FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Truth Matters

by MONICA BENDERMAN

I received an email message not long ago – it contained these statements:

“It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion. It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the VETERAN, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble. It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the VETERAN, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.”

Truth matters. I wonder if people will ever reach the point where the truth takes precedence over the need to control others.

It is NOT the veteran who gives us freedom of religion. It is the veteran who has gone to war over arguments of religion between cowardly, self-centered people who refuse to understand just what freedom of religion means.

It is NOT the veteran who gives us freedom of the press. It is the veteran who has sacrificed their life because freedom of the press has been interpreted to mean spreading propaganda as fact in an effort to sway the consensus of the masses toward supporting a cowardly, self-centered attempt at controlling others.

It is NOT the veteran who gives us freedom of speech. It is the veteran who has spent years away from their own life under the orders of those too cowardly to listen when others speak from a different perspective, choosing instead to destroy the voices they fear.

It is NOT the veteran who gives us the freedom to assemble. It is the veteran who has been forced to step in when those who should be assembling for themselves do nothing until there is nothing left except war.

It is NOT the veteran who has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the veteran who has faced the injustice of war because cowardly, self-centered people are too afraid of their own weaknesses to allow the truth to stand on its own.

It is NOT the veteran who has given us the right to vote. It is the veteran who has died because cowardly, self-centered people believe money buys the ability to lead others and others simply follow, regardless of the depth of the chasm whose edge they have been led to.

Truth Matters.

How can there be freedom of religion if we are not willing to tolerate the religions of others?

How can there be freedom of the press if we are not willing to question the information we are given?

How can there be freedom of speech if the speeches we give are nothing more than a criticism of what others are trying to say?

How can we expect the exercise of our freedom to assemble to have any value if the assembled masses are doing little more than throwing temper tantrums at not being in control?

How can we expect fair treatment in a court of law if we are not willing to respect the laws in our own actions of living?

How can we expect our vote to matter if we do not hold those we elect accountable to their promises and our expectations?

Isn’t each person responsible for their right to believe in the religious teachings of their choosing?

Isn’t each person responsible for their right to knowledge and information – for their own education regarding the affairs they choose to be involved with?

Isn’t each person responsible for giving voice to their opinions and beliefs – and if each person accepts that responsibility for themselves, are they not also responsible for respecting the rights of others to do the same, whether as individuals or in an assembly?

If we are to demand fair treatment for ourselves, isn’t each person also responsible for ensuring fair treatment before making accusations against the actions of others?

After the vote, isn’t there an individual responsibility for ensuring that each vote becomes more than just a checkmark on an empty page?

If we are in danger of losing our freedom of religion, isn’t it because we have not practiced what we have preached?

If we are in danger of losing integrity in our news reporting, isn’t because we have not asserted our right to know and understand the truth?

If we are in danger of losing our freedom of speech, isn’t it because we have chosen to remain silent?

If we are in danger of losing our right to assemble, isn’t it because we have wasted the effort when assembled together?

If we are in danger of being treated unjustly, isn’t it because we have chosen to disregard justice?

If we do not believe our vote has counted, isn’t it because we have not risen to hold those we have elected accountable?

If we want the freedoms we claim to be ours, then why are we not taking actions to show we will let nothing and no one take them away?

If we believe our rights to be as important as we profess, then why do we profess it to be the responsibility of our veterans to defend them?

If our rights matter as much as we demand, then why are we not the ones on the frontlines living as if we actually believe what we say?

How can we be free if we are not willing to defend that freedom for ourselves?

MONICA BENDERMAN, and her husband, Sgt. Kevin Benderman, a ten-year Army veteran who served a combat tour in Iraq and a year in prison for his public protest of war, continue to work within their community for peace. They may be reached at mdawnb@coastalnow.net.

 

More articles by:
November 23, 2017
Kenneth Surin
Discussing Trump Abroad
Jay Moore
The Failure of Reconstruction and Its Consequences
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Trout and Ethnic Cleansing
John W. Whitehead
Don’t Just Give Thanks, Pay It Forward One Act of Kindness at a Time
Chris Zinda
Zinke’s Reorganization of the BLM Will Continue Killing Babies
David Krieger
Progress Toward Nuclear Weapons Abolition
Rick Baum
While Public Education is Being Attacked: An American Federation of Teachers Petition Focuses on Maintaining a Minor Tax Break
Paul C. Bermanzohn
The As-If Society
Cole A. Turner
Go Away, Kevin Spacey
Ramzy Baroud
70 Years of Broken Promises: The Untold Story of the Partition Plan
Binoy Kampmark
A New Movement of Rights and the Right in Australia
George Ochenski
Democratic Party: Discouraged, Disgusted, Dysfunctional
Nino Pagliccia
The Governorship Elections in Venezuela: an Interview With Arnold August
Christopher Ketcham
Spanksgiving Day Poem
November 22, 2017
Jonathan Cook
Syria, ‘Experts’ and George Monbiot
William Kaufman
The Great American Sex Panic of 2017
Richard Moser
Young Patriots, Black Panthers and the Rainbow Coalition
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima Darkness
Lee Artz
Cuba Libre, 2017
Mark Weisbrot
Mass Starvation and an Unconstitutional War: US / Saudi Crimes in Yemen
Frank Stricker
Republican Tax Cuts: You’re Right, They’re Not About Economic Growth or Lifting Working-Class Incomes
Edward Hunt
Reconciling With Extremists in Afghanistan
Dave Lindorff
Remembering Media Critic Ed Herman
Nick Pemberton
What to do About Al Franken?
November 21, 2017
Gregory Elich
What is Behind the Military Coup in Zimbabwe?
Louisa Willcox
Rising Grizzly Bear Deaths Raise Red Flag About Delisting
David Macaray
My Encounter With Charles Manson
Patrick Cockburn
The Greatest Threats to the Middle East are Jared Kushner and Mohammed bin Salman
Stephen Corry
OECD Fails to Recognize WWF Conservation Abuses
James Rothenberg
We All Know the Rich Don’t Need Tax Cuts
Elizabeth Keyes
Let There be a Benign Reason For Someone to be Crawling Through My Window at 3AM!
L. Ali Khan
The Merchant of Weapons
Thomas Knapp
How to Stop a Rogue President From Ordering a Nuclear First Strike
Lee Ballinger
Trump v. Marshawn Lynch
Michael Eisenscher
Donald Trump, Congress, and War with North Korea
Tom H. Hastings
Reckless
Franklin Lamb
Will Lebanon’s Economy Be Crippled?
Linn Washington Jr.
Forced Anthem Adherence Antithetical to Justice
Nicolas J S Davies
Why Do Civilians Become Combatants In Wars Against America?
November 20, 2017
T.J. Coles
Doomsday Scenarios: the UK’s Hair-Raising Admissions About the Prospect of Nuclear War and Accident
Peter Linebaugh
On the 800th Anniversary of the Charter of the Forest
Patrick Bond
Zimbabwe Witnessing an Elite Transition as Economic Meltdown Looms
Sheldon Richman
Assertions, Facts and CNN
Ben Debney
Plebiscites: Why Stop at One?
LV Filson
Yemen’s Collective Starvation: Where Money Can’t Buy Food, Water or Medicine
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail