I have been having a difficult time refraining from commentary on the continuing rash of nut case killings out there that are incessantly fanned by the insane extreme right wing media, ala Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Riley and Fox News in general.
OMG! Has free speech run amuck? If we cannot use our freedoms with a little—just a little—good sense, we are apt to find a revolution on our hands. People tend to get very tired of radicalism—right or left—and can, as a result, quickly begin to feel justified in radical reaction as well.
It is difficult to balance our unique freedoms with the common sense necessary for them to be productively applied. There is certainly a place for fervent proclamation of one’s views. And there is an equal place for the honest opposition. It was Will Rogers who said something to the effect that a difference of opinion makes a horse race. Out of honest, non-inflamatory debate both sides can be persuaded to consider compromise and beneficial steps forward in most cases. When debate becomes blind rage, there is seldom hope for compromise. When that occurs the potential for destructive behavior is immanent.
This destructive behavior has surfaced increasingly culminating in the murder of Dr. Tiller, the attack on the Holocaust Museum resulting in the death of the guard, Stephen T. Johns, and the shooting of military recruiter, William Long. So myopic is the Republican Party that when the Homeland Security report on the rise in chatter about unrest in the country was released, they forced an apology from Secretary Janet Napolitano. Now, of course, we see the validity of the report.
I am an Independent and I believe constructive dialogue is necessary in order to try to reach agreement on issues that concern the citizenry. That dialogue is generally between our two major political parties with the moderate independent body generally moving toward what they consider the best arguments presented. Now, however, we do not have honest debate. At a time when our country needs cooperative effort to solve our economic and social problems one party—the Republican—has chosen to remove itself from the debate. They not only say “No” to any and everything, but they refuse to be courageous enough to offer alternatives. Into this vacuum of leadership have come the most vile representatives of free speech we have seen in decades—Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich.
Their rants, ravings and outright lying are largely responsible for the current tone of debate and the surfacing of extremists from the shadows with an axe to grind. This hooting and hollering is not necessary in order to promote an opposing view to what opponents or the current administration is offering. All such behavior does is encourage the other nut cases to feel justified in murdering, slandering, and abusing our freedoms. If we are going to tolerate this behavior without challenging in honest debate the merits of our differences, and encouraging a lowering of the raging rhetoric, we are apt to find ourselves armed to the teeth and in battle with each other. (See my post: High Noon At the OK Corral—April 20,2009.)
Folks, there’s real trouble in River City and it’s time for saner heads to prevail. This is no time to simply fall back on metaphysical mumbo-jumbo about how everything is working according to some great plan beyond our present comprehension. I happen to believe in what some may call “The Divine Plan.” However, within that plan is the opportunity and necessity to read the writing on the wall—mene, mene, tekel upharsin—(Daniel 5:25-28) It is time to get busy using our good sense and spiritual power to call for calm consideration of how to get beyond religious and political radicalism—right or left!
Your principles are as important as mine. Neither your principles nor mine will be compromised by our willingness to discuss reasonably the merits of each other’s position. Sometimes I may just be incorrect in my conclusions. Sometimes you may be incorrect in yours. We must be able to recognize this possibility before we can even begin our discussion!
 What he actually said was: A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries.
 The essence of the meaning is: You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.