In My Opinion Caroline Porter

No winners in this presidential election

You may wonder why I have not written about the results of the presidential election. My readers and those who know me know how deep are my convictions about the political philosophies that promote advocacy for the poor and the powerless, individual freedom and with it, personal responsibility. I believe in political philosophies that enable freedom of speech and expression, and that includes religious beliefs. I am infuriated that Christian right-wingers have decided that they and they alone are the judge of who is moral and who is not. I think God will be the judge of that.

Then of course, there are those who don’t believe in God, or don’t believe that Jesus was the only prophet with good teachings, and they are just as valuable and in many cases lead lives with more good purpose and good moral judgment that many we see in our churches every Sunday. The religious right has proven once again that they don’t practice what they preach, or follow the teachings of Jesus or the NEW TESTAMENT.

This, of course, is man —made religion carved out to fit the needs of a bunch of human beings who are looking for power and control. They are a fraud, and this is why many people, good and kind, totally reject church life and membership. I suggest we re-read the history of why Europeans came to this country — which was to escape a society where the Church of England was in control.

Actually, I have written several post-election columns, but one I did not submit to the Zephyr, another I submitted and stopped publication. I am that angry and disgusted at the wars we start, the innocent people we are killing, the burgeoning national deficit, the tax breaks for the rich, and the jobs sent overseas by unpatriotic corporations. I am overwhelmed by the freedoms we are losing without being outraged, to the point where for no reason and without our knowledge the government can now see our tax records, records of the books we read and movies we rent.

Hitler was elected, folks, and convinced the people who were jobless and starving that he was the only one who could save them and in the process he worked on "cleansing the race" and invaded neighboring countries. You know the rest of the story.

.Then there is the issue of peace. What happened on September 11th was a huge national tragedy and the drama of it was unparalled. I can argue that our trying to find Osama bin Laden is justified, although there are obviously new terrorist leaders being created every day and more young people joining the movement, fueled by our unilateral invasion of two of their countries.

Michael Moore asked embarrassed Congressmen if their children had signed up for the military so they could fight the "good" fight. Of course they have not. I would like to ask every Bush supporter how many of them have a child, brother or sister in harm’s way. I believe if I asked my Rotary Club that question, not a hand would go up. You should know that at least three of our county officeholders have had children overseas, two in Iraq, and they are States Attorney Paul Mangieri and Regional Superintendent Bonnie Harris. Their sons blessedly returned alive from duty in the Middle East. I know that county board chairman Jan Occhi’s son was overseas, I’m not sure where.

Let me tell you something. I have a son in the Army, who fortunately is stationed in Washington D.C. in the infantry unit of the "Old Guard," whose chief responsibility is to provide security for the capital and the military complex. I pray every day and night he will not be shipped overseas and I ache for those who are there. Frankly, I can hardly stand to watch the news. A year before my son joined the Army, and he knows he (and we) must be prepared for anything, I protested the planned invasion of Iraq. I spoke at rallies, stood on the corner of Losey and Henderson Streets with candles and signs, marched in parades down Main St. So did millions of other people in this country and around the world. I am proud to be a member of the Knox County Peace and Justice Coalition.

Maybe in this Christmas season we should be thinking about how to bring about peace in this world, not what country we are going to invade next. We live in a country where thousands of us die on the highways every day. Thousands of us die at the hand of a family member every second. All over the world our violence towards each other as human beings is relentless. We die from drinking too much, smoking, and taking other drugs. Maybe we need to start putting a value on human life here in this country and stop killing ourselves and hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens in other countries.

Jesus was called the "Prince of Peace." The purpose of most religious teachings is to guide us towards using our brains so we are not groveling in stupid and destructive behavior with no purpose. It’s time we rise up above our basest instincts and do just that.

Caroline Porter is a freelance writer who can be reached at Other columns are online at