Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Response to your claim that non-Christians & Immigrants should get out of America

Dearest Friend,
We have been friends for a decade. I have previously chosen not to complain to you about your beliefs or challenged your right to hold them. However, the last e-mail you sent me requires that I challenge your thinking. I must tell you that I am an atheist AND an American. I was born here and this is my country. This is also the country of 21 million other atheists, agnostics, humanists and non-believers. You cannot just decide that because I do not believe in your God that I am not an American. Obviously you don't know me as well as I thought you did if you think a statement like "this is a Christian nation" is going to pass as an excuse to treat me like I don't belong in my own country. Surely, I agree that there is evidence that this is a country founded on religious FREEDOMS. However, that defines a right to your own religion free from State intrusions or sanctions as well as the right to choose NO religion. It also means that other citizens must TOLERATE your choice inside the law. You don't have to accept or approve of what I do or do not believe but you sure as hell have to tolerate the fact that not everyone is a Christian. I refuse to cut you any slack because you are my friend and it would be disloyal not to tell you that I wholly disagree with your sentiment that Christianity is equal to American-ness and that without it you are somehow less than a citizen. While I do agree that those choosing to immigrate to the United States of America must learn to adapt and assimilate as countless scores of immigrants before them have done, I cannot abide your support of sweeping generalizations. Your utter disregard for non-Christians and LEGAL immigrants is untenable to me. It is positively unpatriotic and downright rude to assume that your way is the only way. I still like you, I still care about you but I damn sure don't agree with your tone or the implication that I am not a patriot and that immigrants have no place in our country. I will make a statement that is well founded in truth and that is that we ARE  a nation of immigrants. Your forebears came here as immigrants and the modern immigrants come for the same opportunity that your ancestors sought. Where in the world would you be now if antiquity thought your predecessors were unworthy to enter this great country?

Your friend,