Monday, February 12, 2007

Immigrants must adapt - a response

My mother knows a lot of people w/ a lot of opinions. She forwarded this to me with her comment, "Actually I think there is some truth in this. At first I thought it was pretty hard line, but as I kept reading I began to see their point. Thought you also might find it interesting."

I've trimmed it a little out of respect for your time. The news story is posted on, the entire commentary portion (explained in my response) is easily found by googling any key portion of the text.

Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.
A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia and her Queen at a special meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his Ministers made it clear that extremists would face a crackdown. Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state, and its laws were made by parliament. "If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia< /st1:cou ntry-region> is not for you", he said on National Television.
Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. (Not John Howard's)
Quote: "IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians."
"However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the 'politically correct' crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Australia ." "However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand." "This idea of Australia being a multi-cultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. And as Australians, we have our own cul ture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle."
"This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom"
"We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society .. Learn the language!"
"Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture."
"We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us."
"If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like "A Fair Go", then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. By all means, keep your culture, but do not force it on others.
"This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom,
"If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted."
Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves, American citizens will find the backbone to start speaking and voicing the same truths!

I felt compelled to respond,

You're right, there is SOME truth. But from "Quote: 'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT'" it diverges from a news piece to a commentary of either American or Australian origina (sic) that was tacked on.

Few problems w/ the author's premises at least as they apply to the United States of America.

"This idea of Australia being a multi-cultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. And as Australians, we have our own cul ture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle."

A multi-cultural community is a large PART of our national American identity, not a dilution of it. Remember the Great American Melting Pot? People bring their culture and SHARE it with us, making a more complex, flavorful stew (Salsa, curry, chop suey -- oh my!). If America's sovereignty is diluted --maybe it is -- I wouldn't blame immigrants, I'd look toward corporations, lobbyists and corrupt officials (e.g. Abramoff, Delay, Marianas Islands) who break up unions and fix elections in other nations keeping wages artificially low, shelter income in Cayman Island post office boxes so they don't pay taxes, offer scientists $10,000 each to cast doubt on global warming and consolidate the media so that a nation who watches only network news, at best, could be mislead into a war against its own interests. Let's not blame immigrants. It's the powerful screwing things up, not the powerless.

As far as "Christian principles, founded this nation, " that's another partial truth, to be kind. Yes, primarily (exclusively?) of English descent, many of the people who helped kill and steal the land from the natives here were Christians. (Do you honestly think they'd have welcomed a Buddhist of Chinese descent, for example, in the First Continental Congress? ) Nevertheless, many other founders were deists and Freemasons. This explains why, in part, why the most important right, -- to Christians and those few non-Christians who were free to participate -- the very first one in the Bill of Rights is "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

It seems to me, Americans are long on backbone, we're short on a most basic understanding of our real heritage. It's not an unburnable flag or even a common language (although it makes things smoother) that make our country great; it's those inalienable human rights that OUR government first acknowledged came from our Creator that are valuable, not some red, white and blue "culture". As long as we protect and defend those rights recognized by Our Constitution, America values will be okey-dokey. If you trash our liberties to preserve our "culture" you'll be left with neither

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