There is something to be said about the way laws are enacted and enforced in the United States. In theory, regulations are passed to protect the unalienable rights the constitution and Bill of Rights grant citizens. From protecting the constituents’ lives to enacting social reform, legislation ensures that we all agree on the value of what we are protecting and the punishment for violating these mandates. Prison, fines, probation and/or death are the price to pay if one happens to break the law.
However, laws were designed to address special circumstances of which a minority of people will actually be accussed and found guilty. Not everyone follows the rules to the letter and that’s when enforcing them kicks in. The judicial system was designed to take care of the dissenting group that refuses to conform to the rules. In some cases, the distention is justified and new laws replace the existing ones that resulted in the conflict to redefine or adhere to the social norm. This is why in many parts of the country the fight for LGBTQIA rights was to force legistative reform and not a battle to be accepted socially. Their rights as citizens cannot be revoked or minimized because of religious creed, morals or beliefs; that’s why we separated the Church from the State, to avoid creating public policy based that would discriminate based on religious preference. Values and morals can come from God but in the land of men, the humans make rules for the mayority regardless of their preferred deity.
This is why the Muslim ban is becoming a hot topic. Checking up on the numbers, there is no prevalent majority when it comes to religion unless you group all Christians together, and many -about 22.8%- are turning away from the concept of God and organized religion altogether. Based on this graphic the immigration ban affects a very small contingent of the USA’s population. It becomes inconsequential to the mayority who can’t quite understand nor care about the impacts of the Executive Orders being enacted on this front. By allowing our leaders to legislate against a small group of CITIZENS we are alienating their rights. Our government is infringing on their constitutionally protected civil liberties. Because you are Muslim you can’t travel without having to be detained at an airport, could be grilled for hours, and sent back to a country that is no longer yours. When the law violates a minority’s right, society must fight to have it revoked. This is why millions are banding together and even getting fired (ex-US Attorney Yates, you are my hero) for protesting and lobbying against the immigration ban. Together we must stand strong, regardless of creed, to ensure all citizens’ rights are protected. Period.
Laws aren’t meant to be broken, they are meant to be challenged. Just because you don’t like a policy, the fact that you disagree doesn’t give you the go ahead to break it without consequences. Even the people protesting the NDAPL understand the risk of being arrested for civil disobedience, a burden they will gladly pay to stand with the Native Americans and support their plight. The idea that they could lose their lives in this fight against the goverment and private interests doesn’t deter them from doing what is right. This is why women have marched for their rights throughout the decades. This is how an entire gender managed to secure the right to work, own land, vote, get divorced, get education and to get proper healthcare. Just because you think a woman belongs in the kitchen doesn’t make it so. The majority doesn’t necessarily rule in a democratic society as they can still be wrong based on global expectations, the mores and values of the times and the current definition of progress.
We must do what is correct not what is most convenient. Countries can’t grow without positive changes and attitudes. The divisive alternate facts mind trick being played by the new administration must be stopped. Critical thinking must make a comback. If you find yourself surrounded by parrots retweeting fake truths, silence them with facts and knowledge. Stand strong and unite with those who share your passions and fears. Together we can end this perception that the white privilege Christian majority owns this country, and that the rich have us by the proverbial balls.
You’d be surprised to learn there are more conscientious objecters than previously advertised. Run for office, connect with your local communities. Be ready to counteract the bigotry and anger these new Executive Orders and presidency have brought back to life and into the mainstream spotlight. It is up to you to “Make America Great Again”. If not, we will end up like Nazi Germany where the nice people remained silent and the world paid for their inaction…