We tend to have a very strange relationship with the past. We’re highly patriotic about our heritage while being fully aware of the blatant racism, sexism, and cruelty which has plagued most of our history. We love our country while being embarrassed and mortified by the stark reality of past failures.
What now makes us cringe, at the time, was widely accepted.
For over 70 years, it was legal in the United States of America to own another human being. From 1619 until 1808, human beings were kidnapped from their home in Africa, transported to the United States under terrible conditions, and then sold as property. Both before and after our independence, we built our nation using people who were treated as property.
When I was in Bible college, one of my roommates found a book of mid 19th century sermons. One sermon was a “biblical defense” of slave trade.
Today, it’s hard to fathom such widespread cruelty but, at the time, huge portions of the population didn’t even blink at the idea.
The Trail of Tears
In 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act. In theory, this was a voluntary exchange of land between the United States and several Native American tribes. In practice, it led to the forced removal of 10,000s of people from their native land.
Today, when we see other nations perform this type of forced removal, we instantly start a national discussion about whether we should intervene.
Japanese Internment Camps
Less than 75 years ago, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, over 100,000 people in the United States were incarcerated in internment camps. Over 60% of these individuals were United States citizens. The government didn’t start an investigation into the justification of the camps until 1980, and the government didn’t acknowledge error until 1988, just over 25 years ago.
We detained our own people due to racial prejudice within the last 100 years. Obviously, we look back with embarrassment.
I could keep on going listing off blatant widespread atrocities we just accepted in the past. You can look at every culture at any point in time and see enormous blindspots.
I often wonder what our ancestors will think about us. Which of our actions will they look back on and cringe?
What Will Make Us Cringe 50 Years From Now?
15 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct?
No, they have no shame at all;
they do not even know how to blush.
A Celebrated Green Beret Is Being Discharged for Not Ignoring the Sexual Abuse of a Teenage Boy
Two celebrated Green Berets found themselves in trouble a few years back. They had been stationed in Afghanistan to help train the local police. Quickly, they started to notice some troubling cultural differences. One day, a woman came to them and informed them that one of the police chiefs they were mentoring had kidnapped her teenage son and abused him for a week. She had gone to local authorities, but nothing was done. She pleaded for the green berets’ help. When the two green berets confronted him about the incident, he started to laugh. Appalled by his reaction, they threw him to the ground to assert just how serious the situation was.
Soon afterward, both men were removed from their station there. Shortly afterward, one of the two men resigned from the military. The other is about to be discharged against his will because of the incident.
The military’s rational for punishing them is that they violated their training by attempting to impose American values and morality on the Afghani people.
You can read about the incident in detail here:
How far off are our values when decorated Green Berets are being punished for standing up FOR assault victims? What are our priorities when we’re allowing this kind of behavior from our allies? How can we stand for any kind of moral superiority when we can write off kidnapping and sexual assault as merely a cultural difference?
Nation Divides After a 17 Year Old High School Student With Male Anatomy Was Given Permission to Use the Female Locker Room
Earlier this month, over 100 female students walked out of class at a high school after their school gave permission to a transgender to use the girls’ bath room. Previously, the 17 year old had used a gender neutral bathroom, but eventually convinced the school to give her permission to use the female locker room, bathroom, and showers. Upon learning that a student with a penis and who identified as a male until earlier this year was going to be admitted to those female exclusive areas, many parents and students were shocked.
When the transgender student was interviewed by PEOPLE Magazine, this is what she had to say:
“I wasn’t hurting anyone,” Perry told the Dispatch. “I didn’t want to be in something gender neutral. I am a girl. I am not going to be pushed away to another bathroom.”
“What I really think is that, if it was really about [being uncomfortable], then any of them could have talked to me.
… I think it has to do with people being afraid of what they don’t understand or know much about. I think a lot of it has to do with how [the students] were raised. A lot of the people at my school were raised to be very bigoted.”
After this story broke, the nation immediately divided over the issue. Some celebrated her bravery and came to her defense. Others were confused as to why a school would ever let a student with a penis use the girls’ lockers, showers, and restroom.
Honestly, I’m confused as to why someone wouldn’t want their own private bathroom at a public school. It seems incredibly dishonest to suggest that these girls weren’t uncomfortable about a classmate who identified as a male within the last 12 months was suddenly using the same shower as them.
We’ve come so far down a path of political correctness that we’re not using common sense. With a desire to make a single student feel more comfortable, we’re making 100s of student uncomfortable. This isn’t even bending to on a small scale. The school offered her her own bathroom, but that wasn’t good enough. On a very practical level, the precedent set by allowing students with male anatomy to use the female bathroom is extremely troubling.
…and the Next President of the United States of America is…
Where to begin…
The current roster of presidential wanna-be’s would have made for a hilarious SNL skit a few years back.
- A third Bush is running for President.
- A second Clinton is running for President.
- A billionaire who has had four of his businesses file for bankruptcy and who was a reality TV star for his rude and mysogonistic comments is running for President.
- The leading Democrat is in the middle of an email scandal. Her explanation for why she used a suspicious personal server involved her admitting she thought it would be confusing to carry two phones.
- The leading Republican has only identified as a Republican for a couple of years and, in the first GOP debate, he called Rosie O’Donnel fat and ugly.
These are the candidates that have the most support from our country. I have no clue who is going to win, but there are multiple likely paths which seem to indicate the utter failure of our election process.
In light of the House of Representatives passing both a bill to ban abortion past the 20th week, and a bill to cease funding to Planned Parenthood for a year, a group of Planned Parenthood supporters decide to start a Twitter trend, #shoutyourabortion. With a desire to spark a national discussion with the goal of removing the stigma from abortion, they challenged women to proudly tell their abortion stories on Twitter.
A number of national media outlets jumped to offer their support.
- MTV – “Sometimes, being a woman can feel like clearing one biological hurdle after another, every day, forever. But efforts like #ShoutYourAbortion have the potential to make at least one hurdle — the stigma of abortion — a little bit smaller.”
In each of these articles, they share a number of the stories which have already been posted. Three themes quickly emerged:
(1) People didn’t feel they were ready yet to have children, and having an abortion helped them to accomplish their goals and get to a better place in life.
(2) People who never want kids.
(3) Stories which involve girls being forced to have abortions. Both BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post shared the following Tweet.
Ex partner of 4 yrs forced me into 2 abortions. My life is better now but only through the support of PP.
Strangely enough, The Huffington Post & BuzzFeed, who both appear to be Pro-CHOICE, seemed unfazed by this story. Shouldn’t that story be just as horrifying for those who are Pro-Choice as it is for those who are Pro-Life? Shouldn’t everyone be mad at the abortion provider who allowed a girl to be FORCED into two abortions? Shouldn’t the fact that someone can be FORCED into an abortion cause us to reevaluate the process by which one gets an abortion?
Whatever happened to the days when abortion was something which was supposed to be rare, but safe? Whatever happened to the time when people weren’t Pro-Abortion, they just believed that a woman should have the choice if necessary? When did abortion become a matter of pure convince where people are celebrated for declaring, “My life is more valuable than a potential life“?
These are just a few headlines from the last month. I could go on and on writing about the misplaced priorities of our culture.
- I could write about our self-centered, entitled zeitgeist.
- I could write about our obsession with equality which seems to always involve taking from someone else and giving to the poor.
- I could write about our perpetual wars.
What will make our ancestors blush for us?
Where Will We Be in 50 Years?
50 years from now, how will society view these stories? Will society “progress” to a point where these stories seem like relics of an old-fashoined morality? Or, will our political correctness and narcissism make us blush?
Will these divisive subjects become such common practice that the conversation disappears, or will we realize that we’ve jumped the shark morally as a society?
Will our past prudishness or our past foolishness embarrass us?