This morning I found myself, as I find myself many mornings, in contemplation of the overall security of America's present posture. Actually, on reflection I must say this is something I wake to every morning... and it's something which far predates the present war. But in any event, I found myself today thinking about the nation of Vietnam, how they number not among the adversaries we face, and in how many events they will in fact be an American ally.
Consider the importance of Southeast Asia and how, giving no regard to the considerable ill will the United States accumulated with a sizable portion of the Vietnamese population, that nation would stand with the United States should the balloon ever go up between us and the Chinese (provided we are strong enough to make a good show of it). The reason we could count on them is their amply demonstrated devotion to that which I think we may call without very much conceit, Americanism.
Americanism. That which Americans are dutybound to represent, protect, and develop.
Not "Capitalism." Not "Communist." Not "Fascism." No ideology at all. Rather a principle, one which decrees freedom from any ideology. A principle we should be free in our commerce so far as we not balk that of our neighbors. Might I add, this notion should likely be applied collectively just as we do it individually. When George Washington cautioned against foreign entanglements, he sure wasn't counseling us "Run away and hide" (else America joining wars of liberation in the 2oth century was unjustifiable) but he and the wisest of the Founders sure didn't want us messing up, riding herd over, dictating or even disturbing any other nation's interests.
Not "Christianity." Not "Buddhism." I suppose neither "Judaism" nor "Islam." Yes, people: as Americans we need be free from religion. It is only in this condition we may be free in religion (and one might add, science).
The core principle in Americanism gives regard to the notion You are your own Man, or, for the politically correct among us, You are your own individual. You are free to find your own destiny.
What your pastor has to say about it, keep that to yourself. I couldn't be less interested in his notion of faith, because in my esteem he's already demonstrated his deficiency in that regard by seeking to place his notions above and over yours, and I freely defy you to refute that in all truth.
Your commerce cannot be infringed, so long as it will not interfere with the commerce of the majority of the people; and a means of government best designed to ensure this is what the Founders vouchsafed us, they having mustered all the grace they were able to access and exploit.
Again: you will not impede my commerce unless you can demonstrate it is damaging your commerce and that of the greater society. Demonstrably and tangibly, that is. Supernatural notions enter not into the affairs of government, else unwarranted infringement inevitably follows.
By the way, I'm no more inclined to have your doctor, medical or other, tell me the shape of the world or the condition of our souls any more than I would have your pastor, or imam, or priest instruct me... or any more than I would have you submit to my conception of how this all works or what is required for a good life. I listen, and I assess. This is how we learn. Then I throw my lot in with those from whom I discern the most sense and verifiable truthfulness. But in the end, the judgment is my own as best informed as I am able to make it.
I would seek only you submit in the way I have: which is to serve one's own perceptions of how express gratitude for all the gifts conferred in this marvelous if imperfect World, whatever hand or not-hand provided, without infringing the freedom of the fellow to do so equally.
Now please stop trying to enforce your conceptions on me. Liberty is mine as much as it is yours. Best of all is if you stop weeping when you aren't permitted limitless depredations or free rein in despoiling the heritage we the people have been bequeathed in common.