When you can’t NOT say something

I don’t really care where you stand on political topics.

Sound harsh?  Well we all have opinions.  I don’t usually talk politics because just as I don’t care what you think, I am pretty sure you don’t care what I think.  But sometimes you have to say something.  And no, I am not going to write about my particular beliefs on this subject…but I need to say something about how we handle the debate itself.

Over the years, the political debates – at least those in the media – have gotten more and more vicious.  Personal.  You just have to see TV ads at election time to see how far we have gone to try to convince people we are right in our political views and how wrong others are.  What started as attacks on peoples views has now become attacks on their belief systems, their professions and yes their families.  Which is what brings me to write today.

First I read this article, that talks about a Democrat whose young daughters were featured in a political ad about this politician, urging him to say NO to healthcare reform.  His daughters.  Underage daughters…see where I am going with this?  It is one thing for a politician to use pictures of his family to represent his “image” but it is quite another for a group to use an image of other people’s children in an attack ad.

Then I see this article, about an 11-year-old boy who testified about the death of his mother at 27.  She died without health insurance.  She worked in fast food, was fired for missing work due to her illness and died of complications from that illness.  It is not clear whether or not health insurance would have saved her.  It is very unlikely that this particular bill would have helped her.  But, and here is the kicker, it is not whether or not this child should have the option to say what he thinks: it is again the reaction to his saying what he thinks.  Rush Limbaugh – whom I have no problem saying I think is a hothead at best – said this

“Now this is unseemly, exploitative, an 11-year-old boy being forced to tell his story all over just to benefit the Democrat Party and Barack Obama…And, I would say this to Marcelas Owens : ‘Well, your mom would still have died, because Obamacare doesn’t kick in until 2014.'”

Really?  Really?  You would say that to an 11-year-old who lost his mom?

I feel like as we get closer to an end to this particular chapter of the debate on healthcare, people are getting desperate and they are not watching their tongues.  They are not playing by the rules.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” Proverbs 15:1

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” Proverbs 12:18

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” Proverbs 18:21

The thing is, in desperation people are speaking out in anger and wrath and judgement.  They are exploiting people and ideas in a way that is detrimental.  And using the least of us to do so.  Attacks on children or involving children in a debate as a way of reaching the adults in their life…no matter how convinced you are that you are right in the subject matter…should not be allowed.  Ever.

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One comment

  1. Theresa · March 19, 2010

    Great post. I don’t really like to talk about politics either, people tend to take it too personally when they disagree with you. So, aside from following along well enough to be informed enough to write to my senators and representative, I avoid the media as much as possible. It’s just too one sided and negative.

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