Hanging Together To Hang Us Separately

I’m appalled by the factionalism, hatred, adherence to party, and religious creed at any cost rampant in the country today.

Crusades seek to “bring America back to its Christian roots”—when the “roots” were whatever gods the autochthons embraced for 10,000 to 12,000 years before the Puritans arrived with scarlet letters, stakes, and smallpox.

The Dalai Lama says, “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness,” adding, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

But how to counter folks like blogger Pamela Geller? Her unrelenting cry that President Barack Obama is both a Muslim extremist and the Antichrist has helped 24 percent of Americans believe that urban myth. While he states that he is not Muslim, she and millions of disciples work to cause dissention. I won’t comment on the overt racism in her rants, but she’d be hard put to stick that lie to an incumbent named “Saltonstall,” “Cabot,” or “Lodge.”

What of Delaware senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell’s mind-boggling assertion—on one of Bill Maher’s early Politically Incorrect episodes—that she would not lie, even in the case of hiding Anne Frank in her attic? “Really?” someone asked, “If Hitler was at the door, and you had Anne Frank in the attic, you wouldn’t lie?” “No,” O’Donnell replied, “God would find a way.” God didn’t the first time. And, would O’Donnell fib if Frank were a good Christian up in her attic?

My words are inadequate to the task. Let me quote George Washington from his Farewell Address published September 26, 1796: “Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally. This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind….

“It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passion….

“The spirit of party is…a fire not to be quenched. It demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.”

Consider once more the Dalai Lama’s wisdom: “In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.”

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