Friday, April 16, 2010

Where's The Glory In Old Glory?

When I was a little girl, I remember the emotional high I would get at every Fourth of July parade. I would wave my little flag and think about how lucky I was to live in the land of the free. I would put my hand over my heart and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, would stand for the National Anthem (I still do) and I wanted to be as honest as George Washington and as fearless as Davy Crockett. I found out the difference between the myths and the men only too soon.

Almost 6 decades later, I wonder what in the Hell happened. It's bad enough that CEO's make obscene amounts of money while other citizens can barely scrape by. When I hear the conservative pundits whining about "Welfare Queens" I hear, in my mind, Ebeneezer Scrooge growling, "are there no work houses, no prisons?"

Every fairy tale that I was told in History class has been revealed in all its bias and spin-doctoring. I have since learned that Custer was an arrogant, bigoted bully...not a hero. If there were a real sense of fairness in our government and society, the victory of the Sioux at Little Big Horn would be an occasion for a national holiday. The Puritans were narrow-minded, religiously intolerant satraps. We have inherited every bit of their unforgiving lack of charity for those who don't follow the rigid rules of good sexual conduct. It is like pulling a hippo's teeth to try to reason with the irrationally religious and hawkish.

I've been seeing what I consider to be the Fall of the Greatness of America for a while, now. But it was really brought home to me with the scandal that has erupted around foreign adoptions, the Russian situation in particular. Our arrogance and the willingness to put a price tag on that which should be priceless is irrefutable evidence of our national avarice and self-entitlement. Capitalism has been taken to an unhealthy extreme while socialism, which in measured amounts is already with us and stands as our national conscience, has been condemned as almost Satanic. Sorry folks,but that "loaves and fishes" thing is about as socialistic as you can get.

We have practically made it an unspoken crime in the US for the poor, the disenfranchised, the unmarried and the young to have and raise children. Now that most parents in our country tend to urge terminations when their daughters become pregnant while single, the elite adopters must look in other directions for that healthy, white infant, preferably one without the added inconvenience of a natural mother in the wings. The American way of adoption has engendered disrespect for women, disdain for the mother/child connection and for all the talk of family values, caused a devaluing of the natural family. That's just one of the areas where I think we are going wrong, but it is the one that affects me most directly.

People talk about the good old days of the mid-20th century. To me, it was a time of hypocrisy, judgmental attitudes and saw the nadir of the exploitation of the natural mother. Those good old days were so fraught with secrets, lies and double standards it was a wonder we didn't go under then. Only our economic strength kept us afloat in the international pond. The Ugly American was already becoming well known. Now the Ugly American comes after the children of other nations and there are enough criminals and corrupt, petty officials in those nations to help reap the cash crop for a piece of the action.

So we get news stories of a little Russian boy sent back to the "store," traveling on his own. Or we have the latest celebrity  announcing their intention to adopt a little fashion accessory. Or we have PAPs trolling forums and websites and shopping malls and high schools and you name it, seeking to purchase that desirable infant to "complete their family." We've said it before and we'll say it is not about a home for a child but is all about a child for a home. Our priorities are so screwed up it isn't even funny. If this isn't indicative of a breakdown in values, nothing is.

I guess all we need is a huge fire and get someone to hand the President a fiddle. Like Rome, America is failing, falling, burning and one of the barometers of this change is the way of adoption. I am a sad senior citizen of what I once thought was the greatest nation in the world. Now, all I want is for us to make an effort to make it a good nation.

We do that one issue at a time. Mine is adoption and the EMS. Pick yours and just maybe.....well, we'll see.


Vanessa said...

Fabulous post... this country has absolutely made it an "unspoken crime" in the the U.S. for "the poor and disenfranchised, the unmarried and the young" to keep and raise THEIR own children. This unspoken crime is a crime against humanity.

The Capitalistic society we live in infers that it is okay to destroy the mother child bond and genetic family ties, so the wealthier, older adopters can complete their "family." It is just sickening.

The "good old days of the 20th century" treated mothers of your generation reprehensibly. I wish more young mothers of today would listen to what you are saying; so not to travel down the lifelong path of being dehumanized and degraded in the name of adoption.

I wish younger mothers would realize before it is too late that once they lose the rights to their children, they will be the sacrificial lambs of the adoption industry; while people who care not an ounce of the life that is nearly destroyed at the loss of her chid, make off with HER child.

Nowhere on earth (except for what is supposed to be the best country on earth) are mothers treated with such disregard then thrown away like trash, after their duty of incubator for the paying customer has been completed.

Sandy Young said...

I watch the news at noon, six and ten every day and hope against hope that I will see a glimmer of compassion, hope or the milk of human kindness for the people of this country who are facing dire circumstances and see nothing to give me an comfort at all. All I see is people gripping what they have and blaming those in lesser circumstance for their poor choices and lack of planning, all the while they are one illness, one death, one step from homelessness themselves. The louder they shout, the more fearful I know they are. The entire country is gripped by a fear that was ignited on 9/11 and has been fanned by the Bush administration and those who benefitted by it, and the fear is still being fed by the Tea Party and Sarah Palin and her crowd.

I am appalled at the greed, the grasping, the disingenuousness of the ministry and the priesthood who fatten themselves along with the bureaucrats on our nickle and point their fat fingers at those less fortunate or more honest than they.

You are right, Robin. I remember riding my tricycle in the 4th of July parade and feeling so proud at 4...not so proud today. Just sad...

"The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering the prisons"
~Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The House of the Dead.
Words like those of Mahatma Ghandi who said, "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members."
Churchill said that you measure the degree of civilisation of a society by how it treats its weakest members.
Truman said a society will be judged by how it treats its weakest members.
"Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members -- the last, the least, the littlest."
~Cardinal Roger Mahony, In a 1998 letter, Creating a Culture of Life
It is said that the worth of society can be measured by the manner in which it treats its weakest member.
"The greatness of any city can be judged by the way it treats its weakest member."
You can judge the character and quality of life in a community by how it treats its weakest members
It is said that a civilization is measured by how it treats its weakest members - including, of course, it children.
The greatness of America is in how it treats its weakest members: the elderly, the infirm, the handicapped, the underprivileged, the unborn.
~Bill Federer
"The test of any society is how it treats its weakest members."
"The moral test of any society is how it treats its weakest members."
"A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members and among the most vulnerable are surely the unborn and the dying,"
~Pope John Paul II
If one considers the observation that the worth and dignity of a civilization is judged by the way it the treats its weakest members, we cannot help but look back in shame at our past.
~Social Justice
Yesterday - Today - Tomorrow, A Critical Reflection, By Rudolf Rickes