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peaceableness and intolerance - Page 2

post #21 of 43
Youngyogamama, you took the words right out of my fingers! I was just coming here to get back to Dov's original intention, which I think was to get feedback about how to handle it when one's children do things differently from the norm.

And, homeschooling was going to be my answer, too. Although we're coming from different perspectives, I know what it's like to worry about raising my children with different values and how that will effect them in public.

I don't think that young, schooled-aged children are comfortable making such a visible stand when their peers are going a different direction. An older child seems better equiped to fully understand the reasons why it is we do what we do and to accept them for himself. And then act on them in the face of potential conflict.

Until then we are keeping our children in an environment that respects their growing awareness and nurtures them. Later they can take on the world!
post #22 of 43
If anyone can find a link to the story about this fireman I would appreciate, but even without reading it I will say this: If the truck in question is the firetruck, it's not his. He doesn't get to say what is done with it in terms of flag or no. The truck is the property of the citizens whose tax money paid for it and its disposition shall be determined by those elected or hired by the citizenry to administrate these things. Political statements he can make on his own time with his personal property.
post #23 of 43
I have to admit I don't really know what to say here, but this topic is important to me. I, like merebear, have questions. I simply want to understand the perspective that is so different from mine. I am the dd of a former marine, who naturalized American after emmigrating here in the '50s. If I lived in America (currently an ex-pat due to dh's job), I'd be a "flag waver". BUT I think a neighborhood treating you, dov, as yours is is terrible, wrong, ridiculous, and ignorant. I also think nasty emails or anything of that nature is terrible...etc. But, I have never understood not saying the pledge, or flag burning, or other anti-American (I don't know what other expression to use as a catch all) action. Everyone knows, including me, that America has many, many problems, so many in fact I think we all wonder at times if we will ever get out of them, but I still feel deep love and pride for my country. As far as Afghanistan- I agree with the person who asked about someone coming into my home with a gun. You can't just ask them to leave, you have to do something. I don't know if the choices made were the right ones. What else would you have had done?
Thank you merebear for your voice in this thread.
post #24 of 43
WOW!! There are some wonderful responses here.

I cringe when I see all the flags everywhere. Why?? I have always had trouble trusting my government. I have always focused on the wrong doings of our nation. Do I think this is a good way to be?? Probably not. I was raised by 2 lefty parents. I think we are all influenced by our childhoods. I have noticed that most children seem to echo the views of their parents. That doesn't mean I would ever suggest that people who fly flags are wrong. They have there rights to do so. I just don't feel that pride. I feel fear most of the time. I am so worried about what acts my country will carry out next!!

I can't ignore all of the terrorist acts that have been carried out by our government. I am very angry about the terrorist attacks against our country. Terrorist monsters killed innocent civilians. You have to understand that America has been carelessly killing innocent people for years. Most Americans do not believe an innocent Iraqi is equal to an innocent American victim. There is a double standard. We do not like to hear any news that our government has killed innocent civilians and in the back of our heads we think "oh well, they were only Iraqis or Afghanis". There will be many more innocents killed soon by our government.
I love our country for many different reasons but, I do not love the people who are controlling our country. I did not vote for ANY of them and I will keep on complaining about them as long as I like. I am allowed to do so because I live in America the land of the free. This is exactly why I started that thread call "Big brother." THese rights I have are being taken away. All of you should be very concerned about what the Bush administration has been up to. Please, go back and read Just Wondering's post titled "More Big Brother". The reason I question our leaders and try to find out information and history of our country is because I love our country. I want our country to become a better place for my children to live in. Thanks for reading. Sorry for grammer and spelling I am in a hurry! marg
post #25 of 43
While there are many things that I dislike about the US, there are many things that I like as well. I'm sure that I could live in any country in the world and find something about which to dissent. One of my favorite things about living in the US is being able to dissent when government or corporate bodies do things to which I am oppossed. I also stay in the US because I see that the behavior of people in the US causes a great deal of the world's problems. I am in a better position to influence the things I find wrong with the US if I continue to live here. Not to mention that all of my family is here and that moving would be a big hassle.

I don't fly the flag because of my religious beliefs. I adhere to Philippians 3:20, which says that a Christian's citizenship is in heaven, not on earth. I consider myself a heavenly citizen rather than a US citizen (I'm merely a resident, not a citizen), so it wouldn't be appropriate for we to wave the US flag. It's an Anabaptist thing; it doesn't matter to me if other people choose to hang their flags.
post #26 of 43
If one is going to fly the flag I wish they would do it correctly.

My hubby is sick of my commenting on it so I'll rant to you guys for a bit. :

I think all this "patriotism" is such a knee-jerk reaction. Born out by the amount of flags I see flying backwards, dragging on the ground, tattered and filthy. It is like a bad joke IMO. If you wish to express yourself by flying the flag at least take a minute to make sure you are doing it right.............

I'm done now, thanks for listening.

edited to add: I'm not flying but I'm driving my MFP poster all around town.:cool:

post #27 of 43
Good point Els 3 Ones, I see flags out all night around here without a light shining on them, and those whimsical banner flags flying higher than the U.S one, too!

Veganmom, a quick question for you. Didn't Jesus also say that a Christian is to obey every authority put over him on earth because it is God who so allows all authority on earth? I am just curious of your take on that.
post #28 of 43
Els' 3 Ones...
You will laugh. My hubby is at least as adamant as you are about proper flag decorum. I run a distant third. Just as I read your post I noticed the sky in the corner of my eye getting darker. "Honey, take Bonnie, I have to run out and grab the flag!"
post #29 of 43
Well said, Artemesia.

I don't leave because if I leave, then there will be one less person working for Peace in this country. The love it or leave it argument is ridiculous. Do you leave your dh the minute he does something you disagree with, do you quit your job the minute it is not perfect, do you abandon your children because of their tantrums? Of course not, you stay and you fix things.

Plus, my family lived on this continent before ANY European settlers arrived, so if anybody should leave, it should be the descendants of the European settlers.
post #30 of 43
The love it or leave it argument is ridiculous. Do you leave your dh the minute he does something you disagree with, do you quit your job the minute it is not perfect, do you abandon your children because of their tantrums?
Interesting analogy, Ruth, though I don't think that it holds up. I made a committment to my husband to stay with him even when he does things that bug me. Not to mention the fact that I love him dearly. I don't get a sense of love or even fondness from the anti-American crowd. Besides, if my husband did the kinds of things that the anti-Americans accuse our country of doing, then yes, I would leave him. Commit attrocities? Feed me nothing but lies? See ya, babe!

If you dislike your job to the point that you don't trust anyone you work with, you find the behavior of your boss and the morals of your company repugnant then I do think it's time to find a new job.

There's no real point in pointing out the differences between my children's tantrums and the policies of my government. Apples and oranges. That reminds me... I'm hungry. Gotta run!
post #31 of 43
Merebear, I'm confused, who exactly is the Anti-American crowd? Is the anti-American crowd those people who think that our government has done some awful things (as well as doing some good things) I guess I just wouldn't qualify that as being Anti-American.

I feel this way about our Government and I'm not anti-American. I love America, I love the beautiful parks, the Pacific Coast, the diversity of people from all over the world. Because I love America I want to be proud to go anywhere in the world and say I'm American. Unfortunately, I don't feel that way when I travel because of the really awful things our gov't has done. I fail to see why I shouldn't continue to stay in this country and work to have a government I will be proud of - which is something I do by being an activist.

Maybe those people who don't like to hear dissent, those people who don't vote and those people who don't involve themselves in the civic process should leave....ooops, I didn't really say that because I think this "those people should leave" business is nonsense.

Peace is Patriotic.
post #32 of 43
This is in no way an attempt to excuse the government of anything awful they may have done, but is there a government anywhere that has done only good things? Is it possible that the price of the kind of freedom we enjoy in America - and maintaining that freedom- means doing some things nobody would choose to do in a perfect world. Is it possible that the gov't knows some things that we don't know, and can't know, about world situations and protects America accordingly- without being able to tell us all about it. What would the ideal policies be in your (everyone's)opinion? What should the gov't be doing instead of what they are doing?
post #33 of 43
Look, I am no genius when it comes to foriegn policy. However, the very first thing that needs to happen is a redistribution of wealth. There are children and women in men, probably even in your city, that are starving and freezing and dying of treatable illness. With all the wealth and surplus food and goods available, absolutely noone on earth should ever go without the basic, primary human needs being met. It is inexcusable and is probably the main reason behind anti-American sentiment. How to go about this? I don't know on a world level but I bet it can be done. In the mean time I will keep volunteering at the AIDS food bank.
post #34 of 43
I think there are things our government does that I do not approve of but I do love this country because it is mine. On September 11th, I felt a sense of "how dare you attack my country." I felt that same thing about how you can talk bad about your own mother but get mad if your husband criticizes her. I may not approve of what all our government has done but I do not want others attacking it and it sickens me to see people chanting in the streets cheering for the attacks.
I agree that those of us who do not approve of the government should stay and try to change what we can.
As far as what I do not approve of, I have watched our government pick and choose what international human rights it will protect based on what is politically beneficial to our country. If you were not aware that we have done this and think that we always fight against injustice, check into the history of Tibet. It sickens me that we can let innocent suffer because it doesn't "serve" us to protect them because we want to stay allied with the tormentors. Secondly, I feel that corporations and the rich have rights that far exceed those of the rest of us in this country. Our government and the politicians revolve around money.
post #35 of 43
Thread Starter 

Interesting replies

First, an apology for posting such an intense thread then ditching for nearly a month. My last final is tomorrow; prior to this I was completely buried in schdeules and projects and exams.... Going back to school at my age is no picnic. Fun to be certain, but not easy. I have a deepened respect for my 19 and 20 year old classmates.

Thanks everyone for pitchin' in .... unfortunately the real thing we were going for here was kid-oriented. After three years in this particular patch o' the planet we're pretty sure we need to move to a more tolerant neighborhood. Unfortunately until I finish my undergrad degree, moving to another town isn't an option. So that's why we were really interested in how other like-minded folks helped their younger children deal with tolerance/intolerance in a hostile community. We still feel kinda lost.

I'm not quite sure how to respond to some of the dominant tangent themes that emerged... our own views are not simple and it'd take a book to really present things well. My take on the details of certain things is different from that of my wife and vice versa although we share solid common ground on many major ideas.

Here are some thoughts or clarifications (either that or we're just defending ourselves somehow : ):

• In terms of another country, phooey... we were born here, in this one. From our POV, "love it or leave it" is merely an excuse for not wanting to hear what is difficult to hear. Maybe a good book would be all the things we progressives love about our country but never get to share because everyone else is too busy slandering us

• Are we Anti-American? Some people just don't care to listen to any view beyond their own, their doublespeak notwithstanding. It is true that we profoundly dislike ideologies that marginalize others while we try to tolerate others that differ from our own... it's a fairness thing. You accept us, we'll accept you. We'll always try to accept you regardless but it's not easy while we're being asked or told to leave all because we disagree.

• We don't "inherently dislike America." We inherently dislike abuse, oppression, tyranny, hypocrisy, and priviledge. If America has a bloody past (or even present), let's not pretend we don't. Let's get in touch with it, take responsibility for it and learn so that we actually change and do things differently in the present and into the future. Typical "patriotism" of late seeks none of that, therefore we profoundly dislike typical patriotism.

We are North Americans who were born, raised, and who live today in the United States. But we don't believe that such origins or citizenship is any more valuable than that of a Canadian or Mexican North American, or of any other country. US Americans don't have a corner on the market in values, freedom, virtues or anything else. Why does saying this out loud mean we're somehow, "anti-American"? Rubbish.

• "If someone invades your house..." scenarios.... Our two cents: "self-defense" to us means that you defend yourself during an attack so as to effectuate an escape. That is not the same as hunting down the attacker(s) later and taking them out. That is called "vigilantism." Do you really teach your kids to hunt down bullies after an attack and beat them?

Militarism and terrorism both seek to enforce a view or position unilaterally against another's will. Read Wendell Berry's "the Failure of War"... (you can find it on commondreams.org). There has to be a better way to respond to being violated the way we were on 9-11.

Anyway, one last exam to go... if anyone still has insights with regard to raising a conscious young child in a hostile climate/environment, please continue to post. The other tangents should probably have their own threads so they can run their full course. It wasn't our intention to go beyond the issues with raising healthy kids in unhealthy communities. That's pretty much more than we can handle at this stage.

wholeness and Be-ing
post #36 of 43
I just re-read your original question and noticed some different things this second time around (I also became absorbed in the tangential arguments of the past month).

You write of your beliefs regarding the Pledge and other "civic," mind-control stuff (I happen to hold the same beliefs as you in this respect), but you cannot be certain that your dd will hold these same beliefs. That has also been the struggle that I have had with my children - the difference between imparting my values to my children and their actual embracing of MY values and ideals.

You worry that your dd will "stand out." I hope so!!! My oldest dd (7-y.o.) has already figured out that our family does things differently from probably 99% of the families in her public school. I get the feeling that I am considered somewhat "strange" by her teachers and other school personnel - and she has often asked why we do things a certain way - but I am steadfast in my confidence in myself and I (attempt to) logically explain my POV to her. Most of the time, I see that she can understand that I have put a lot of time and effort into thinking about things - and I think she also has a sense (probably from my explanations and from just being in the world) that most other people do not give most things much thought. I continue, though, to model respect for others' beliefs, even if they are not my own.

Regarding the hostility and threats - I live in a major metropolitan city where people co-exist pretty peacefully. I think that I would move if I felt as much intolerance as you are experiencing. Nothing's more important than your family's security! Unfortunately, the behavior of some of your neighbors seems like another manifestation of the ridiculous "anti-American" arguments about which you write in your last post!!

BTW, best of luck on your last exam. I'm impressed that all of (some of? ) your brain cells are still working well enough to write such a great post!!!
post #37 of 43
Thread Starter 

good question

I just popped on here for a last look before I surrender to unconsciousness... the 5:30 am wakeup is looming....

My wife said there was a good reply and I just wanted to say, yeah, that is something we've been talking about... oh, sorry, the whole thing about dd being of her own mind. We realize that we're really indoctrinating her in our POV and lifestyle.... while we don't think that's a bad thing really at this stage (we have to start somewhere and although we're so different from that of our youth, we don't regret it) we do want her to make up her mind... even if that means when she'd older she wants to be of the POV that is contrary to ours. Of course then that raises the very important issue of how to allow her to have her own mind and holding that space for her even if it conflicts with ours... I hope we're older and wiser by then because right now, we don't have a clue.

Practical element: My wife is toying with a job change to another school district which would allow dd to go to Mama's school for Kindergarten... not a bad alternative at this point.

Thanks for the encouragement too. I hope I was able to articulate that just because we profoundly dislike viewpoints that marginalize or harm others, doesn't mean we aren't willing to hold the space for those contrary views... it's just hard to do it well, that's all. I think that was my whole agenda in the last posting.. my wife is punching me... time to hit that pillow.

Shalom, wholeness and lailah tov (good night) to everyone. Send your "A" energy towards my classroom tomorrow a.m. (Santa Monica, CA)

post #38 of 43

i for one don't think anyone should "leave" this country...

i think that the real disagreement between peoples is "where" and "what" changes need to be made in our country. Some think it is pretty wonderful the way it is, or even the way it was. And yet others think that just about every policy and fundamental American objective should change or be changed. That to me is where most disagree, not necessarily that anyone denies true history, the good and the bad of it. We also should remember that often times laws and changes go into motion because of bad people with bad or selfish intentions, many times resulting in what we see of our past mistakes. But that is really part of life, everywhere, in every land. You have the good and the bad. All I can really say here is that before we go a changing too many things, we must do it patiently not hastily and weigh all of the possible outcomes. I am certain that each of us has in one way or another felt cheated in different areas of our American life, or that America has cheated others out of thier lives in other countries, but no one ever said life was fair. And that is a sad part of life indeed. We know that life on earth is not intended to be perfect, otherwise it would be, and it would have always been.

We do however, have the amazing ability to make daily contributions to our country, and other countries as well. I think that Americans are a very giving people, but wherever there is a lot of money, there is bound to be some wickedness too. Another part of life and human nature. It is in the little changes and positive, generous spirit of ourselves on an individual basis that we make the greatest collective changes in any institution. It would be like having a thousand candles to light up a room instead of just one if more people looked toward themselves for change. That is the best way to increase fairness and justice. It spreads like an incurable disease!!! So when making changes we have to ask ourselves this, are we wanting a particular change for true fairness and justice, or in some way, our own selfishness? I know in my daily life sometimes I ask myself that, and there are times when I do change my mind...
post #39 of 43
Dov, thanks for your reflections

My dd is only 7 mos. old so my dh and I have not had to worry too much yet about imparting our values on her, how this will affect her, will she be seen as an outsider etc.

I have some friends who I saw shortly after giving birth to their first daughter and I said to them
" great! a future little peacemaker" and they said maybe, but even if she turns out to be the most conservative Republican we will still love her more than anything in the world. I think they hit the nail on the head, we can't really worry too much about it, we have to be true to ourselves, explain why we do things and in the end dd or ds will make up their own mind.
post #40 of 43
Boobybooby, I am going to be thinking hard about what you just said tonite as I stay up late wrapping and baking...thanks. Dena
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