Real Texas Freedom

Monday, July 09, 2007


On June 21, 2007, I submitted an op-ed article I wrote to the Austin American-Statesman
newspaper, hoping they would run it. It was originally 1,456 words in length. The editor emailed me back the next day to tell me he liked it, but couldn't use an editorial commentary of that length. He asked if I would consider editing it down to "...somewhere in the vicinity of 750 words?" Without losing too much of the originally intended message, I managed to accomplish that task, and they published it on Independence Day, July 4, 2007. I'd like to share these thoughts and feelings with each of you. Some of you may have read it already, but I'll send it to you anyway. If you feel this piece has any merit, please feel free to share it with others. If not, just delete it. Thanks.Roy A. Henley
Make America's future as glorious as its past
Austin American-Statesman
Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I sometimes get a sad feeling when I think about what's happening in
our nation today. There's so much dissension everywhere, and pride for
our country has diminished. I miss the great times we once had, and
wish something could be done to restore them.

Newspaper and television reports aren't much help, with so many stories
about crime, drug abuse and disregard for human rights. Disrespect for
one another and the laws of our society seem to be growing, too. And
through it all, the movies we watch and songs we hear often encourage
such behavior.

To make things worse, partisan politics is threatening many crucial
issues, but across the country, our legislators and judges seem
possessed by a disregard for public opinion. The sad part is, we're the
ones allowing this to happen.

What became of our government of the people, by the people and for the
people? In school, we were told we live in a democracy where the
majority rules. What ever happened to that?

Now we're faced with another dilemma: the immigration issue. This
further confirms my beliefs about political disregard for the will of
the people. Though most of us have no objections to anyone coming to
our country seeking a better life, we still want our borders secured.
We simply want immigrants to come here legally, learn our language, pay
taxes and assimilate into American culture.

We're also threatened by an insidious enemy whose combatants are
cowardly religious fanatics spreading terror around the world. For
them, killing innocent people is not for love of country; it's done in
the name of Islam. Sadly, the Silent Majority watches from the shadows
as the foundation of our nation crumbles.

Another sign of political disregard is the ease with which our
electorates have given in to the demands of certain extremists. As a result,
any mention of God or Christmas, displaying the Ten Commandments or
praying in school will invite judicial wrath.

And would someone please tell me why we hold our so-called celebrities
in such high esteem? How can they possibly have more value to us than
our real heroes; those who dedicate their lives to keeping us and our nation safe, educated and healthy?

I heard a song recently by country singer Merle Haggard. It asked this
question: "Are the Good Times Over for Good?"

While listening to the words, I thought of all the things gone wrong in
our country. We're frustrated by people killing and robbing one another. We've witnessed the horror of Sept. 11 and we're worried about our safety. But for years we've "kicked" God out of our lives, and now we're left wondering what's happening to our once civilized world.

Are the good times really over for good?

I'd like to believe they're not. I still have faith in the roots of America, and pray that someday, somehow we'll regain our senses. This can only happen, though, if we stand up for our rights, and demand that
our politicians provide the leadership they promised. It's time for
them to start listening to the people again, or expect to be replaced
by someone who will.

Inviting God back into our nation isn't a bad idea, either. Only then,
I believe, can we ever hope to bring back common sense, and as a
nation, begin to live and let live again.

Respecting the rights and beliefs of others, without trying to instill
our own into their lives is only right. However, I don't want extremists forcing their beliefs on me, and I certainly don't want them changing our time-honored traditions or threatening the sanctity of our nation.

Like most Americans, I love this country, and it's troubling to realize
we're losing our status as the world's leader. This isn't going to
change, though, until we all get involved in our future.

It's time to stand tall, and before it's too late, demand that our
leaders return to us a government we can all live with. The world's
respect for us is fading fast, and if we continue the way we're headed,
it may soon become just another memory.

God bless us all, and God bless America.
(Roy A. Henley, who lives in Spicewood, TX is a retired Houston police officer and a past president of the Highland Lakes Writers Clubin Marble Falls, TX.)


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