Friday, April 14, 2006

Today is Good Friday, one of the holiest days of the year for Christians, who believe it is the day Jesus Christ died on the cross.

It's also a day that, for the last several years, has been marked by antimilitary demonstrations at the Pentagon. Today, oddly enough, there were no demonstrators, but yesterday a group of folks erected a cross near the building entrance, and a fellow dressed in an orange jumpsuit climbed up and hung on it for a while. Apparently he was demonstrating against the ghastly horrors propagated on a helpless world by the US military.

I think he's an idiot.

First of all, in this country (unlike many others) the elected government firmly controls the military. Contrary to what many demonstrators seem to think, generals do not wake up in the morning, yawn, stretch, scratch, and decide to invade some small country. In America, the military carries out the orders of the President and Congress. So why waste time demonstrating at the Pentagon? Go demonstrate in front of Congress or the White House, or make your voice heard through your votes.

Second, I'm having a difficult time remembering the last time there was a demonstration in this country against the Islamic maniacs who happily slaughter not only Westerners, but also members of their own religion. I've been waiting in vain for the imams in the US and Europe to condemn the actions of their coreligionists. I guess it's easier - and much safer - to blame the United States for everything that's wrong than to criticize the violent fanatics who kill in the name of their religion, or to look into the dark heart of their own beliefs.


On this Good Friday, think carefully about who and what you protest against. You have the constitutional right to peacefully demonstrate all you want, but you have the moral responsibility to understand what you're doing. Next time you want to protest against the military, why not take a few minutes also to demonstrate against those who hate you just for what you are - an American, a Christian, a Sunni (if you're a Shiite), a Shiite (if you're a Sunni), or whatever. Use your head for something besides a place to model's an ugly world out there and, as someone once said, you can sleep soundly because there are rough men who stand ready in the lonely and bitter dark to protect you from those who would do you harm.

You owe them more than you know.

Have a safe and happy Easter weekend. More thoughts in the coming days.


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