Respectful Dialog

I’ve written once or twice here about the issues of respectful dialog and common sense, and how those two elements seem to be missing from the American political landscape. I’ve also written about how sad I think it is when people treat politics like it is the absolute most important thing in the world. Those issues have come up again with the terrible events in Arizona this week.

The huge debate in the wake of the shooting (for those of you living under a rock) has not been about gun control, but about political speech. I can’t even count how many articles I’ve read at this point (though some of the most illuminating can be found here, here, here, here, and here), but it’s clear to me that despite the debate, absolutely nothing has changed.

The sad reality to me is that a horrific shooting perpetrated by a man who is seriously disturbed, and resulting in the tragic loss of at least 6 lives up to this point, has become merely a backdrop for the same old Left v. Right debate. There is almost nothing in life that I abhor more. It’s the very reason that I’ve never seen the movie Titanic – I just can’t stomach cheapening a tragedy where human beings lost their lives for some lesser purpose. At least Titanic told a pretty good love story, by all accounts. This whole mess is just one more instance of people who have power trying to leverage a tragedy so that they can get more power.

And please don’t think I’m taking a side in the Left v. Right debate here. If you check all the articles linked above, you’ll see that they represent several viewpoints. What I’m trying to do here is to continue to encourage you, the Reader, to realize what is most important in life. It’s not politics, or sports (congrats to Auburn on the national championship, even though I loathe you…), or science, or status, or wealth… The most important thing in life is your relationship with Jesus Christ.

The apostle Paul wrote, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what it right in the eyes of everyone…. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:14-17, 21)

This morning, I mourn with the families of the 6 people killed on Saturday, I pray for healing for Gabrielle Giffords, and I pray for Jared Lee Loughner, the disturbed madman responsible for this, that God would bring healing, conviction, remorse, and justice into his life.

Peace.

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