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Free speech

I tried to post this rant from my friend Kate Baker Tilton on Facebook-- but it turns out Facebook doesn't do more than 450 characters and Kate's rant is much longer than that.

I'm sorry if this offends you, but I think Kate brings up a number of points that we need to think about. Polite comments very welcomed.


Not only does this egomaniacal, undereducated, under-read, overinflated windbag dare to poach on MLK's territory, but now he tells us that "TODAY, America turns back to God". Like... with his help. Like... he's Moses, taking us out of Egypt to the Promised Land. If it's the latter, he'd better go back and re-read. Moses got egotistical, God didn't like it, Joshua came in from the bull pen. God got the victory, Joshua got the save. > Once again the mouthpiece for the Radical Right claims ownership to religious purity and good old flag lapel pin patriotism in a way which we mere mainstream mortals could never know. Without his help, we'd never have known there were Nazi Icons emblazoned on Rockefeller Center either.

> Listen up, Glenn. Obama was born in Hawaii. A majority of American citizens voted for him. The French health care system (single payer, government run) is rated "best in the world" by the WHO. In Canada it costs more to take your dog to the vet than to take yourself to the doctor. And you don't have to wait five years for that appointment. Shipload after shipload of immigrants landed on these shores, including many to Oglethorpe's penal colony of Georgia. It was not until generations later that the descendants of these undocumented aliens began to demand something called a greencard.

> And... for hundreds of years, Americans of every faith have found their way to God without your help. Our churches have preached social justice. Our churches have searched deeply into their collective souls, and found a home for the disenfranchised, for people of color, for people whose lives are challenged by their gender, or their sexual orientation. You tell us "if your church preaches social justice, run the other way". And yet, you hold yourself up as a paragon of American Religion. Perhaps this is your Waterloo, Mr. Beck. There is no such thing as "American Religion" There is religion. It takes many forms. We have Christian churches of infinite variety, all of whom have preached some form or another of political position over the centuries. In the middle ages, the Catholic church sent warriors into the Crusades, against the "infidel" Muslims, without any regard at all for the Jews who had lived there forever. Our country was begun in part by settlers who were fleeing religious persecution. Young women in Salem MA. might have made the case that once their own skins were safe, those Christians began flaying others. From Quakers in eastern Pennsylvania, down the coast to Creoles and Cajuns, then heading west to where the Catholic faith had been flitered through the Mexican experience... wildly different from the French Canadian influence in the East. Pockets of Native Americans held out... and religions from afar joined us. Asians brought us Buddhism, Shinto, Hindu. Although most Africans became Christian while held in slavery, elements of their former faiths stayed with them, and as more Mediterranean Africans and Middle Easterners came to America, we gained Coptics, Chaldeans, Muslims of varying types, and Orthodox Christians whose practice was greatly different from that of the Roman church.

There is no American Religion, Mr. Beck. There is no American Church, there is no God who singularly blesses America. This is what our founding fathers wanted, this is what they tried to guarantee for us. That no way, no how could any single religious group ever impose their faith on all the rest of us.

Founding Fathers, Mr. Beck - Washington, Jefferson, Hancock, Adams, Madison,Gerry, Hamilton, Franklin, so many more, whose names are on the Declaration, on the Constitution. They were supported by their faith, yes, of course. By whatever faith worked for them. And they tried their best to save us from idiots like you.
> The Right keeps talking about grass-roots. What they seem to mean is the Tea Party, funded largely by Dick Armey's lobbyist corporate money. This diatribe is purely grass roots. It's me, that's all. If it's at all you too, then send it on. Can we flood the internet with anti-beckian common sense?