Savages vs. civilization

Dear Editor:I am a Christian and a conservative but I should not be judged by labels but by my actions. Long ago Rome was a powerful civilization, with good roads, border protection, laws, some voting privileges, great art, etc. Yes, they also had inequality, brutality, corruption, perversion and slavery. And as they put more power into the hands of a few, things deteriorated rapidly, and the vandals invaded. This led the way to the Dark Ages. We seem to be headed down this same road. We seem to be in another Dark Age: turn on the TV and see ads begging for humane treatment of animals, which we should all practice. Yet women kill their unborn children and it is called their right to choose. Yes, it is a right: to be a savage. Most animals take better care of their young. On that same TV you see savage men kill others because of "beliefs" and drag their bodies through the streets in dishonor. What kind of god demands such butchery? What kind of men use religion or politics as an excuse for murder? Maybe you don't do such things, but are you the one who rips a political sign off a man's car, when in this country he has the right to express his opinion? Are you the one who drives under the influence because you don't care about anyone but yourself? Do you leave your shopping cart behind someone's car at Costco, or throw your trash out your car door? Do you cheat at work or school? Do you spread gossip and lies about your neighbor? Yes, these are little things. But we must draw a line between the civilized and the savages, between right and wrong. The line begins with each of us. We must treat each other as God commands us - as we would be treated. At a joint Thanksgiving service a few years ago, a local Cantor sang a lovely rendition of Isaiah 58, where God condemns those who "fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness." God says that this does not please Him, because His fast is to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, to share bread with the hungry, clothe the naked, house the poor, etc. This has a deeper spiritual meaning, but it also has a practical meaning, because God made us both flesh and spirit. Who will you be - savage or civilized man? What kind of country do you want to live in? This is the profound choice facing us as a nation in the coming election, and every day in the big or little choices we make. Look around you. Do you like what our nation is becoming? My family and neighbors have been looking for work, struggling to keep their homes and feed their families. Our defenses are low and the vandals are at our gates. The past four years have been a nightmare. Life on earth will never be perfect, but it can be much better. I vote for a change in the right direction, for myself and my beloved country. Glory Derryberry Downey

********** Published: September 20, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 23