THE WAR WILL COME TO YOU
The other day I got a strange e-mail. It purported to be from the �Home Office� in the United Kingdom � which is the functional equivalent of our State Department, Homeland Security, and Big Mother rolled into one. Their motto: �Building a safe, just and tolerant society.�
Attached to the e-mail was a letter stating that since the London bombings the UK had passed strict, new restrictions that were to demonstrate intolerance of anything they did not consider safe or just. It went on to outline my career as a �pro-life activist� and highlight the fact that I had publicly stated that I thought force was morally justified when the innocent were being attacked by unjust aggressors. (Remember, this is the country that will prosecute you if you do not abandon your home and run away if an intruder enters your home � as, to them, this is �safe and just.�) The letter went on to say that they believed that I would continue to �espouse such views� if I came to the UK and that this would not be conducive to the �public good� (Thanks, Mommy! You always know what�s best!) Thus, said the Home Office, I would not be welcome anywhere in the UK and that I would be �refused admission� should I attempt to come.
We know that it is not difficult for someone to �spoof� such things, so I was, at first, skeptical. However, it was strangely reminiscent of the time the Canadian border people refused to let me enter that country because, they said, I would �use Canada as a platform to promote violence� so I had an inkling the Home Office letter might be real. I had also heard about how the Brits had rushed through further restrictions on thought and word after the London bombings. I e-mailed the sender and gave my mailing address, asking for an actual copy of the letter. The reply indicated they would send it. I await.
Meanwhile, I am fairly certain by this time that the letter was probably genuine.
As I think about it, I seem to recall that we fought a war just to get away from these clowns some years back. One of the reasons for our extricating ourselves from their rule was the lack of free speech and other freedoms, as I remember.
Now I realize that the USA Patriot Act is starting to burn up free speech, but the UK never had it. There was always this paternalistic sense that the Crown was your Mommy and needed to protect you from having to think for yourself, act for yourself, or care for yourself. Now they are going beyond their old �disturbing the Queen�s peace� oppositions to free speech they don�t like and adding a new Big Brotherly dimension to their smothering rule. The Brits are used to it. They have never known true freedom � only the �freedom� of government tolerance.
So the question is: Why would I even want to go to such a place?
I must say that I was not exactly quivering with anticipation about possibly going someplace where I could not utter my opinions at all. It does make me wonder how many other people are getting the Unwelcome mat put out for them.
The real question in my mind is: When will we start to see the same kind of paranoid behavior manifested at this level here in the U.S.? If nothing serious is done soon, I don�t think it will be long. Given the extension of police powers under Bush, think of what a politically-correct type of liberal would be able to do in building a �safe, just, and tolerant society.� (Notice the slogan curiously does not include �free.�)
The war for our freedoms at home is engaged and, while I have no desire to go there � the UK � instead �there� is going to try to come here.
Last century the poet Bertol Brecht, wanting to warn the peace-at-any-price fellow Frenchmen of the gathering storm of German aggression and militancy, penned a line � of which only half has become famous. He wrote:
Suppose they gave a war, and nobody came? Why then, the war would come to you!
The real War on Terror is the one to stop the growing threat of terror in the name of Homeland Security. That war is coming, and is even at the door.
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Paul deParrie is a 17-year veteran of anti-abortion street activism, a preacher, and a social critic. He is the author of "Dark Cures: Have Doctors Lost Their Ethics" (Huntington House) available at NewsWithViews Online Store Front. deParrie may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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There was always this paternalistic sense that the Crown was your Mommy and needed to protect you from having to think for yourself, act for yourself, or care for yourself.