January 11, 2011

Standing Together

I really didn't intend to write about this as I'm of the opinion that giving something distasteful any mention, even if bad, is to give it undeserved attention. However, my fingers have taken over my resolve and are forcing me to type something about the tragedy in Arizona over the weekend. Blame the fingers, they have a mind of their own.

I realize the gunman acted alone (and no I will not name him and bring more notoriety to his actions). To say he acted over the line of what passes for dialogue is a gross understatement. But we have prominent media figures regularly enforcing that discussion is akin to Arguing with Idiots or Stupid White Men. We are encouraged to "take back our country" (to what? from who? are we under siege? why didn't anyone tell ME?). We avoid civil exchanges and discussion believing that the folks who disagree are enemies and encouraging us to stand courageously and brave and if necessary, with guns or weapons to protect ourselves from our enemy.

When we listen to idiots, we become idiots. I wholly endorse freedom of speech and if someone wants to "target", "lock 'n load", or "take 'em out", they are entitled to say as much. I could also say the moon is made of cheese.

The problem is when such Idiocracy is heard and embraced. (if you've not seen the movie, it was probably the stupidest, funniest, and scariest thing I've ever seen... esp. because right after watching the DVD, we watched New Year's Eve at Times Square). That was when the movie became a horror show with eerily prophetic commentary. One of the people with a microphone tried to get someone to spell the name of the guy behind Wikileaks... and chortled at A-S-S... I just cringed. The movie wasn't fiction, it was a documentary.

When someone in prominence publishes a map of targets and encourages people to be ready to fight it furthers a divide that really doesn't exist. Let's face it, we all love our country, even if we don't agree on the best way to express that love. We are not enemies, we simply disagree. That is SUPPOSED to be what is wonderful about our nation. We should not be taking guns to each otherthrowing bricks at rallies or shaking angry fists. We should not be calling each other nasty names. When violent rhetoric and imagery is used by either side, those who listen to it and then repeat it are the true guilty parties.

Alarmist and conspiracy theorists have us running around terrified of each other. Maybe that means that the terrorists have won, they have us fighting so much against each other that we're our own worst enemies. I had to endure a nasty shunning from a friend after seeing I "liked" our president on my FB page. Yes, I like our president. There are many ways he's disappointed me but many politicians do. But because I am not spouting vitriolic hatred and anger, I'm un-American? Where in the world does that come from?

What I'm talking about today is not about placing blame anywhere but ourselves. We are buying into the hysteria and fear. We are turning against each other. We need each other. We do not need to dilute our power.

"...every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand." (Matthew 12:25)

It is time to stand together and say a prayer for those who died on Saturday, January 8, 2011.

U.S. District Judge John Roll, 63
Dorthy Murray, 76
Dorwin Stoddard, 76
Christina Greene, 9
Phyllis Scheck, 79
Gabe Zimmerman, 30


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