American is still an infant country, one of the youngest developed countries in the world. Yet we, as a whole, are still making bad choices in the religious and political venues instead of learning and growing from our past mistakes. While some people are more open minded and forward thinking then others, the majority of our country is still living in the past. AsJefferson stated: “To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”
Currently, the American people have a president and large majority of Congress who are very conservative Christians. This president has divided the country apart more then bringing it together despite the events of September 11th with his agenda’s in Iraq and Afghanistan. But above his actual political aspirations, it is his religious views that have filtered and tainted politics further than any other leader in the last twenty years.
The Constitution states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, yet President Bush is the front-runner on amending the Constitution to forbid same-sex marriages as it goes against the Bible. He has vowed to stop stem-cell research on five-day-old embryos. His main argument, “Human life is a sacred gift from our Creator. I worry about a culture that devalues life, and believe as your President I have an important obligation to foster and encourage respect for life in ,” yet scientific evidence shows that the embryos at that stage have no signs of life, including a heartbeat. Congress has passed bills such as the Patriot Act, “gutting the Constitution. Already, your homes can be entered without your knowledge or permission, you can be snatched away and incarcerated without cause, your mail can be spied on and your private records searched” (Atwood). While at the time it may have seemed like the right thing to do, it has given government more power then they need. They are no longer for the people by the people; they have become more interested in political and religious gain then personal freedoms.
The President, however, is not the only culprit within the boarders of American who refused to think about the future and refuse to change. There is a plethora of hate groups in this country that cater to specific organization or groups. They hold protests-which is their right as American’s-but using hate as a weapon or means of persuasion usually does not incite change in others, it only makes people angry and hurt. We have Pro-life groups who hate women wishing to have an abortion, Christian groups that hate gay people, Jewish groups that hate Muslims, white groups that hate black people, black groups that hate white people, women groups that hate men, men who hate women and so on. While there will never be true peace among certain aspects of American culture due to the tremendous diversity in this country, most people have already learned from the past and changed their outlook on life. As Legrain said in his essay “Cultural Globalization is not Americanization”, foreigners are changing even as they adopt its ways. Some people, from other countries, who have truly lived through oppression, racial biased, loss of civil rights, or other trauma due to the nature of a tyrannical country are helping to shape new ways of living in America. Others that come from culturally and socially diverse advanced countries just searching for better economic opportunities, cannot understand the influx of religious politics of this country and how citizens are treated. A large population of Americans in this country is foreign born, and despite the length of time they have been in this country or the status of their citizenship, they have fewer rights then those who were born here. Is it not ironic that this country began with immigrants coming from other parts of the world and yet a foreign-born person must jump through hoops now to become a citizen?
The fact is; still needs to grow up. Blue and Red states will never agree on every issue, but compromise is imperative to help strengthen our nation in the new 21st century. People need to accept others as they are and not attempt to change them due to religious or political beliefs. Gay people are not going to stop begin gay, Jews and Muslims will not turn to Christianity, Republican’s and Democrats will rarely change sides. But if acceptance and tolerance isn’t a daily activity in the lives of most Americans, we may one day find ourselves at war with each other and in the midst of religious and political debates over what is acceptable and not. Our forefathers believed that government should be separate from religion; it is the main factor for the forming of the in the first place. Isn’t it time we actually follow that ideal?