Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Fear-Mongering Alerts - I

The news lately has been fairly abysmal, especially after my last post.  The tragedy of San Bernadino certainly dominated headlines.  And there didn't seem to be much other good news around.

But look at what's going on in the aftermath of San Bernadino.  Why the media is giving the extremely dangerous, divisive Trump ANY airtime or credibility is beyond me.  I cringe just seeing his face on news reports.  Literally.  And he has now hit an even new low for him, calling for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S.  On what?  Suspect data, that's what! Then there's Jerry Falwell, Jr., President of Liberty University, urging students to carry firearms.  Seems as though clarifications were issued and the University issued a statement.  Ok, but I will say that Mr. Falwell, Jr.  should pay strict heed to the Moody Blues: "Say What You Mean"  Might help avoid gaffes.

At this point, let's remember a few things. (Since I am a Christian, this comes from this perspective ---- and I hope it's clear that ALL faiths should be respected:) Jesus talked graciously with the Samaritan woman at the well.  Yes, a Samaritan woman, and she noted Jews then generally had no dealings with them.  And what about the parable of "The Good Samaritan"?  We certainly concentrate on the kindness of that stranger in the story, but are we losing another point: that the do-gooder was "one of them (not us!)?"  And I must now include one of my favorite Bible verses here: Acts 10:34-35: "And Peter opened his mouth and said: 'Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him."  (RSV)

We need to reject demagogues who want to demonize whole groups.  We need to see common humanity and use some common sense when addressing "threats."  We need more media folks to expose demagoguery, false data, and bogus claims.  And we need people to wake up to the dangers even such ill-advised remarks have; and ENSURE their rejection in practice.

(Part II is coming...) 

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