By HDN Editorial Board
Terrorists have challenged our nation. We have united, determined that we will not let them erode or destroy our freedoms.
Our freedoms are precious. They are also somewhat complicated to understand. Now may be a very good time for us to make sure we all understand what it is that we are protecting. Our nation is more than a flag that we love, a national anthem that bring tears to our eyes even though most of us lack the vocal range to sing it.
We have witnessed alarming acts in our country by American citizens who don't understand the principles our nation is based on: murder by people who claim to be acting in the name of religious fundamentalism, intolerance for the religious views of others and failure to recognize that their right to practice them is protected in this country, insistence that this is a Christian nation, hate crimes against people the perpetrators consider unacceptably different from them.
This nation stands for tolerance of the differences that separate us because its founders understood a basic notion that we are bound by our humanity.
Thus we have such wonderful things as freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. No one, not an individual or the government, can impose certain religious beliefs upon us. No one can stop us from expressing our point of view unless we are attempting to endanger others with our words. And our journalists are free to make sure that the institutions that were created to serve us and guarantee our freedoms are doing that.
These things are what make us the great nation we are. It is distressing when we read that our students don't understand this, that our teachers don't understand this. We have got to understand these fundamentals or they will be in danger of extinction as a result of our own lack of interest or attention rather than from a threat from some faraway place.