Government Shutdown Day 6: Today is the Lord’s Day in my Christian faith. That calls for a little more introspection and a little less fact telling.
In the last week, I and my Republican House colleagues have been called “terrorists with bombs strapped to our chests” by President Obama’s press secretary. Harry Reid said we are “anarchists”. A New York Times reporter said we were just like the terrorist group, Hezbollah. Congressman George Miller, Democrat of California, called us “jihadists” on the floor of the House.
These are not terms that should be thrown around lightly. They are the modern equivalent of calling someone Hitler or a Nazi Storm Trooper. Real terrorists, jihadists and suicide bombers are out there right now doing terrible things that bear no equivalency to the desire to repeal ObamaCare.
A Republican colleague of mine, from a swing district, had to pull his children out of a public elementary school last week because they were being threatened…….by their teachers!!! His wife called him crying at the terrible things the teachers said about their father to these little kids.
This president uses harsher rhetoric than any president before him. And, he uses it much more frequently. In the past, during times of national stress, presidents have tried to throw water on the fire and calm down the national mood, no matter where their personal feelings might have lain. This president throws proverbial gasoline on every fire out there. It seems as if he tries to enflame the American people in a distorted attempt to manipulate them to his side. And, the president, whoever he is, sets the tone in this town of Washington, DC.
Had Republicans been the one to call the president or any of his backers “terrorists” or “jihadists” or other such things, the press would have excoriated those Republicans and they would have been disgraced at best and maybe even forced to step down. But, the press is not even mildly neutral. And, they are certainly not fair. And, that’s just the way it is.
All of this has made me angry. Very angry. It’s not right. It’s not fair. And, I started to respond in kind. I certainly wanted to respond in kind. But, I have caught myself. I have written some things in the last few days where my better judgment prevailed and moved the fingers of my right hand to the delete key. I am better than that. We are better than that. We want to succeed, but how you succeed is as important as whether you do or not. When the president throws gasoline on a fire, it is not helpful for me to add to it by throwing my own dose of gasoline. Our ideas are better. They are rooted in experience, enduring principles, logic and freedom. Therefore, our actions must be better too.
We want to negotiate. We want to solve this thing. We will give some, but we will take some, as well. I must keep my discourse in check, regardless of what the other side does. Regardless of the media bias. I must, to use an appropriate metaphor for today, turn the other cheek.
I am not Catholic. But, there is a group of nuns called “Little Sisters of the Poor”. These magnificent women affirm the dignity and worth of indigent and aged people who have nowhere else to turn. This group of Catholics is actually in favor of ObamaCare. But, some of the mandates therein may cause them to have to stop their work. For those of you who still believe that ObamaCare cannot and should not be changed, please watch the following video: Click to Watch Video
Rather than my usual sign-off, I will end today with the words of St. Francis of Assisi. Words that are timeless and have no political affiliation:
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console.
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.