I think my greatest fear tonight is that there are people in this country who are pleased that Sarah Palin's wish was granted when someone shot Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords today. Out there, someone is laughing with delight because a lunatic took Representative Giffords in his cross hairs and shot her in the head. Of course, Sarah Palin quickly removed the cross hairs image from her Web site, but I saw it on MSNBC and I tell you I felt sick.
Do I believe that Palin literally wanted someone to shoot Giffords?
Of course not.
Do I believe that some people took it literally?
I do not know how Palin and Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly and others of their ilk put their heads on their pillows and sleep at night after they spout their rhetoric of violence.
True, politics has always been violent. Bigotry and ugliness are deeply entrenched in many minds. But I fear that the naysayers of Fox News Channel and some members of the Tea Party and other extremists are too visible, too accessible with their positions on television and their Internet presence. I do not advocate that we curtail freedom of speech, but I advocate that these people who are so in the public eye take responsibility for the words they utter. I advocate positive words and deeds. If criticize you must, then do so in a mature, rational manner.
When President Obama was elected I thought we had taken a turn for the better. We had a brief shining moment when we overcame racism and elected the better man for the job.
But then Palin, Beck, and O'Reilly started in and made the administration ugly and made Democrats ugly and made the thought of kindness and compassion ugly. I name Palin, Beck, and O'Reilly because I hear about them more often than other commentators, but I know they're not alone.
I want to live in a civilized country, not one where, as Favorite Young Man so wisely put it, the more conservative side of the lower class seems to want to take up arms against the very people who are trying to protect them.
And the people who are trying to protect them are repeatedly denigrated by Palin, Beck, and O'Reilly.
From Roget's Super Thesaurus: civilized a. cultured, refined, sophisticated, educated, civil, acculturated, polished, bred, tamed, humane, socialized, socially organized. "To have some quality of consideration for all who cross our path." -- Agnes Repplier
These words, this quotation, this is what I wish for our country and tonight I pray for Gabrielle Giffords and the people around her who were attacked today and their families who suffer grief at the loss of loved ones, and of course, I pray for the man who shot them because he knows not what he does.
And I pray for Palin, Beck, and O'Reilly and everyone else who promotes social terrorism.
Let this be a turning point in our country, Lord.
Infinities of love,