Two nights ago I watched President Obama give the state of the union address to congress and the nation and tonight I am watching responses to it. I watched Rachel Maddow’s report of applause moments. There was long applause to the statement that now in 2014 it is wrong for a woman to receive 77 cents for every dollar given to a male worker. I joined in that applause. There was also long applause in honor of the marine who had served 10 terms of service in Afganistan and was seriously wounded in his next term of service. I understand the applause, but I have a question.
Why is there not equally long applause given the President for his preference for diplomacy which preserves lives to a war that results in death, destruction and suffering to civilians and armed forces alike.
Most citizens agree that there should be a new path to citizenship for the aliens living among us. On January 26, Rachel and I drove through fridged weather to South Bend to attend the naturalization of Kenson Theus as a citizen of the US. The present path to citizenship is long, hard, and expensive.
The US District Courthouse was packed with friends and families of the 49 persons to be sworn in that morning. I was impressed by the obvious mix of skin colors in the group.
The judge presiding from the US District Court of Northern Indiana was also impressed. In his remarks he welcomed those about to be citizens in what he called the nation of immigrants. He said that the emigrants had come with their cultures, languages, religions, genetic uniqueness, etc., to add to the diversity and strength of the nation. The truth of his remarks blessed me.
I wish that political leaders of the parties would have the privilege of attending such a naturalization process. The experience might change the way they talk, act and vote even on such major benefits as food stamps..
Other Mennonites and religionists could benefit from this experience as well.