As I take a quick glance through the news, here are just a few of the stories I see …

  • Bill would ban use of certain personal pronouns in ND. The bill has since been rejected, but it would have allowed fines of up to $1,500 for a trans person referring to themselves or others with gender pronouns different from the ones they were assigned at birth.
  • Indiana GOP Introduces Two “Don’t Say Gay” Bills. These bills would prohibit all Indiana schools and their third-party vendors from providing any instruction in kindergarten through third grades with the intent to “study, explore, or inform” students about six topics: gender fluidity, gender roles, gender stereotypes, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
  • Illinois Judge Blocks Ban On Sales Of Assault Weapons. An Illinois state judge temporarily blocked the state’s assault weapons ban, signed into law on January 10th, that would prohibit the sale and distribution of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and parts that convert handguns into assault weapons.
  • FL Defends Ban On African-American History Course. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis attempts to justify his ban on the teaching of African-American history.
  • TX Youth Pastor Arrested In Mass Sex Trafficking Bust. Self-explanatory
  • AZ Senate Advances Anti-Trans Pronouns School Bill. More of the same.
  • WI Catholic School Teacher Gets 6 Years For Child Sex. Self-explanatory

And there’s more, but you get the picture.  More and more with each passing week, I wonder what kind of world we are living in.  How did we get to this point where guns are more highly valued than humans, where skin colour and gender identity matter more than intelligence or compassion, where sexual abuse by those in the most trusted positions is now the norm?

America, the land of opportunity, land of freedom, a nation that opens its arms to refugees in need of a new homeland.  The country where, as I was often told when I was a child, you can be anything you want if you work hard.  A land of justice and equality.  I have trouble equating that land to the one I see today.  Was that ever the reality, or was it always a myth?

As children, my generation were told so many lies … we were taught that the first European settlers made nice with the Indigenous People, when the fact is those settlers committed genocide against them.  And today?  There is a growing movement to hide the facts from the days of slavery, and later Jim Crow, where in one sense Black people were still enslaved.  We manufacture lethal weapons by the thousands, even ones made especially for children.  We teach our children to hate, and label it ‘Christianity.’ We hide the reality that not everyone is exactly the same. We build walls to keep people out, rather than bridges to welcome them.

Lee Greenwood famously sang a song, Proud to be an American.  Once upon a time, I would have agreed, but not today.