"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

08 January 2011

Armchair Politicians


An Arizona congresswoman is shot; her life, if she survives will never be the same. My first impression is that this is what women's liberation has given us, the right to become a target like so many political figures who have suffered assassination attempts in generations past. At first it was reported that she had died, another sensless martyr to someone's unnamed cause. Several people indeed were killed, but only the famous, a federal judge, seems to be named.

Congresswoman Giffords' prognosis is nothing short of miraculous. The fact that she's alive, perhaps responsive, through surgery. It is no wonder that, in search of the scoop, several media outlets prematurely reported her demise.

But within hours the trend of blaming her political opposition has begun to emerge. On the left, it is now considered acceptable behavior to blame the "Tea Party" people, Sarah Palin, and the poor soul (reported to actually be a childhood friend) who ran against Congresswoman Giffords in the last election. Their choice of language is now blamed for inciding a crazed man to murder because their rhetoric included words like "take aim at" and her unfortunate opponent once offered a rifle range soiree to drum up support among the Second Amendment supporters (of which Giffords herself is reported to be one).

Now I can't stand the angry white men of the radio (and presumably television, for those who watch the box) any more than anyone else, but do they bear blame for the actions of one insane person? Are the thought police so powerful that our use of metaphor now brings us to blame for the actions of others? And is throwing blame really America's way of supporting the victim of a terrible crime?

I know that from most directions, on the right and on the left and from the middle and the fringes of our politics, most Americans are moved to compassion over this incident, that took several lives, including that of a nine-year old child. But it is shocking that the Congresswoman's own contingent, those who tend to support her party (though I suspect she is more centrist than the liberals in question) seem to prefer to find someone to blame. The person responsible is in police cusstody, isn't it time to comfort those who mourn?

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