A future Memorial Day in an American theocracy
By James Atticus Bowden
John hurried past the "Memorial Day Ceremony" banner and burst through the double doors. He was late. He heard Mary checking the sound system before he saw her. "Hey, I'm here," called John.
"Great, we need your expertise," Mary smiled gracefully.
"Ok, on what? I thought I was going to help move some of the heavy plants."
Mary laughed, "Oh, no, Mr. Ex-military, we need your help for getting the flags right and everything. We want to honor the veterans properly. Every year there are fewer vets, especially now that we're at peace."
"Peace? We withdrew from Iraq and Afghanistan. That's surrender more than peace. Maybe, we aren't fighting the Islamists today, but they're fighting us and they're going to attack again, harder"
Mary stepped back from the mike. Her arched eyebrows accented her sharp tone of voice, "Really, John. How can they attack worse than they did on "9-11 Two"? And, it's hate speech to say ‘Islamist' when the enemy is Terrorism."
John walked past her to the flags. He measured her with his eyes, pausing to pray before he spoke rashly. "I'll get these military service flags in the right order. Army first, of course."
The air conditioning hummed. After John fixed the flags, he looked around. He strode to the back where some chairs were blocking the aisle. Just as John lifted one, Mary shouted, "John! No, those stay there. Thanks."
"Those are for the ‘Diversity Monitors'. They're required to be present and prominent."
Jack's thoughts flashed with anger. 'Not when my testimonial is done'. He walked to where Mary was puttering with a huge floral arrangement.
"Mary, why are there three chairs for the Diversity Monitors?"
"Well, you have the usual one from the government. Then there is one from approved monitoring groups. And, we learned this week that we have to have one for a victim group. They're going to start visiting too."
"They aren't visiting. They are spying."
"They're just here to prevent hate speech that cause hate crimes."
"No ma'am. They're here because ‘9-11 Two' was so awful, so wide spread, so clearly the work of Islamists that a few people attacked mosques and Arab-looking people."
"Those attacks were caused by bigots, calling themselves ‘Christian', and saying Muslims did the attacks."
"Muslims did attack. They're called Islamists. They're on a Jihad."
"You can't say that. You can't criticize Islam. That's hate speech. It's the Law of the Land."
"A judge decreed it. Other judges backed him up. Because foreigners do it. It's their stupid laws. It's not the Law. It's just judicial tyranny. The state is a Human Secular Theocracy."
"I can't believe you, John. Things are so much better. Those awful people aren't on the radio or the internet trying to make America a Fundamentalist Nation. Forcing their ideas on us. I know you don't think I pay attention to politics, but I remember when the Moderates kept Bush from getting those extremists on the Supreme Court. They saved the Constitution. Bush let the attack in through his open borders."
"You're right about the borders. It cost his party the next election. But, the borders aren't secure now."
"No one is attacking us either."
"They don't need to attack when we surrender like Spain and the rest of Europe. They're invading the country as illegal immigrants."
"Undocumented Immigrants are a victim group. That's more hate speech," Mary's brown eyes turned cold. "We need to resolve this before tomorrow. If you're going to speak in public, you can't say hate speech."
"I'm giving my testimonial about why Americans died in the Armed Services. Why it's important to remember on Memorial Day and give thanks and honor. Especially honor."
"Why is it important in your opinion?"
"Because they died for freedom. Our freedom. Our children's freedom."
Mary smiled, "That's so true. Freedom for everyone. Inclusive, diversity, multi-cultural, welcoming, open minds and hearts. That's what we're about."
John smiled back, "Then, you'll find my testimony interesting. I spoke to some other men, and women, sharing it."
"Yeah, it'll be straight from the Bible and history."
"Bible? I don't know. Some things from the Bible are hate speech, you know. Like the anti-Gay passages."
John's smile broadened, "I'll talk about God-given rights for individuals. I'll talk about the willingness to take up a cross and be crucified. For real. And, I'll end it with here I stand and I can do no other."
"That sounds different."
"Yes, this church will never be the same."
James Atticus Bowden has specialized in inter-disciplinary long range 'futures' studies for over a decade. He is employed by a Defense Department contractor. He is a retired United States Army Infantry Officer, a 1972 graduate of the United States Military Academy and earned graduate degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University. He holds three elected Republican Party offices in Virginia. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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