The Philosophy that Undermines Neighborhoods

Anthony Lewis (a syndicated columnist) complains "we live in a time when many Americans, liberal and conservative, feel that society is out of control. Individuals act as if only they count, as if they owe nothing to the community."

I believe that this is the underlying theme of many of our social problems; I lay the blame in the ACLU's lap. For decades, they supported cases of individuals' rights in preference to communities' rights.

Now, they must surely be laughing at us, because I see that even Houston has bought into their philosophy. Locally, a street closing prompted some residents to sue the city. Understand that even those residents agree that the street is safer, but they feel "inconvenienced." Nationally, our Representative, Tom DeLay, assails the EPA because some of his friends want to bypass EPA regulations and use their land to rake in extra money, even if it hurts everyone else.

So now we live with this "why should I do something that helps everyone when I can come out ahead by kicking my neighbor" attitude. To me, this is such a selfish and un-Christian way of living that I cannot see its appeal to either conservatives or to liberals.

I believe that it's up to communities to reassert the rights of the many and to show our contempt of the mercenary, self-profiteering individuals who are trying to take advantage of us and, at the same time, trying to con us into thinking that they're doing it for our benefit.

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