By what measures should U.S. be judged?

OlympiaJuly 5, 2013 

What measure shall we use to judge our nation? I often hear the rabid right tout that we’re the best, most civilized nation in the world and a Christian nation to boot. Are we? By what standard?

I offer the view of Cardinal Roger Mahony that “any society is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members: the last, the least, the littlest.” If we apply this standard, then one only has to look at The Olympian stories on June 23 to ask what in the world are we doing?

I applaud Glen Knowlton’s June 26 letter on our Mexico (Berlin) Wall. Drone patrols, 24-hour patrol officers, further construction — at least $46 billion. What’s next? A Canada fence?

How much health research or poverty assistance or college tuition could we buy with that money? Does this fence mania make us safer? Remember: China built the Great Wall; it didn’t work. Invaders simply bribed the door guards. Does it make us more civilized or Christian?

Reread Mahony’s words; he didn’t say the measure is how big a fence you have or how many you turn away, did he? For Afghanistan, we bought at least $25 billion in military equipment, only to now be destroying $7 billion of it as surplus, spending $12-plus billion to return some and repair the returned equipment. All while the GOP still filibusters mere millions for education, food and health.

Most civilized? Christian priorities?

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