Thursday, February 18, 2010

An open letter to Bob Barr


When you changed your allegiance from Republican to Libertarian so you could run for President, many Libertarians- most definitely including myself- were appalled; I knew you as a religious bigot and the architect of almost everything wrong with the modern Republican party, one of the reasons I left after thirty years as a loyal Republican. Knowing this, you said a lot of reassuring things, recanting your entire political life. If I had believed you, I would today feel betrayed.

In your latest post on his blog, The Barr Code, you ridicule the Air Force Academy's decision to allow volunteers to erect a worship circle for Pagan cadets, and Pagan servicemen nearby. You say, "But I have to tell you, if I were in the Air Force and was being commanded by an officer who practices hedonism as a religion (another part of the definition of “pagan”), and who dances around a circle of stones in the woods carrying a lighted candle, I would be more than a little worried about following him into battle."

Let me ask you, Bob; would you have followed Air Force veteran Douglas Wilkey? How about Sgt. Patrick D. Stewart? How about Purple Heart and Bronze Star holder Abraham Kooiman? Or fellow Purple Heart and Bronze Star holder Stephen P. Snowberger III?

You say that a Pagan "has little or no religion..."... and yet, these Pagans- and many, many more, currently serving and heroically fallen- had enough faith in something larger than themselves to place their bodies between their country and harm's way- something you chose not to do yourself. And despite their willing sacrifice, you would deny them the solace of their faith while they serve. Take another look at PFC Kooiman's grave; notice that there's a before and after picture- when he died, he was denied the symbol of his faith on his tombstone by you and other religious bigots in power. It took the Supreme Court to force this simple last gift of dignity to our fallen heroes.

Bob, in your life you have left the Democratic party and the Republican party. If you truly have any belief in Libertarian ideals and the Libertarian party, I ask for the good of the party and the good of the country that you leave this party, too; for as long as you are the standard bearer, it will neither receive nor deserve the votes of anyone who believes in liberty or the Constitution.

8 comments:

Will Shetterly said...

I only read a few of the comments there. The guy pointing out that Barr is forgetting the First Amendment has it right.

Joel Monka said...

Not necessarily- it is the opinion of many that Paganism is not covered by the constitution

Will Shetterly said...

Man, they're as bad as conservative muslims who say that only "religions of the book" should be free.

Joel Monka said...

Yeah- but as of right now, they're in power. Remember that the Constitution only says what the elected officials or the judges say that it says.

Will Shetterly said...

My father used to say that constitutions and bills of rights are overrated for much that reason. (He was still a big believer in the Bill of Rights.)

Rosamund said...

There are so many problems with Barr's letter, I don't even know where to begin.

But I'll get to it on my own blog soon.

kinsi said...

Ugh. I hate Bob Barr. Turns out I even live in the same voting precinct as he does (or did - the picture of him voting in 08 was taken there at least).

In 04 I was the state coordinator for the Kucinich campaign. One of my fondest moments was when Barr was speaking an event we all went to. He was speaking against the patriot act. I got to ask the first question - "Mr. Barr - it's all good and well you're against the Patriot Act now, but where were you when it mattered? Why did you vote for it?" His face turned bright pink, started to stutter, and let out, "well, none of us actually READ the bill first."

Joel Monka said...

There's a lesson in that story- how many will vote for the healthcare bill without reading it? Some parts of the Patriot act were and are necessary- but all kinds of extra stuff got attached before it came to a vote; will we come to regret the barnacles stuck to the ship of healthcare as we did with the Patriot act?