By James Zumwalt
I take great pride in flying the American flag in my backyard 24 hours a day—a flag under which I proudly served for 26 years. I take notice of that flag daily, unable to view it without thinking about the brave young Americans in uniform today continuing to serve our great nation at this most dangerous time.
I looked out my window one evening last week to ensure the spotlight still brightly illuminated the flag and was somewhat unnerved to see it upside down. Upon closer examination, I realized my aging eyes had deceived me. But the sad reality of this illusion suddenly hit me.
Those familiar with military tradition know flying the American flag upside down signals distress. I could not help but reflect, as America faces her greatest threat ever, we are indeed a nation in distress. We are a ship-of-state, navigating treacherous waters, with many onboard totally oblivious to the threats.
In a country built upon a foundation of Christian-Judeo principles, Americans enjoy the “cruise” aboard our ship-of-state, failing to recognize these principles are slowly being cast overboard by some crew members entrusted with ensuring our safety and welfare.
This country’s first Muslim congressman, Democrat Keith Ellison, made some absurd claims recently. Calling President Bush a modern day Hitler, he compared the 9/11 destruction to that of the German parliament’s Reichstag in 1933, which led to Hitler’s rise. Ellison even went so far as to hint that Bush was responsible for the events of 9/11. While he would not directly accuse Bush of planning 9/11 for fear of being labeled a nut, the insinuation was there. He suggested, “After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader (Hitler) of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted.” Addressing Atheists for Human Rights, he added, “You’ll always find this Muslim standing up for your right to be atheists all you want.”
Perhaps I am just an overly prude patriot, but I cannot conceive of a US congressman making such outlandish statements, knowing in parts of the world, such conspiratorial claims will be accepted as fact.
While our Founding Fathers’ desire was to inspire tolerance for diverse points of view, Ellison’s comments exceed such tolerance and suggest a sinister intent.
Every American has an inalienable right to practice religion of choice—even if that religion is atheism. While it is inappropriate for him to promote one religion over another, it is also clear the religion that would best serve the Muslim extremist mindset in the US is one devoid of Christian-Judeo principles. The absence of a personal Christian-Judeo foundation tends to make one unwilling to fight for the collective values democratic societies treasure the most. By definition, godless individuals are far less likely to fight for Christian-Judeo values for others than are god-fearing individuals. Thus, by fighting for atheists’ rights especially, Ellison seeks to create more fertile ground in the US for Islam to take root, minimizing the Christian-Judeo principles that first created, and have since guaranteed, our personal freedoms for almost three centuries.
To further cultivate US soil for Islam politically, Ellison seeks to suggest our democratically-elected leaders possibly planned 9/11. Perhaps emboldened by polls within the last year that, shockingly, show a large minority of supposedly educated Americans believe US government complicity was a factor in the events of that day, Ellison opted to further promote the myth. Clearly, he was emboldened too by the barrage of venal attacks other Democrats launch against Bush daily.
But Ellison steps over the line in comparing Bush to Hitler, giving credibility to allegations Bush was responsible for 9/11 when Osama bin Laden has already acknowledged his responsibility. Ellison’s fellow Democrats, if they possess an ounce of patriotism and integrity, should immediately move to discredit his comments.
As an elected official, Ellison was made a crew member onboard America’s ship-of-state. We need to have faith and confidence our elected leaders will only act in the best interests of all our citizens. By failing to reign in Congressmen Ellison now for such outlandish comments, Democratic party leaders become enablers, allowing him to hijack our ship—endangering all onboard.
Our flag indeed is flying upside down. Is anyone noticing?