Geranium Farm Home         Who's Who on the Farm         The Almost Daily eMo         Subscriptions         Coming Events
Hodgepodge         More or Less Church         Ways of the World         A Few Good Writers
Gifts For Life         Pennies From Heaven         Light a Prayer Candle         Links

MLK DAY
January 18, 2010
 
This was the best one ever, I said to Pearl as we left New Hope Baptist church last night. And it was -- the singing, the preaching, the young people taking part: a young girl danced, the Reformed Temple youth choir sang, and two boys from New Hope read poems in which they each displayed a pulpit style that will serve them well if they ever decide to go into preaching. The annual MLK Scholarships were handed out -- this year, a set of triplets was among the winners. One of the rabbis and the senior pastor of New Hope joked, as they do every year, about being honorary members of each others congregations. Even the politicians rose to the occasion: their speeches were remarkably un-selfserving. At the end, when we all joined hands and sang the anthem of the civil rights movement, "We Shall Overcome," I was filled with a variety of tears -- tears of memory, of patriotic pride, of sorrow at the suffering that was grinding on and on in Haiti at that very moment. I resolved again, as I always do, to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

At the same time, moved as I was by it all, I was frustrated. Why has our level of civil discourse degenerated into such a horror show of paranoid mudslinging? I so want it to change. I am tired -- sick to death is more like it -- of our resolute refusal to respect one another, the perverse pride taken in public at landing a perfect shot right between the eyes of those with whom we disagree. I am sick of our public verbal violence against one another, and of the disingenuousness of the wide-eyed "Who, me?" when a public figure is called on it. And I have a proposal:

By all means, disagree. The competition among ideas is what democracy is all about. But, for the love of God, don't have enemies. Think of them as opponents, not enemies. People with whom you disagree, not demons. Never say anything about an opponent that you would not want said about your own child by someone who disagreed with him -- if you wouldn't want it said about your child, please don't say it about anyone else.

And -- even if you're famous and on television -- if you can't think of a civil way to express your disagreement, maybe it's time you went back to school.
Copyright © 2018 Barbara Crafton
  2016     2015     2014     2013     2012     2011     2010     2009     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004     2003  
  2016     2015     2014     2013     2012     2011     2010     2009     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004     2003  


Copyright © 2003-2018 Geranium Farm - All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any materials on this web site for any purpose
other than personal use without written consent is prohibited.

2003-2004 Golden Web Awards Winner     2003-2004 Level 2 Diamond Web Award Winner     WorldWebWebAwards.net Humanitarian Award Winner     2004 WebAward Winner for Standard of Excellence