reactions to the speech

yesterday i said we should let the issues inform our decisions in the election, not hype or rumors or feelings about private matters. like millions of others, i tuned in last night to see and hear how sarah palin would use the opportunity of her speech to reveal herself-- the part we should properly consider in the voting booth. i was as riveted as anyone as she stepped to the podium.

and then she began to speak.

it was clear from the beginning that her speech would not be about policy or issues. it was about setting a tone. as unfair as just about everyone has been toward her over the last week, she returned the attacks against the aggressors. did they deserve it? yeah. they did. but could she have set a different tone, taking the high road and speaking about things that really matter to people outside of the convention? she could have. she did not.

she took this opportunity to show us she could be tough and strong. she would not back down when attacked. and it's what the folk in st. paul wanted to hear. she went after obama, the media, washington, "the good ol' boys," while at the same time speaking warmly about her family and small town life. campbell brown commented on cnn that women across the country would relate to her strategy, and that men would not understand as well. i guess she was right-- i did not understand.

when palin spoke briefly about issues, the enthusiasm in the arena quieted down. when she talked about the democrats, the place went nuts. in my mind, she came off as sarcastic and cynical. and for the party known for its reagan-esque optimism, i thought her tone was all wrong. she did not take the high road. and there will not be another chance. so get ready for an even more hostile election over the next two months. leave your white clothes in the closet until november 5, when the winning team will once again speak of crossing party lines and bringing the country together. can't we do those things during the election?

the text for this week's sermon is colossians 3:12-17, one of my favorite scriptures:

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

how timely is this text? are we ready to live like this? if our leaders are not ready to exemplify this behavior, can we step up and live righteously? i am not trying to influence anyone to vote republican or democrat. i am not espousing any ideology over another. i am not throwing anyone under the bus. i'm asking that we be respectful of others. i'd like for us to bring the civil back to the phrase, "civil discourse." there are enough skeptics in the world. persons of faith should aim higher.

Comments

Marie James said…
funny ... I don't check your blog often, but did today and found you voicing some of my exact thoughts! Except you were way more charitable than I would have been. And there's no way I could appreciate her strategy, but then I'd never describe myself as a pitbull ... with or without lipstick! And to respond to your previous post. It is different for a woman. No way should a mother of a small child AND a Down's syndrome infant consider being VP of this country! Even when the man is very involved in parenting, the burden of early childhood is still primarily the mother's or am I hopelessly OLD fashioned? You know Sen McCain kinda scared me when he picked "out-of-the-blue" this good-looking, plain-talking, corruption-fighting almost beauty queen as a running mate, but then the acceptance speech. All the ugliness spewed loud and clear. From what I read and have researched, she is what she says she is ... a pitbull, a barracuda! Oh my, but Frank, it makes me sad that we can't wear the white clothes. I miss you guys ,,,,,
Anonymous said…
After reading comments made by Carol Fowler (South Carolina Democratic chairwoman) on Sarah Palin ("whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion”), I tend to agree with your "can't wear a white shirt" analogy.