrial giant of the world. We were still the chief “stuff”exporter, and the monetary lender, to the rest of the globe. The national debt was small. American schools and colleges were the finest on the planet, and all, or our most of all our most cherished freedoms, the ones endowed to us by God, and guaranteed to us by the Constitution, were alive and well, and in undisputed full-force. Chief among them was old number one. The first amendment. The freedom of speech amendment.
But they were all just taken for granted . . . and therein may have lay the problem.
Freedom isn’t free—and liberties don’t last—unless they are well nurtured, maintained, and fought for . . . vigorously.
The first decade and a half of the twenty-first century have amply demonstrated that fact. And this year—2015—in particular.
America has always been a welcoming society. After all, we have always been a nation of immigrants. Imported labor built this country. We opened our doors, our borders, and our hearts to the rest of the world. In this American uniqueness was our strength, and in it may have sprouted the seeds of our eventual destruction.
For truth be told, there are an awful lot of immigrants to these shores today, that are coming for a whole lot different purpose than our ancestors. We pretty much understood the millions that passed through Ellis Island. There were here to partake of that uniquely American Dream. A job. A home. A family. A faith. A future. They couldn’t wait to get here—and become a part of what we were. The greatest, and freest society that the world has ever seen.
And they were escaping religious persecution. Our ancestors were tired of being told what to believe. Here, in American, a person was free to choose what he wanted to believe in. Or, he could choose to believe in nothing at all.
Fast forward a couple of centuries, and we find the situation reversed. Now we have religious extremists coming to America that demand we accommodate them. That we adopt their laws, eat (or not eat) their foods, and worst of all, believe what they believe.
These are a volatile people, with little or no impulse control. These new immigrants are more than happy to kill those who believe and act differently. And most frightening of all—they are ready to kill (and have) those who speak out against them.
Just this year, the civilized world was saddened by the attacks on the editorial offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Twelve bloody corpses were left behind when these enemies of freedom finished their rampage. More innocents would die before they would be stopped by the French police.
Only one week ago, a satirical cartooning event held in Garland, Texas was attacked by fanatics. Fortunately, the only fatalities there were the two gunmen. Such good fortune cannot be expected to continue.
There will be blood—for this is quickly becoming a war–for the heart and soul of the planet, no less.
Americans are a unique people. Slow to anger, they are a force to be reckoned with when finally agitated beyond a certain point. The results of two bloody world wars will attest to that fact.
Americans will not live in fear like sheep. They will fight, and die if necessary, like lions. And in the end, they will probably prevail. Throughout our history, that has generally been the result.
Any American that chooses to not be intimidated, and who continues to exercise their free speech rights, can be expected to be at risk. As we noted, freedom in not free. Its cost is usually paid in blood.
And sometimes in very large quantities.
Blogs—and by extension, bloggers, are naturally at risk. Perhaps it is a smaller risk than that assumed by print writers and media spokesmen, with storefronts, shingles, studios, and office space. But it is nonetheless present. In this digital age, it is probably not terribly difficult to find names and addresses for determined killers.
So we feel, here at Apropos of Nothing, that the time has come to formally address the issue and establish policy.
The policy is extremely simple, and it is this: We support the First Amendment to The Constitution of The United States of America—100%. And we support it 100% of the time. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year . . . you get the idea. Threats, intimidation, and even violent action will not change that policy in the least amount.
For those who would oppose free speech, we would suggest either respectfully agreeing to disagree—or moving to another part of the globe where such freedoms are not cherished, as they are here.
Apropos of Nothing will defend this editorial policy with every tool at its disposal.
Indeed, we will defend it with our lives.
We further affirm that while it is our policy to not intentionally dishonor or disrespect anyone, we will absolutely and without hesitation tell the total and complete truth as we see it, without consideration to any person’s or any group’s feelings on the subject.
We do, and we will, as in the (paraphrased) everlasting words of Voltaire—Defend to the death, the right of individuals to express free speech, even if we find such speech to be personally distasteful. This includes the spoken and written word, as well as any and all photographic and/or drawn images, without exception.
It is somewhat painful to have to speak of such things here in America in the twenty-first century. But America, and indeed the World, particularly in the west, are seeing once again the drawing of very dark clouds on the horizon. Dark clouds the like of which haven’t been seen since the days of the holocaust, the days of the Reich, and the days of the earth engulfed in flames of death and war.
Let us be strong. Let us be fearless. Let us be resolute.
And let us live free. And if, in the end, our lives be forfeit in defense of Liberty and Freedom . . .
Then so be it.
Please join us in a few days for another installment of Lee Capp’s The Reckoning.
It will, I assure you, be lighter and more fun than this blog post.
In the meantime, take care. Revel in your Faith and Families. Hug the ones you love.
Hug them good and tight—and hang on.