Speaking Up

I learned from the 2008 presidential campaign that it is better for my health and well-being to keep my mind out of politics.  I tend to get bent out of shape and have learned that trying to argue politics with loved ones who disagree is akin to beating my head against a wall.  So these days, most of the time, I have my head in the sand.  When I do pull it out, I get some information via three blogs I love: The Rant by Tom Degan, Musings of a Madman, and Gifts of Thought.  These guys commentate on politics with a liberal leaning stance.  Through their blogs (and links they provide)  I’ve learned a bit about the Tea Party Movement.  I try not to worry about the effects of misinformation and hatred that is being propagated by so many of our citizens, but there are times when it is so in my face that I can’t help but worry.

Yesterday while visiting FB, I saw this on my homepage:

DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZIE. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARAH FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN

I visited the page and was shocked to see that it had over 500,000 “fans” and as of this writing it has over 900,000.  I also read through the comments and though there was the occasional “liberal troll” speaking out for how wrong it was, most people thought it was funny.  Joke or no joke, I view this as a public wish for the death of our president.  And the nearly one million people who have joined the page are in essence signing a petition.  And I know some of you might be reading thinking Geez, Leslee, get a life, lighten up, stop taking things so seriously.  And to that my response would be to share two very important lessons I learned as a kid.  First, hate is a strong word and you should think before you use it.  Second, it’s not OK to joke about death or wish harm on anyone else.  So if you realize those are two tenets I’ve tried to live my life by, it should be easy to see why I can’t lighten up on this one.

Somehow the current state of political affairs has brought out the worst in some.  I mean in looking at this group title I might start to stereotype who would join.  But when I look at the page it is filled with regular people.  Little silver-haired ladies, young soccer moms, cute Bieber looking teenage boys, and clean cut businessmen.   In my mind I think that hate has made it to the mainstream.  The powers behind this all have managed to feed on the weakest part of our essence, the fear that we are not safe and secure.  They’ve repeated the messages so often and so loudly that to many people it has become TRUTH.  And just to drive the message home they add God into the mix.  The next thing you know, good Christians are calling for the death of our president and all the liberals who love him.

So yes, I am worried about the future of my country.  I’m not worried because Barack Obama is president.  I’m worried because millions of children are being fed a steady diet of hate, intolerance and inflexibility.  In 2012 I will probably vote for Obama once again but I will not involve my daughters in the process.  In 08 I was proud to have my lil ones chanting O-BAM-A, but now, my protective instincts say otherwise.  What a sad state of affairs….

Here’s an interesting video, and for the record if my conservative father felt the same as this tea-partier he’d be calling for his own daughter’s head on a stick….or in boiling water.

I’ll end this with an interesting thought that popped into my head during meditation:  What if the Anti-Christ isn’t one person, but instead an entire angry mob of Christians forgetting to ask themselves the one question they so prevalently display on their t-shirts and bumper sticker: What would Jesus do?

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9 thoughts on “Speaking Up

  1. Kim Jenkins April 23, 2010 / 8:44 am

    Leslee, you’re so awesome. I’ll just say it again.

    I despise politics, and that video…ugh…pretty much sums up why. Wishing death on people for their beliefs? Really? There’s so much I want to say. But because I walk in love, I’ll bite my tongue and pray their hearts find peace, tolerance, acceptance…and OH..LOVE. (and their minds scream out “stop following the crowd” loud enough for them to take action.

    Kim

    • lesleehorner April 23, 2010 / 10:01 am

      Thanks for the support Kim. This one was a tough one to write b/c the people on my list who “liked” that page are people I have a lot of love, respect, and admiration for. That brought it to my attention even more and felt like I needed to say something. People have said this is a “fringe” movement, but I’m just not so sure.

  2. Megan (Best of Fates) April 23, 2010 / 9:53 am

    I was a political science major in college, but once I got out I realized how much I despised so much about politics – most of all, how hateful people become when incensed with their own beliefs. I’m at work, so I can’t watch videos, and I’m so glad, because I know that would only upset me.

  3. Kiva April 23, 2010 / 11:03 am

    One word: AMEN!!!!!

  4. Jade Fisher April 25, 2010 / 12:57 am

    “Second, it’s not OK to joke about death or wish harm on anyone else.”

    This reminds me of the Bible verses that talk about how if you lust in your heart it’s the same as fornicating (or something to that effect) and that hate in someones heart is the same as murder. I just don’t understand why people who join this facebook group (or any other one calling for the death of people, especially our president) cannot see the hypocrisy in it all. If this biblical idea is accurate, they are all responsible for the death of the president, even if it never comes to fruition. It scares me and makes me very sad.

    Your last question is POWERFUL, and if I may, one that I want to quote in a blog I’m mulling over now…such good food for thought!

    • lesleehorner April 25, 2010 / 8:53 am

      You absolutely may use that quote. And thank you for stopping by and reading!

  5. Joe Narcavage April 25, 2010 / 6:41 pm

    Leslee,

    A very powerful message. I am a right wing conservative who believes in a strong America. The 900,000 folks who signed up for the FB page about the president are misguided. I am ashamed that Americans are not supporting the Commander-in Chief. It is the responsibility of every American to support this country and the President. People who work with me and for me, have daughters and sons putting their lives on the line each day to combat the evil that is spreading through the world. At this point in history it would be wise for all Americans to focus on the real treat to our freedom. I pray to God that we are successful in holding this evil in check. I don’t pay much attention to those individuals who are misguided. I focus my energies on trying to inform folks how important it is for Americans to rally around the President and the USA. I am very proud to be an American and regardless of what party controls Washington I will do my best to support them. Hate is a powerful word. I really don’t believe that 900,000 Americans are focused on hating the current situation in Washington. What concerns me more are the millions of young people worldwide who being taught each day to hate America and our Democratic process. If this is left unchecked the world as we know it will be forever changed. I did appreciate reading you message. It was well written and from the heart. I do admire that you are willing to take a stand and make your feelings known. You are a young person who lives the courage of your convictions. There will always be people in this country who oppose something. When I attended college many years ago, I hit another student who was burning an American flag to protest the war in Southeast Asia. I was taught that the American flag was the symbol of freedom in our country and took action without thinking. I’ve learned over the years that there will always be people who live on the fringe of what we consider normal. These days I handle things a bit different than I did 35 years ago. I try to be a facilitator and help people understand what is good for this country. Once again I commend you for your efforts to inform your friends and folks like me the importance of supporting America and the President. Keep up the good work!

    Respectfully yours,

    Joe Narcavage

    • lesleehorner April 25, 2010 / 6:47 pm

      Thank you so much Joe for your words of support and encouragement. It is so nice when people on opposite sides of the political spectrum can come together and focus on their similarities. I have said before in a past post, I was so honored to watch President Bush speak at my husband’s graduation in 2002 even though I didn’t vote for him. I hope that in the future as Americans we can come together like this on a large spectrum. And I also wouldn’t mind if there was some more power given to smaller parties in our democratic system.

      Thank you again!

      Leslee

  6. rageomatic April 26, 2010 / 3:08 pm

    Joe I must strongly disagree

    “It is the responsibility of every American to support this country and the President”

    Nay, sir. It is the responsibility of every human of every nation to do and support what is right. When this country is wrong and her president wrong, you have a moral duty to protest. Now, I absolutely agree with Leslee that publically praying for God to kill the president is misguided and sick. But dissent itself is not. Dissent is the blood of democracy.

    “I am very proud to be an American”. That is your choice, but becareful that in your own heart you don’t create a false dichotomy between being proud or ashamed of your nation of birth. I am neither. I don’t believe in being proud of things granted to me by mere fortune. I am proud of the work of my hands, mind, and heart. I am proud of what America has accomplished when she does well, and ashamed when she does poorly, but it is the actions, and not the random chance that I am proud or ashamed of.

    “What concerns me more are the millions of young people worldwide who being taught each day to hate America and our Democratic process”

    Wise and compansionate you are to be concerned, however, the vast portion of the world views America not with rancor, but with careworn “Physician Heal thyself.” Perhaps we should address the abuses in our own democracy before we sacrifice our sons and theirs for someone elses, or at least, at the same time.

    And Leslee, hate has always been mainstream. Hitler wrote a book and explained exactly who he was going to squeeze, who was going to kill, why and how. He called it “My Vision”. And he was elected. There were flaws in the electoral process, yes, but in the end he was elected, because people want monsters in charge. Our emotional need to cause the “bad guys” to suffer far outweights are intellectual need to prevent suffering in the first place.

    Just look at the US prison system. It takes mere misfits and makes them into monsters, and does it fantastically well. We know it doesn’t work. We’ve known it doesn’t work for at least a century now. But the drive to punish the bad guys is so strong, we can’t stop even though we know we are only making worse.

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