Moving well beyond ridiculous into the completely asinine is a petition circulating in Nashville, TN to ban all foreign languages from use on any official communications and publications. The petition has received enough signatures to be placed on the November ballot. Read about it here.
Petitions such as this are completely un-American; they are not at all in keeping with the values of our forebears. For Christians and other followers of the Abrahamic faiths, petitions such as these are completely antireligious; they fly in the face of the hospitality that is central to our religious faith.
But rather than address this embarrassment with either of those truths, I’ll address it with a personal word. My family and I lived outside the United States for a short period of time. The country where we lived does not have English as a primary language.
For us, going to the grocery store or sending a letter back home or helping our children meet and play with other children at the park or finding our way to church the first time were all challenges. Many times our saviors were people patient with our very limited abilities in their language and people who were willing to try their little bit of English to help us understand. Their generosity allowed us to survive.
And now a part of my country — a part of the country that I, in fact, used to enjoy — is not going to return the favor. I’m ashamed of those in Nashville who pushed this effort, and I hope and pray it is soundly defeated in November.