The tenor of human conversation today has reached such a dangerous level of deterioration, one needs to learn new words how to degrade, and insult one’s neighbor. When a politician gives a speech on TV these words should be flashed on the screen: “Warning! The following message may be injurious to your health!”
We are in an open season verbally dehumanizing people of race, religion and culture. We have come to a frightening high degree of intolerance in our country.
Our past history as Americans is rife with such examples – here are some examples. When I was a child my father would listen to the radio broadcasts of Father Coughlin, a Roman Catholic priest who raged against the Jews. In my teens, I listened to Senator Joe McCarty who claimed communists were planted in our government to undermine our national life. Now I listen to the vitriolic hatred from Pat Robinson and Franklin Graham who proclaim God condemns gays, atheists, agnostics, and humanists – they are talking about members of my family whom I love.
I believe it is consciously shameful and un-American when few national and local voices today do not challenge such barbaric dry rot. Have we entered a time in American history where respect, tolerance and neighborliness have disappeared from our national landscape?
If our local and national leaders have gone fearfully underground then we need to root them out, and tell them to speak out against such obscenities.
We can disagree with one another over such issues as public education; policing by the police; prison reform; a fairer earth; health care; and foreign policy – to name a few. Our country was never a “melting pot” but more like a “tossed salad.” When we let clamorous voices of ill will and hate go unchallenged, our silence indicates consent.
“Earth shall be fair, and all her people one; Nor till that hour shall God’s whole will be done. Now, even now, once more from earth to sky, Peals forth in joy our old undaunted cry: “Earth shall be fair and all her folk be one.”
An Old Hymn