Tag Archives: responsibility

What we’re losing without noticing.

Civility. Compromise. Discussion.

Remember them? Me too. I feel as if I’ve been a witness to their destruction at the hands of Stridency, Volume, and Exclusion.

Consider the news this week. A man with Parkinson’s disease, engaged in the simple act of letting his opinion in the face a of anti-health care reform protest – shouted at, mocked, humiliated. Was he hit or injured? No. Can you say you didn’t believe it was about to happen the first time you saw that video? Me neither. I feared for him and admire his bravery.

Where was the voice of reason in that crowd? I’d like to think I live in a nation where people are not afraid to protect those who need it, regardless of their political stripe. Yet none of the bystanders raised a hand to stop what was going on. “This is wrong, brother. I don’t agree with him either, but this is wrong.” That is all it would have taken. It didn’t happen.

This morning’s news is that Congressmen in favor of health care reform were spat upon and called hateful names that dredge up shameful portions of our nation’s history. What has become of us when men who are responding to the voices of their constituents can be humiliated for doing their job?

An important principle of our nation gives us all a voice. We’re all blessed by that principle. I’m not sure that principle doesn’t imply that we use that voice responsibly. Who in that crowd on Capitol Hill yesterday said “this is wrong brother. I don’t agree with them either, but this is wrong”?

On social media sites, opinions on health care are often met with strident opposing responses that come across as dismissive of opinions other than what the responder holds. Friends and families become estranged because the political atmosphere calls for not only rejection of opposing opinions, but shaming those who hold them.

My son will vote in his first election in November. After seeing the tone of arguments made on-line by admired friends and family, he has made the choice to speak only with his vote on political matters. I’m proud he’ll stay engaged in the process, but saddened that the tone of discussion these days is driving his voice, and probably others, into silence.

This is wrong, brother. We don’t agree, that’s our right,  but this atmosphere is wrong.

Omawarisan

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22 Comments

Filed under Diplomacy, Ethics, hate groups, Life Lessons

Yelling “Fire!” in a Crowded Theater Filled with Pyromaniacs

I saw some op-ed on the internets that compared right wing hate media’s (O’Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh, etc.) take on abortion providers as being akin to “yelling fire in a theater filled with arsonists.”  I thought that was an amusing line, but wondered when we’re talking about folk like Scott Roeder, if “pyromaniacs” might be the better choice.  Arsonists can, after all, have fairly rational reasons for setting fires – collecting insurance, etc.  pyromaniacs are a different breed as I understand it.

I have been told that pyromaniacs will often visit the fire they have set and will, either at the time of viewing, or shortly after, masturbate.  Their urges toward crime have been eroticized – in other words, strongly reinforced and thus prone to happen again.

Scott Roeder’s crime, while not apparently eroticized, was driven by religious certitude.  He was “doing God’s will”.  Another variety of very powerful motivation for engaging in and repeating a crime.

So, while I think every person is ultimately responsible for their own behavior, it does seem to me that those who would incite into action people like Scott Roeder share in some of that responsibility.  Yelling “fire” in a crowded theater filled with pyromaniacs is serious business and not at all funny.

Iggy Donnelly

17 Comments

Filed under abortion, Crimes, hate groups, Psychological Disorders, Religion, Republicans, Wingnuts!

Where To Go From Here…

I thought this subject deserved a dedicated thread:  What can we individually, and/or as a group, do that would be helpful in responding to the tragedy of Dr. Tiller’s death?  As part of the foregoing reflection, I have been thinking about what can I do to better respond to people of  conservative ideology.  As I posted earlier, Krisof had an editorial in the NY Times which contended listening to opposing views does not change one’s  position, in fact it can entrench one’s position.  I believe this entrenchment  happened to me as a result of posting and reading on the blog thatshallnotbenamed.  I don’t want to be the person that I think I chose to be as a result of my BTSNBN (an abbreviation) experience.

One action I am going to take is to write an email to Phillip and share that I think hosting an unmoderated hate fest is not an especially good idea.  I think that he and his corporation have a responsibility to not do that.

Also I am going to endeavor to follow one of those mother’s rules that was always difficult for me:  “sometimes it is best to say nothing, if you can’t say something pleasant [or at least something non-confrontational].”

In re-reading this plan, it doesn’t seem like very much, but maybe it is better than nothing.

What do you bloggers think?

Iggy Donnelly

22 Comments

Filed under abortion, hate groups, Life Lessons, Other blogs, Religion, Secularism, Wingnuts!