Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Conservative View: When In Rome

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner (R-Stilwell).
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

When In Rome

I have often heard the old expression, “when in Rome do as the Romans do”. I believe that statement to be one of respect. When I visit someone and observe how they conduct their business, I often remind myself that how they do things is their business and not mine. Unless asked, I don’t try to convert them to fit into my personal belief system. Most countries would take a very dim view at someone from another country protesting and carrying the flag of another country within their borders. We Americans are a tolerant people to other people’s values and beliefs. I recently read some comments from our founding fathers concerning the allowing of other people from different cultures into our country.

In 1820 Alexander Hamilton wrote, "The United States have already felt the evils of incorporating a large number of foreigners into their national mass; by promoting in different classes different predilections in favor of particular foreign nations, and antipathies against others, it has served very much to divide the community and to distract our councils. It has been often likely to compromise the interests of our own country in favor of another. The permanent effect of such a policy will be, that in times of great public danger there will be always a numerous body of men, of whom there may be just grounds of distrust; the suspicion alone will weaken the strength of the nation, but their force may be actually employed in assisting an invader."

While we Americans can be tolerant, we need to remember that the values our country was founded upon are just as important as those of any other country. It is strange that no other country in the world is as tolerant to other people’s beliefs to the extent that it degrades our own heritage.

If the people in Rome were so tolerant of other cultures and allowed their values to be replaced, their city would no longer be Rome. Whenever you hear of blanket amnesty we need to remember the words of Alexander Hamilton, "To admit foreigners indiscriminately to the rights of citizens the moment they put foot in our country would be nothing less than to admit the Grecian horse into the citadel of our liberty and sovereignty." Over the past weeks the state of Arizona has taken much abuse for merely wanting to know who is coming into their house, maybe the current administration needs to read the words of the men who actually founded this country.

If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at


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