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Sunday, October 25, 2015

When Patriotism Isn't Cool

                             
  When it comes right down to it, young people have a lot on their plate. They are worried about things like college, student loans, paying rent, Facebook and Twitter, the list is endless. How can the average 25-30 year old have time to deal with things like patriotism? Patriotism? Isn’t that for old people?
  That seems to be the trending thought. And if that is the case, it does not bode well for America. There are some experts who will say that your brain has not fully developed at that age. Maybe, there is literally a lifetime of change that takes place between 25 and 45. Most young people just don’t pay attention to politics, and usually know just what Yahoo News will tell them about what is going on in the world, but why has being proud to be an American and being proud of one’s country become so unhip?
  Really the first and only place one needs to look is the American education system. With schools and universities filled with leftover hippies from the 60’s, it is not hard to figure out where the “America sucks” mentality comes from. Also, couple that with the racist, sexist, homophobic narrative that the mainstream media engages in daily and you have one nasty mix.
  Recently, some of my co-workers were asking another co-worker about his impending trip home to India in December. Like the curious Americans we are, they asked about food, holidays, and things of that nature. Through the course of the conversation, they determined that it had to be better than America, because well, America sucks and it is racist blah blah blah, especially with a president like Donald Trump. Did I miss something? Was Donald Trump elected president 7 years ago and that is why America sucks? Where have I been? The ease at which all responsibility and accountability that Barack Obama was relieved of in one sentence was astounding.
  So a bit later I asked him, what are his impressions of America? As a new immigrant 15 years ago, was it what he thought it would be? He said yes that he thought America was a good place with plenty of opportunity for all, and that Americans were good people. I asked about the strict class system in India, and he said that yes it was to an extent still in place. I asked about things like free speech and speaking out against the government. He said that yes some free speech was tolerated but that you could still get an unpleasant visit from government officials if your free speech was deemed just a little too free. Funny, all those “America sucks” folks didn’t think to ask those questions. The one question that I did not get to ask those youngsters was, if America sucks why is the line to get in so much longer than the line to get out?
  While proud of his Indian heritage, my co-worker seems genuinely proud to be an American as well. One of the most important things that immigrants like him can do is to talk to young people and try to convey to them why they came here, why America is the land of opportunity, and that they should be immensely proud of that. Many immigrants tell as many as they can about the horrors of places like Cuba, Russia or China. Those stories need to be told.

  Patriotism is a lot like religion. Sometimes it is the converts that are the strongest advocates.  

Sunday, October 11, 2015

No Witches Need Apply

                                
  Well, here we are, my favorite month, October. It is my favorite for so many reasons, autumn, playoff baseball, and the most solemn of days on the Witches’ calendar, Halloween. I thought I would use this month as an opportunity for education, a chance to tell people about my faith, what it is and what it is not.
  What has happened however has been a little education for me. I realize that when I tell people that I am a Conservative Wiccan, heads spin in a Linda Blair-Exorcist kind of way, but I am usually offered a chance to answer a few questions and ultimately, whoever I am speaking with seems to be OK with it, and it appears that they have no fear of me turning them into a toad or whipping up a heavy dose of spells hurled in their direction.  
As Conservatives, we see practically every hour or so, a level of hatred and intolerance from Liberals that we just know cannot be matched, until we wait a few minutes, and then it is. We want the Republican Party and Conservatives in general to be a big welcoming tent for all. We have acknowledged that we at times need a bit of work in this area, always room for improvement right? But as someone who belongs to a minority religion, and one that is often misunderstood, I have found many an open mind and heart among Conservatives.
  In my role as a Blogger and Writer, I do a lot of promotion of my work on social media. I post my work on a lot of Conservative Facebook pages. It is so inspiring to see so many who are willing to stand up and fight to keep our nation the beacon of freedom and liberty that it has been from the beginning, and I am so proud to join in the fight with all of those folks. But not all are happy to fight alongside me.
  Recently, I was told by a Conservative Facebook page that they would prefer that I not promote my radio show there anymore. I was told it only for shows on the network, which I had never heard of, that’s fine. But I was also told they did not want me promoting my faith as well.
  Promoting my faith? It is a political talk show but OK, it is their website, and like a good little Witch, I will abide by someone’s wishes. I just have one question for them. Why do you have a website? OK, maybe two questions, and why do you just want to speak to like-minded people? Isn’t the goal of most Conservatives to get our message out to all? To dispel misconceptions about what we believe to folks who might not really know what Conservatism is all about? No one has said that you must agree with my choice of faith, but if I believe in smaller government, lower taxes, getting our economy back on track, a strong national defense, and an even stronger foreign policy, and backing it all up with Constitutional principle, how am I bothering you? How am I threatening you?
  The beauty of America is that there are as many different Americans as there are differing viewpoints among them. It might sound clich├ęd, but debate is in our DNA. If you are not interested in engaging in discussion, and God(dess) forbid a bit of correction on a topic that perhaps you don’t know as much as you thought you did about, then maybe social media is not the place for you.
  I don't wear flowing black robes, I don't sacrifice children, and I am definitely not a Devil worshipper. Oh I am a Witch alright, but I am also a proud Conservative, and an even prouder American.