We – Americans – are so busy trying to vilify Iran that we fail to see how we suffer from the same and/or similar ills.

For instance, we debate the issue of homosexuality in Iran – and the persecution of homosexuals. Do we not persecute them here, in America? We accuse Iran of having an environment where homosexuals are forced to live lives of secrecy, or face abuse. Are not homosexuals in America abused? Do they not face a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which forces those in the military to live lives of secrecy? Did we not just have to extend hate crime protections to cover crimes against homosexuals?

At the U.N. General Assembly today, President Bush spoke of the need of other countries to honor the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yet, the same declaration requires all nations to promote self-government in its non self-governing territories. In the U.S., non self-governing territories would include the District of Columbia (where the vote was just denied), the U.S. Virgin Islands (where a federal case to assert the full U.S. citizenship rights of Virgin Islanders is being blocked by the Federal Government), Puerto Rico (where numerous assertions for equity have been suppressed), the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and Guam. So, how can we insist that other nations honor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights when we – ourselves – do no honor that declaration?

My brothers and sisters, the Word of God says “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, tells us to first remove the log from our own eye, then we will see clear to remove the speck from our brother. In other words, we are not without fault. When the Jews accused Mary Magdeline of sin, Christ stepped in an admonished them: “he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” The adage of old still holds true: if you live in a glass house, you should not throw stones.

America, my beloved Country, we are in danger of toppling. It may be disguised as terror or epidemic, yet we will come to learn – as did the ancient Egyptians – that the hand of our Almighty God is against us. It pains me so, to see my Country blinded by such selfishness, disrespect and hate – May the Lord have mercy upon us!

I’m keeping my eyes open. May the Lord keep the city, that my watching be not in vain.


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