As I understand the history of World War Two, the average person in the United States believed that he or she was fighting to preserve a way of life based on respect for independent thought and speech, religious differences, basic economic security, and freedom from war.
In his January 1941 State of the Union Address President Franklin D. Roosevelt enumerated four essential freedoms for which we as a Nation stand and for which we will fight.
“The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way–everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings, which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.”
The inescapable fact is that in 1941 the nation went to war with human evil as it was expressed in Germany by the Nazis.
Two very different versions of civilization had emerged after World War 1 and they had to clash.
U.S propaganda focused on human rights:
German propaganda focused on fear:
The first poster presents freedom from want and a degree of economic security as a measure of freedom.
The second poster focuses on freedom from reason.
It is the freedom to blame, scapegoat, steal, and murder.
It is a world without negative consequences for the “right” people.
It is a world in which the state can legalize murder and use assembly line technology as the weapon of choice.
It is a world of people who believe that what they pretend they don’t know makes them innocent.
What is faith?
I ask myself this as I contemplate the grievance I have to file to get the treatment I need to make this pain go away.
Why don’t my treatment providers care that I’m in pain.
Why haven’t they studied this disorder and acted on its seriousness?
Why don’t they care that I must live in fear of myself as I use every skill I have to survive the increased fragmentation that is essential to getting well but is dangerous because of the resistance and anger by some of my alternates?
Why do I have to do something as negative as file a grievance?
What am I “grieving”?
Maybe I’m grieving the time that I’m losing to my illness as I contemplate filing a grievance.
In the cynical version of history Roosevelt lied; cynics look at that generation of people and point to the racism, the homophobia, and they are right.
The people who followed a president into a war based on the premise of the preservation of essential human rights were flawed.
But they tried.
Hope is what gave birth to the Civil Rights Movement.
The idea that we as a Nation of people will talk to each other and listen, and the idea we will use our economic system and government to realize a vision in which each of us benefits from the creative wonder of the human mind.
Good and evil is always right where we stand.
We cannot defeat evil but we can regulate it and be alert to its seductive power.
I suppose that what I cannot understand is why I feel as if I’m living in a world that refuses to even try.
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