I believe that America is at a crossroads, a crossroads that requires us to make many
decisions about the future.
Decisions that we must first make as individuals, digging down deep inside ourselves
and coming to terms with the differences between a world we imagine is possible and say we
desire and live in, and the world that seems to happen to us as we work and live day by
What we must realize is that the difference is not determined by the circumstances
thrust upon us, but the choices we make based upon our commitment to the standards and
princples that we say define us as people and a nation.
When our founders designed the Constitution, they did so based on many of their own
experiences, such as their desire to escape from religious tyranny. They
understood that part of free will was about a choice to believe, to practice or not, and
they respected the divine right of the individual to choose their own beliefs and
I believe that the American Democracy crafted by the founders of this nation is the
most perfect human expression of free will as inspired and granted by God.
Democracy can only succeed if the spirit of that same intent and hope is honored.
In my beliefs, separation of church and state is an essential part of government and
American Democracy. It allows people to make choices themselves, and relieves them
of the burden of having to evaluate political issues interjected as a part of their ritual
or discipline in their relationship with God, whatever it is, however they choose to
Like many Americans, I know we have room for improvement. There's always room for
improvement. But the intent of American Democracy allows for all persuasions and
beliefs. It allows for co-existence of the Amish and Native Americans, it
validates the concerns of members of the Christian Coalition as well as those who describe
themselves as atheists.
The question is whether we, the people, will allow it.
American Democracy is like an ongoing conversation. It must consider every
opinion and every belief and every concern and honor its validity. Justice is not to be a
judgement of right or wrong, but is an agreement of accountability for a code of conduct
molded by laws and customs, based on a philosophy of freedom to the exclusion only of that
which would do harm to others.
Justice is about agreement to laws easily argued to be derived from the golden rule:
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." For me, if it was observed,
no other law would be necessary.
To me, in many ways, American Democracy is like the experiment your teacher did with
you many years ago. The one where the teacher lined up 20 children side by side, and
then went to one end of the line, and told the first child a story. That child would
then tell the story to the next child and so on and so on, until finally, the last child
told everyone what they had been told.
The story that last child told had a thread of truth to it. It used the words
justice and freedom and choice and rights, but the meaning of the words had somehow been
changed, and did not mean the same things anymore.
To me, it means things like how we're told we live in a nation of laws. I say, we
live in a nation of loopholes. I don't say that lightly.
Day after day, we hear about court rulings and civil filings that have nothing to do
with honoring the intent of the laws that were to provide guidance and remedies for
impasses. Instead, we hear of "gray areas", ways to get around things,
methods of using technical semantics to evade the intent of the law.
In my mind, the use of those semantics as a defense is an acknowledgement of the
offenses being committed, if you took the intent of the law seriously.
To me, it is simpler to say that people have begun using the legal system to prove
their righteousness for activities they know are wrong... in a society claiming to be
based on moral Christian beliefs.
The ideas of free will and American Democracy come with a number of challenges and
A challenge and responsibility in its constant vigil and commitment to the real intent
of justice, as opposed to justice imposed based on bias or persuasion, causing division
A challenge and responsibility to provide for the representation of the will and
well-being of its entire population above all else
A challenge and responsibility to set a global example as those who exercise their
spiritual disciplines and mandates through wisdom and compassion in their actions and
policies toward the people of other nations in order to be at cause in generating global
cooperation and democratic attitudes.
A challenge and responsibility to prove that tranparency in governing bodies and
keeping the citizens informed and participating in the democratic process is desireable
and of superior quality.
A challenge and responsibility to generate legislation and a culture that is inclusive.
This is, by no means, a complete list of concerns or considerations. But I
believe that in them, you'll find the values of American Democracy that have made it so
great for so long. All of them are values we should seek to reclaim on a daily basis, to
be better as individuals, better as a nation, and better as a world.
That's what America means to me, that's what it represents. A nation of people
always willing to look above the heat of emotions and passions on indivdual issues, and
finding ways to allow us all to have the things we need and the freedom we deserve, that
we say is granted by God.
Some people think that what I'm calling for is change. I say that what I am
calling for is more like a reclamation. I beleive it's time that we take a step
back, look at things objectively, and reclaim those things that work, but most
importantly, to discard systems and divisory political practices that don't work, so that
we can create the future based on what we say we want, and what we know is needed.
I'm calling for a return to an American Democracy that serves all people and interests
with responsible legislation and liability. Legislation and judgement realized without
bias or coercion,.without granting advantage or favor.
And, applying the values of free will we claim as a people for the people, when
considering all limitations and regulations to be enforced.
What America means to me, more than anything else, is a government designed to be in
service to the people.
That is not exclusive or biased against business interests, it is inclusive and
symbiotic. It also acknowledges that the needs of the people, the citizens, must be met
before any other interests, profits or ventures could possibly make any significant
contribution to humanity.
To me, America means a nation of people who, when they are informed and welcomed to
participate in Democracy, make the right decisions for America, humanity and all beings.
History has proven it time and time again. And I believe we will all prove it again
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(C) 2002,2003-2009 Charles Rehn Jr IV All rights