The Land of Good & Evil?

Guest Post by Lewis H. Goldstein

Toworeap Overlook at Sunrise, Grand Canyon  c/o Wikipedia

Toworeap Overlook at Sunrise, Grand Canyon c/o Wikipedia

Recently I had the pleasure to visit the majesty of The Grand Canyon in Arizona, Brice Canyon and the magnificent mountains of Utah and its Great Salt Lake, Crater Lake in Oregon, the beautiful and winding roads through the Rockies, the spectacular drive down the Pacific Coast Highway from Oregon to California and the beautiful views of our great ocean to the west. This trip was bittersweet. The memories from when I first visited 43 years ago kept flowing back. Our natural beauties remain the same. Nothing can change what we have from sea to shining sea. The dichotomy between the physical beauty of Arizona, Utah and other states in our union and the negative political nature and non-recognition of social justice is troubling.

How many states and many of the people who live in those states can refuse to accept social justice and the fact that we were all (unfortunately except slaves) supposedly created equal when this nation was created is beyond troubling. It was difficult not to be thinking of the homicides on Staten Island and in Ferguson. The injustices against many groups of our citizens must NEVER leave our thoughts. There is still racism, overt and covert in our nation. There are still states which refuse to understand and recognize that those of us born gay are entitled to equal rights. There are too many who feel that a woman’s body is the property of the state and not of the individual woman to make her own choices. Injustice still exists and needs to be corrected.

With all of the prejudices in states such as Arizona and Utah there are many good people. We saw and met many who were involved in the fight for social justice for all. In Arizona we met a lesbian couple selling fantastic vegan food from a cart at a farmer’s market. Sara Presler and her partner are now good friends. Soon after we entered Utah we came across a vegan restaurant with the Pride Flag outside.

We are the land of GOOD & EVIL. Part of the “bitter” this trip was knowing that I will never pass through this natural splendour again. I hope that those who were with me on the trip and others younger than I will share this experience in 43 years and take a moment to remember me and the causes I fought for in my life of  _ _ years if not sooner. The activist folk songs of Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Peter, Paul and Mary and Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix swarmed into my mind after forty-three years. I often wish I had my own Bobby McGee. Maybe I will?

With all of its warts this is still the best nation on this sphere we call Earth. We recently observed and memorialized the attacks on our freedom by terrorists from another part of the world. We continue to see discrimination, persecution and yes, at times genocide against Christians in the Middle East, Jews in Europe, Atheists in much of the world, penalties of death for those who are gay in many African and Asian nations and evil much worse than is in our great nation. We see the maniacal acts of ISIS, HAMAS and other terrorist groups. We see Palestinians treated, in many cases, as second class citizens in Israel. Yes, we have our blemishes yet they pale when compared to the atrocities elsewhere on Earth.


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