The Few

It is time for a little rant here. No, not another post office story, I promise!

I was at my Sons of Italy meeting today. For part of the meeting, the “regular folk” are allowed to discuss whatever is on their minds.

A real gung ho type, a retired Colonel in the Marines, and a New York Eye-talian, stands to start discussing what is on his mind. Inwardly I groan, because when ever this guy gets on his soap box, he

  • Never gets off
  • Talks rather loudly
  • Mentions the armed services multiple times throughout his speech

I find him, at the very least, rude. At the most, I consider him abrasive.

For November’s meeting, he started his tirade with something about the ACLU and Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays, and ended with the fact he had bumper stickers to hand out announcing “Keep Christ in Christmas”.

To me, I could care less which phrase people used. I consider it a good sign that someone is polite enough to say anything in greeting. It IS a holiday season, after all, with days set aside to celebrate a variety of religiously significant occasions, culturally significant traditions, and new beginnings.

What bothers me about such slogans distributed via this bumper sticker is their divisiveness. Instead of bringing together humankind in peace and good will, slogans such as these force lines to be drawn between religions, nationalities and race.

Is that necessary?

This month, he brought with him a background on all the higher-ranking Italian Americans in the armed services. One he mentioned was General Peter Pace. “Pace”, pronounced in English to rhyme with “face” is actually pronounced “Pa cheh”, in Italian. As an Italian American, it is nice to know that this Italian American has achieved the position of Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.

If the announcement had stopped there, my blood pressure might have stayed in a reasonable range.

But, no.

“Despite how you feel about his recent controversy, it is nice to see someone have the courage to speak their mind without worrying about being politically correct.”

200 over 110, I am sure.

First, Chairman, Joint Chiefs IS political. Anyone in the position should be concerned about political correctness.

Second, the Marine Corps Oath states, in part, “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;…”

I am sure that somewhere in the Constitution, there is an amendment, oh, I don’t know, maybe Amendment XIV? That might say something about

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law, which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

I should also think that discharging service people based on with whom they sleep might be an infringement of Amendment II where it was determined that

A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms…

Especially if the decisions are based on religious views, because I am certain that the first Amendment mentions

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Anyone who wakes up one morning and decides to join the armed services and risk their life to defend our country, our constitution, our way of life, and by extension, me and all those I know and care about should be honored by those they serve with just as much as those they serve.

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