The Devil Went Down to Georgia
Sinclair Lewis once opined that if fascism ever comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. I was reminded of that comment when a good friend of mine recently wrote a letter to her local newspaper in Augusta Georgia decrying the killing of nearly two thousand Palestinian civilians in Gaza, describing the deaths as part of “the systemic erosion of the rule of law in our nation and across the globe” since 9/11. A devout Christian, she concluded how from her perspective “The world, it seems, has lost its moral compass.”
Unlike many letter writers, my friend has the life experience to back up her opinion, having served twenty-seven years as a United States Army lawyer, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Much of her most recent work has involved the cases of Guantanamo detainees.
It would have been reasonable to assume that my friend’s letter would elicit a variety of responses, and one might have expected that there would be at least some agreement that a world in which killing and wars have become the norm is an unwelcome aberration. But it was not so. Out of the more than one hundred comments the vast majority were violently and caustically opposed to the principle that Israel and the United States have not exactly been role models for a peaceful world. Many of the comments were both personally insulting and, frequently, highly offensive. Some of the remarks clearly came from military veterans while others had a Christian context.