Citizens expressing themselves and their rights in peaceful, public demonstrations end up caught in terrible violence, cruel beatings, arrest and who knows what else?
As a freedom loving person, it is impossible not to be moved and concerned for our fellow human beings on the other side of the world in Iran.
I know that I take for granted the freedom I enjoy as a citizen of this nation.
I am grateful that our nation is not ruled by a "supreme ruler," an unquestioned religious leader who claims the sanctions of God to justify every action, even those involving brutality and torture. Today, I am most grateful for "the separation of church and state." I am thankful for our open, secular, social fabric that allows each of us to work out our own faith without imposing or being imposed upon by some overriding authority. I am grateful for our forefathers and mothers who saw and understood the importance of such openness of religious expression, including no religious expression at all.
I am praying that the cleansing power of liberty would wash all such madmen away in its powerful wake. I am praying that as a people we might understand again the importance of diversity, freedom of expression and basic human rights.
Today, I am praying for the spread of liberty into places where it does not exist. I am praying for those who in this very moment are making tremendous, painful and dangerous sacrifices for the cause of liberty.
And, I am thankful for what we have in this nation and for the freedom we enjoy that allows us to work hard at making things even better.