by Bil Aulenbach

I Hate This Country!

Sorry. My parents taught me to never say the word hate—it’s mean and a cry for attention. I can almost hear my mom shouting from her urn, “Bil, I told you to never use ‘hate’ again!” Sorry, Mom! But the direction this country is going pains me. I constantly feel hopeless.

I have loved my country from an early age. Annie and I have visited seventy other countries, and we would never move away from the United States. My dad taught me to be a patriot. I proudly served my country as a marine and paid my taxes with a sense of honor (Trump has done neither). When I salute my flag, I salute with reverence and emotion.

But today, this is not the country in which I was raised. I have a dilemma: Do I stay silent and cowardly, or do I express my feelings despite knowing I could lose some readers? I have chosen to speak out, primarily because Trump, with the tacit approval of Congress, has sent our military to the Mexican border and given them permission to shoot people fleeing unbelievable poverty and violence.

I suspect that if the Statue of Liberty could cry, she would have the day Trump issued that order, because since 1886, she has welcomed “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Trump supporters seem to cheer oppressing the oppressed.

A US senator from Mississippi proudly and laughingly stated that she would sit in the front row of a public hanging. Unbelievable, but most revealing. We are still a racist country, and too many seem to be proud of it. I can’t stand it.

The folks running the United States have given the green light to an unbalanced man who has no problem insulting our longtime allies, but loves to cozy up to tyrants on the other hand (I strongly suspect he wants to be one).

Thanks to DC, the poor are getting poorer, the rich are getting richer, and the “huddled masses” will not breathe free in the foreseeable future.

A bunch of so-called Christians in Congress and the White House want to make this nation their brand of Christian and have no problem turning a blind eye to immorality, racism, the genocide in Israel, hatred, and injustice. They completely disregard Jesus’s mandate to care for the “least of these” (Matthew 25:40).

I am so proud of the bold steps this great country has made in my eighty-seven years of life. We conquered the Depression. We stopped Hitler. We became a world leader. We welcomed the huddled masses with open arms (mostly). We racism confronted. Christians built ecumenical and interfaith alliances. The separation of church and state was a constitutional mandate. Women became equal citizens. Liberty and justice was for all, even the LGBTQUI community (I never thought I’d see that in my lifetime). Our diversity in almost every arena was recognized as one of our great strengths.

Within a two-year period, almost all the above accomplishments were eradicated or badly weakened by our leaders (more like losers) in Washington, DC.

The voting booth is our strongest weapon in the fight to regain our national pride, but the silence and inaction of the mainstream churches, synagogues, mosques, and clergy (me included!) has been deafening.

What say ye? Should I shut up or speak up?

Image courtesy of JonathanMcIntosh (CC BY 2.0)

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