Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sowing and Reaping

"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. "

So says the New International Version of the Bible. The New Testament, to be more specific. Galatians 6:7 to be exact. That wisdom applies more broadly, I believe, to include societies as well. What societies sow they will reap, and if they sow to the wind they will reap the whirlwind.

Our society now glorifies violence – physical, verbal, economic and political – in unblushing regularity in almost every arena of our lives.

Watching TV after 7 p.m. is an exercise in staring down the barrel of one gun after another all in the name of "art".

Half our "news" media is devoted to denigrating honorable men and women for political and financial gain.

 Politicians use their "muscle" to deny workers representation, voters the ballot box, the handicapped a decent living, the poor good wages and decent health care, minorities their human rights and immigrants the hope that American has long been noted for.

The Internet, Face Book, Twitter and other venues trade in trash talk, lies, libel, and slander to say nothing of sexual filth – cyber-bullying is the new blood sport, our national pastime.

One half of our political infrastructure is devoted to propping up an obvious house of lies.

No conservative politician, and few liberal ones, dare speak boldly in favor of gun control of even the more innocuous variety. (One Congressman at the tragic shooting today in Virginia expressed regret that he did not have a gun with him. Why? So he could blow his own foot off as he struggled to get it out of a holster or his pocket? So he could send errant bullets flying through the neighborhood endangering the lives of innocent people? Police officers,trained to shoot in emergency situations only hit their target 34 percent of thetime.)

Nearly every Republican politician has signed a pledge (or more than one) that obligates them to political bosses and prevents them from representing the needs and wishes of those whom they purport to represent.

Beginning with Ronald Reagan, Republicans have sown every seed of division they could find or invent, refusing more recently, from the first day President Obama was elected, to support anything that might be seen as a success for their opponents.

And now, when violence tragically strikes some of their own, as it did today, our Republican President suddenly appears as an ambassador of reconciliation, recognizing, in a poorly read, written statement, that "everyone who works in Washington, D.C. loves our country". Wow, what an epiphany for the Great One who has spent the last two years trashing the name and reputation of every Democrat, and that of many Republicans who live and work in our nation's Capital. Has he forgotten the many times he averred that President Obama did not love the United States of America? But let us rejoice in his new found bipartisanship. Let us hope his sudden softening of heart will survive through the week before he returns to Twitter Trashing again.

Do I appear to be a bit fired up? Just a bit cynical? I deplore what the man from my home state (Illinois) did today, targeting Republicans with his, presumably legally obtained AK-47. But I understand, in ways that President Trump, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Shawn Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and others of that ilk do not, that when you create an atmosphere of denigration, as they have done for the last eight years, the venom you have injected into the body politic can't be turned off when the gun is aimed at your head. Someone - Democrat, Republican or nothing at all - will take your words and turn them to uses you will deny intending them to be used for.

But only a fool, or an ambitious charlatan who trades in such words, can pretend that they are not partly to blame for the violence engulfing our society and world.

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