A NextDoor Conversation in Suffolk, Virginia

This is where I live. I retyped for you a conversation from NextDoor, which is a neighborhood-based social media service that’s supposed to be non-political. This is from the Liberty Spring neighborhood in Suffolk Virginia. Emphasis mine.

Your political arguments: I said this earlier on a political post where my friends and neighbors were arguing, but it was deleted.

Don’t believe the media. Everything we see and hear is being controlled. This is what they want. United we stand but divided we fall. We are all family. Love your neighbor and forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. Do not pass judgement. You can’t control what people are brainwashed by(sic). Just trust God, he has a plan and I believe he will bring us all back together.

Amen Sister!

I agree! Always remember, God is in Control. It is his will. I just pray, people will know him and turn to him. These are trying times! The media is corrupt. I agree, don’t be brainwashed.


What’s ironic?

@person3 talking about being brainwashed by the media while in the same breath throwing the “word of god” around.

If you still believe media as truthful well then I’m lost for words.Well said.

We are to forgive and GOD is in control, however, GOD also gives us the discernment between right and wrong. There are good consequences and bad consequences depending your decision(s).


Aspects of the Cordoba House Controversy

1) Can it be stopped? Probably not. It would be unconstitutional for the government to stop it. Politicians trying to use legal tricks to block it should stop. On the other hand, people have a right to protest.

2) Is it gloating? No. Even Jeffery Goldberg, rarely a champion for Islamic causes, praises Imam Rauf and assures his readers that Cordoba House would be the antitheses of a victory mosque.

3) But how would you feel about a Japanese shrine near the Arizona or any other hypothetical analogous example? I would support the constitutional right for the structure to be built as long as it complies with existing laws. I would also welcome an effort by a peaceful group to disavow the violence of a group with whom they share an ethnic, religious or national bond. So if a group of Japanese people who condemn the attack on Pearl Harbor chose to build a shrine in the name of peace near the USS Arizona, I would accept it. The location of Cordoba House is not analogous to a shrine ON Ford Island. I would similarly support effort by a German group condemning genocide with a religious center near Auschwitz (not inside one of its buildings).

4) They don’t allow Churches in Saudi Arabia, do they? The United States does not ban religions based on an association between those religions and oppressive nations. We didn’t ban Protestantism during WWII, and we don’t ban Buddhism based on China’s oppression of its various minorities. We don’t respond to oppression throughout the world by enacting it here.

5) We wouldn’t have allowed it in the past! In the past, we threw Japanese Americans in concentration camps while treating German prisoners with more dignity than we did Black American solders.

6) They’re trying to spread Islam throughout the world! If trying to spread a religion throughout the world made that religion evil, Christianity would be a the top of the list.

7) Personal Opinion? I think Cordoba house was a bad idea that will likely instigate violence and delay the very healing that its supporters are trying to encourage. But if those who don’t like it allow it to be build as Constitutional law requires, it will not be a silent acceptance of insult, but a display of allegiance to our Constitution and the religious freedom that it guarantees.

A Personal Note About My Mouth

I have friends of varying religious and political beliefs. As a typical New York liberal who spent twenty six years in the Coast Guard and then retired to rural Virginia, I’ve been exposed to a variety of views. But I have, on occasion, made comments or jokes that were inappropriate to the setting and possibly offensive to my friends. On the other hand, I’ve kept quiet in situations when I should have spoken out. A friendly social gathering in the home of a friend with different beliefs often isn’t the place for me to express controversial viewpoints. Of course, this blog is such a place, and I’m drafting some good ones right now.

To friends who I may have offended, I’m sorry, and to those causes that could have used my voice, I will do better. In general, I will exercise better judgment over when to speak and when not to.

Fake Paradise or Real Hell?

Melina had a great idea. Via our blogs, we’re going to continue a conversation that we had using a pre-internet communications protocol called “talking”. During that conversation, Melina asked me: “fake paradise or real hell?”, and I surprised everyone who heard me by emphatically choosing “fake paradise”.

But there are some caveats. My decision requires nothing short of a letter, handwritten and signed by God, promising that my decision won’t cause any negative consequences for me or anyone else. That being said, why not? I want to be happy; I want to make others happy, and the “no consequences” caveat includes a provision that anyone I would have made happy will be equally happy in my absence. So without any reason to feel guilty or afraid, yes, I’ll have the blue one, please.

I believe that the only reason to continue, in reality, is to make things better for yourself and others. Perhaps I wouldn’t be the best suicide counselor, but I honestly believe happiness and responsibility are the only two reasons to keep living. If you take care of my responsibilities and make me happy, you can take me; I’m yours.

How many stories were told on this subject? Perhaps hundreds of books, movies, TV Shows, all about happy people living the good life until someone has to go screw it up. In a lot of these stories, it’s not a perfect fantasy but it’s the best they can do and the people are happier than they would be without it. If we’re not talking about stories where a band of slaves has to labor somewhere to make the fantasy work for others, and if we’re not talking about stories where the fantasies end with a nightmare, then I’d be the bad guy in most of them.

The only story I ever saw that came close to showing things my way was “The Menagerie”, an old Star Trek episode in which Captain Pike, after becoming paralyzed in an accident, chose to go back and live in an illusionary paradise, in the care of the big-head people. But he initially refused, dooming an entire race of intelligent beings to extinction (I can’t give the details here, see the show or read the wiki) and leaving behind a real woman who he loved on the doomed planet, just to avoid fake paradise. It took total paralysis to make him change his mind. As Bugs would say, “What a Maroon!”

Visit Melina for an opposing point of view, coming soon.