Sunday, July 17, 2022

A Modern Take on "First they came..."

Conservative Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has endorsed Justice Clarence Thomas’s opinion that the Supreme Court decision validating gay marriage throughout the land should be overturned, leaving it up to each state to decide the matter (https://mol.im/a/11022059).


With reverence to German Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöller and his powerful poem of creeping authoritarianism and the silent complicity of intellectuals and clergy to the atrocities of Nazi Germany (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_...), here’s a modern take on the loss of national freedoms Americans have come to take for granted: 


First they stripped voting rights. 

Next they stripped the right to an abortion. 

Soon they’ll strip the right to same-sex marriage. 

They’ll follow by stripping the right to interracial unions. 

Then they’ll strip the right to use contraceptives.

The separation of church and state will fall next.

The right to peaceably assemble will be curtailed.

Books will be banned, histories will be rewritten, truths will be erased.

Social Security, minimum wage laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act, unemployment compensation, work safety regulations, environmental protections and the Affordable Care Act and will tumble like dominoes. 

All this, and more, because a self-absorbed public will be too distracted and ignorant to care, too indifferent to speak out, too lazy to vote. 


So, in the words of Pastor Niemöller, 


Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”  

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