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Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Politicizing Tragedy

U.S., Quality of Life, Political

Politicizing tragedy seems something we’re anxious to do today.  The shooting of a Congresswoman in Tucson, AZ a few days ago was tragic.  The deaths of those in close proximity to her were tragic.  The wounding of ten or fifteen more people was tragic.  I cannot imagine the feelings of the person who invited the nine-year old neighbor girl to accompany him to the outdoor ‘meet and greet’ as she was gunned down and died.  I pray for all who were involved, both immediately and tangentially.

This was a tragedy and it will prompt all kinds of comments; it already has.  Unfortunately, the tragedy is being politicized; seemingly everything in today’s society becomes a political football.

I watched the local sheriff’s news conference along with millions of others and I saw the beginning of the politicization of this event.  I saw the various bloggers’ nearly immediate attempts to incriminate the conservative political movement.  I don’t know the political persuasion of this young man, if he had a political persuasion.  I do see the concerns of people who had previously interacted with this young man and I didn’t see anything political; instead, I saw comments about being scared of him, the teacher remarking that he feared turning his back to write on the board during class with this student sitting in the classroom, the leadership of the college being concerned to not be seen as guilty of trampling his rights, and then finally causing his departure from the school.

By all available public reports, the young man appears to have had some serious emotional issues.  He was denied entry into the armed forces.  He purchased a gun by following the rules.  He frightened fellow students in a community college with his behavior.  He posted nearly unintelligible rants on You Tube.

The young man was troubled; it seems obvious in retrospect that he might’ve been helped earlier in his life had there been some type of societal intervention.  There may have been some current events that prompted his actions, but the idea that a certain political movement caused his action is quite a departure from my perspective.

There may well be a “climate of hate” as some are suggesting.  I see that, if it exists, as being far less political than it is simply a sign of a society that has lost its moral bearings, a society that follows false doctrines and that does so willingly.  I am now an older person; I had the opportunity to grow up in a neighborhood in a small town.  I was essentially subject to the parental control of anyone in that neighborhood who saw me do something I shouldn’t have been doing.  I realize that I am dangerously close to coming out as a believer in the book titled “It Takes a Village to raise a Child”.  I do believe that we lost a lot when we became urban and suburban dwellers who had little or nothing to do with our neighbors, but who, instead, ‘minded our own business’, and ignored those who lived in our vicinity largely because we didn’t want to get involved.

Maybe we would be wise to become re-involved in the neighborhoods in which we live, and do so from a base of love of our fellow man (and woman, of course).  Maybe it is we who have submitted to the ways of the secular world and created, unwittingly, a “climate of hate”.

Rather than politicizing this tragedy, are we better off trying to take some practical life lessons as the result of this terrible happening?

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