Some of us, particularly the more vocal among us, already have felt the effects of America's economic siege. The initial brunt of the antichrist's rage was directed at us, while those who have chosen to align with them are being generously rewarded. They have decided that escaping the siege and its consequences ideally is accomplished by surrendering to the enemy--doing what he demands, regardless of the consequences for our lives and for the future of our country and our world. For them, fighting for individual freedoms, or for international human rights and religious self-determination is not an option.
Some of these individuals use fear as an excuse for committing the most heinous evil against those whom they believe may pose a threat to their belief systems. Fear may be an excuse if the person claiming to be fearful receives no benefit or reward as a result of succumbing to the fear. However, when the person or entity receives substantial remuneration in the form of major charitable donations, jobs, bonuses, vacations or other benefits, the actions or lack thereof cannot be deemed to be occasioned by fear.
The term "American" is synonymous with diversity--in race, in viewpoints, in politics, in religions, and in ideologies. Even if you have become convinced that "American" has a meaning more akin to homogeneous or single-minded, the homogeneity and single-mindedness is in its commitment to democracy, and to widely disparate individual rights and freedoms.
The question one must ask is: "Where would we be and what would be the condition of our world if everyone did what I am doing?" Would the world be in a better or worse position? We often think of ourselves as being in a world unto ourselves, having the right and privilege to do solely what is in our best interests. But I am reminded of a poem I learned in High School which states in part: "No man is an island, no man stands alone." While we may be committed to doing what benefits only us in the short term, our inaction when action is necessary, as well as our actions, particularly when they involve doing harm to others, clearly undermine the fabric of our society, as well as our place in that society.
Twenty-first century Americans at home are voluntarily surrendering the same rights that our military presumably is fighting to secure. Military men and women have been compelled to serve multiple tours of duty, sometimes as many as fourteen or more, with each tour lasting from several months to years. Some of them return home with mental and physical deficits and minimal compensation and disability benefits. As I noted in a letter a couple of years ago, if we no longer cherish the rights and liberties for which they courageously are fighting, then perhaps it is time to end every war and bring home all of our troops.
Escaping should be a term we use in reference to escaping the clutches of the devil. But it should not include the relinquishment of our moral, societal, and political obligations, or the escapist dedication to short-term self-interest and self-protection at virtually any cost.