Monday, March 31, 2008

This made me really sad ...

I have a countdown clock on my blog counting the minutes until he's not president anymore, I can no longer stand to listen to him give press conferences (I read the transcripts later) and I agree with Anne Lammott who said Bush Years are like dog years -- every one of his as president has seemed like seven ... and yet I cringed when I saw this on the news this evening.

I want us to be a better country than this -- that we boo the President of the United States when he throws out the first pitch on Opening Day is a terrible commentary on just how much work there is to do to restore this nation to a place where we can once again be proud of the things that there are for us to be proud of about America.

It just makes me really sad. And tonight there just doesn't seem to be anyplace to take that sadness. So there it is.

And tomorrow is another day,


Jim of L-Town said...

Dear Rev. Russell:

The toxic climate, both in politics and the church is troubling. I'm a big supporter of civility and it is a rarer and rarer commodity each day.
I've never been warm and fuzzy towards Hillary Clinton, but I'll admit to the same uncomfortableness you had Monday when I heard Hillary Clinton booed at a public event a few years ago.
How can you boo a former first lady and senator?
We should always be able to disagree with being disagreeable. We may not like what our enemies are doing, but we are called to love and not hate them.
I shudder to think what awaits the next President and the one after that. Each cycle seems to ratchet up the verbal violence to those with whom we disagree.
Whoever is elected - and at the present time I really like Obama - I will at least treat them with the respect the office - if not the person - deserves.
If you think back, since Watergate, no President, Republican or Democrat, has survived without angry vitriol spewed about him (so far hims) everyday.
I pray that whatever happens in November that the level of discourse will improve.
But then last night I saw pigs flying by my window. But a prayer is a prayer and I believe God will answer.
"May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be always acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord!"
The same should apply when we are talking about our church relationships whatever side of the divide we are on.
As always I appreciate your blog.

A sinner saved by God's Grace

Jim from Michigan

PseudoPiskie said...

I agree that it is bad form to boo the President. I also find it sad that he has been protected from protest and the possibility that large numbers of Americans don't agree with his policies by barricades and bouncers. If we can't protest legitimately, perhaps all we have left to do is boo when we get the opportunity. Amazing what one man and his cohorts can do to destroy all vestiges of credibility/respectability for an entire nation.


pseudopiskie ... I could not POSSIBLY agree with you more ...

and ...

it still makes me REALLY sad that we've come to this.

Because if I'd been in the stands ...

I might have boo'd myself ...

And I wouldn't have felt good about it ...

Even if I felt justified.

Does this make any sense at all?

Jonathan said...

Rev Susan:

I have this theory that the world's worst dictators (Hitler, Stalin, Ceaucescu, Kim, etc.) are all people who NEVER heard the word "no." If you stop and think about it....imagine that every time any thought that ever came into your head went unopposed...scary, huh?

I can see how quickly I could turn into a George Bush ... who I see as petulant, demanding and insensitive. And it feeds on itself because he gets rid of anyone who doesn't say YES loudly enough.

Would I have booed the President? Probably. Would that make me a good citizen? Nope.

I'm just glad I wasn't there.


P.S. I stopped listening to NPR 7 years ago because they play such long clips of Bush talking and his voice sends chills down my spine.

Jim said...

Sometimes, I fear, we can make a bit too much of an indicator. When she was first lady and had not discovered her New York roots, then first lady Clinton who had been Hilary Rodham -- Cubs fan -- tossed out the first pitch at Wrigley Field. She was booed.

Now as a White Sox fan, I expect such conduct at Wrigley, so I was not shocked, but none-the-less, here was a fan, living out a fantasy for most fans. Why boo her?

If Sue-z were elected president, bet your house, I would want to toss out the first pitch for the White Sox! White Sox fans, however probably would not boo one of their own. We after all are baseball fans, not beer fans, but I digress.



Jim of L-Town said...

Dear Rev. Russell:

As a follow-up to my previous comment I believe the root of much of the difficulty in the church today is linked to a lack of civility.
I noticed your comment over on T19, a place I lurk but only post maybe once a year because of the toxic quality of the discussion there.
Whether in politics or church I believe we would be further ahead if we minded the manners our mothers taught us and spoke to each other directly, but politely.
So much of the discussion and the true feelings of both sides get lost in the emotion and anger projected on the other.
My late mother always taught me you can't listen when you are talking and certainly not when you are yelling, even if it is on a computer.
Turning down the volume of our discourse might not lead to agreement, but could lead to an amicable separation or at least a way forward as friends.
My prayer is that American Anglicans and Episcopalians will one day find peace and perhaps even work together on Christian community projects that won't require agreement, but simply cooperation.
I won't speak to Bp. Schofield because I don't know much about the whole thing, but as I have said before it would have been a sign of truce had the HOB merely accepted the resignation of Bp. Cox rather than the extreme measure of a useless deposition.
After all, the man is not threat, he's 87, his wife is very ill and he's one of the kindest, gentlest men you will ever meet.
Accepting his resignation would have exhibited grace that might signal a cooling of the current tempest. Alas, it was not to be, but someday, maybe.

A sinner saved by God's Grace

Jim from Michigan

bethoc said...

A friend of mine was at the game and said he was surprised at the reception - meaning the cheers, not the boos - the President received! I, too, was shocked because the boos are what I heard on TV!

Beth from Washington, DC

Fred said...

What makes me sad is that Dubya isn't booed eveywhere he goes. he is the worst President of my lifetime. He's a disgrace. I'd have booed him with NO regrets. Kudos to those who did!

Ellie Finlay said...

I'm afraid I agree with Fred. Any president who segregates people into "free speech zones" far away from his actual presence needs to find out SOME way that there are people who REALLY don't like him. He doesn't read newpapers and brags about it. Only his supporters are allowed to be in the audience when he gives speeches around the country. He is the most insulated president in history. Thank God he was in a situation where his non-supporters could not be excluded. They took advantage of the only way open to them to communicate with him. I say, "Well done."

Andy said...

President Bush (43) has been a great disappointment and one of the prime reasons that I've become a Libertarian. This aside, I can't say that he wins the "Worst Ever" cap. I'll save the Duns Cap winner for another discussion.

jim of I-town, you bring up some salient points... The dearth of civility and political correctness have made dialouge nearly impossible.

God's Peace...

Jim said...

Interestingly, it appears YouTube has taken this video down. You get: "We're sorry, this video is no longer available." I guess those who, as Pseudopsikie mentions, protect the Prez from those who protest and disagree, got to them.