a body of unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct.
I'm not a lawyer, although I occasionally need one for my random traffic transgressions. And I'm not a historian, although I have a personal library in my house with more than 150 history books bending the shelves. I do enjoy American history. Not a bad diversion, I figure, for a guy who spent 40 years as a sports writer for the local newspaper.
So after the unbelievable events in Charlottesville, VA, last weekend, I put my brain into some free-wheeling silent running. I did that because my brain had reached critical mass and was about to explode.
I mean, c'mon, neo-Nazis in Charlottesville? Torchlight parades snaking through Thomas Jefferson's university? Stiff-armed salutes and chants of "Jews will not replace us" and "Blood and soil"?
And then, tragically, a young woman is dead.
Can this really be happening in the United States of America in 2017? When did we make that turn? Who, in 2017, makes a conscious decision to become a Nazi? I thought Naziism died with a bullet in its brain back in 1945. Do they think Eisenhower, the great defeater of Nazis, is a villain?
But 70 years later, here we are.
From where does that kind of hate arise in a nation that, defined by its very creation, supposedly embraces all?
I'm also baffled by how their reliance on Christianity comes into play here. Do some of these golf shirted, loafer wearing misanthropes wear those WWJD bracelets? OK. What would Jesus do? Tell me. I don't understand...
So the thoughts in my head swirled freely.
The ultimate aim of the neo-Nazis and other haters, as I understand it, is to transform the nation into something that is solely Christian and solely white. It echoes Hitler's Aryan philosophy, I guess, but runs counter to the natural law that guided our Founding Fathers, whose astonishing vision constructed this:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Wow. There it is. All men are created equal. All men have certain inalienable rights, which I guess is a nod to natural law. And those rights were given to us by a higher power. To all men. Naturally.
A remarkable Constitution came later to protect and guarantee those natural rights.
So who decides to become a neo-Nazi in a nation where men are (supposedly) equal? How is it that torchlight parades and funny salutes are a recruiting tool? How does resentment of others fuel racism, even in a land of opportunity? When is a woman's death her own fault? Who decides to join the wrong side of history?
I don't understand...