Shut Up and Do the Right Thing

I was disgusted a few days ago—now I’m just disappointed. I guess I’m naïve—assuming that senseless deaths and an aggravated assault on innocent people by an “unhinged” young man would shake our media and leaders into self-examination.

But wisdom seems to be in short supply. The blamers and counter-blamers are on the trail with a vengeance.

And that, my friends, is the problem.

Wise teachers of mine always said that when we feel criticized or attacked, if our response is an angry counterattack, there exists the possibility that somewhere deep down we just might be guilty as charged. Keep quiet, stay above the fray, and the sizzle of remarks dies down fast because good people know the truth and will ignore it. React as if one has been snubbed, and guarantee that some will wonder what you’re hiding behind the bravado.

Projection is a mighty mirror, though it seems that the loudest and brashest among us never look in the mirror—they’re far too busy justifying their unacceptable behaviors, indignant at the idea that they may have been caught in the midst of their games.

It brings to mind the question of whether or not the people we have selected, in the voting booths and by homing in on our radio and television dials, have the wisdom and character to lead the nation through these troubled times. In my previous blog, I unfairly singled out Sarah Palin because of her map with crosshairs, because it’s rampant on both sides.

It’s as if, with a few exceptions, that somebody sent out a message: “Let’s take an opportunity to capitalize on horror for political gain.”

But some things are just too absurd to respond to. I’m sure, for instance, that Rush Limbaugh is a greater expert on Arizona than the sheriff of Tucson. And whether it was intended to incite people to violence or not (and, for the record, I do not believe it was), to say that the crosshairs on a map with Gabby Gibbons’ district pinpointed are surveyors symbols? And now, the church in Kansas who has recently been traveling around defiling the sacredness and honor of funerals has jumped into the morass, too. I don’t even know what to say.

One thing stands out, though, that doesn’t disappoint me. It inspires me. In the midst of all the articles about Giffords and everyone else, in the midst of all the sensationalism, the citizens of Tucson asked for a law prohibiting protestors within 300 yards of funeral homes and churches for one hour on either side of the time of a funeral. Governor Brewer quickly and quietly signed it into law. A bunch of high school students and other locals got together to build 8-10 foot high “angel wings” that they will hold up during the funeral of the nine-year-old Christina Green, and many more of the populace will be good to their words and line the streets in silence to protect the Greens from having to see or hear the incredibly callous and decidedly un-Christ-like group from Westboro.

Like our Arizona neighbors, that’s what we need to do. Forget Rush and Sarah and Nancy and Barack.

Turn off the television, search our hearts, take each other’s hands…

…and do the right thing.


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