Over at Everyday Christian, there’s a new editorial about the town hall meetings that are turning into shouting matches. The editorial asks if town hall protests are un-American?
That’s quite a can of worms for a Christian website to get into. In our society, which was built on a foundation of the Separation of Church and State, what’s “American” may not always be 100% Christian, and vice versa.
But the post begins with this quote from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
These disruptions (citizens speaking up at town hall meetings about health care reform) are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views — but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American.
The editorial then goes on to quote the First Amendment, reminding us that we have Freedom of Speech.
Got that. No problem.
The problem comes in when Pelosi’s comments are twisted to point to what the writer refers to “individual citizens who come to town halls with fears and questions.”
We’re not talking about people who have genuine concerns and want to know more. But most people who look at the situation objectively are quickly able to see that there’s more than one kind of person attending these meetings.
We’re talking about people who’ve already made up their mind, no matter what the facts do or don’t show. We’re talking about people who don’t want to hear any idea other than the one their political party is offering. We’re talking about people who don’t care to have any questions answered. We’re talking about people who are far more interested in out-shouting everyone else.
Doesn’t sound very American to me.
The very quote the writer chose from Pelosi discusses disruptions. A town hall meeting isn’t supposed to be disrupted. It isn’t supposed to be a shouting match. That’s not how you communicate an idea.
It’s certainly not a compassionate way of communicating an idea that exemplifies loving your neighbor as you love yourself.
Are these “disruptors” exhibiting genuine fear? Perhaps. Are they seeking answers? Not if they’re talking over the answers. It just doesn’t work that way.
And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that what they’re shouting isn’t a list of better ideas to improve the system. It’s a whole lot of name-calling, a whole lot of hate-speak, and a whole lot of rhetoric. Is that really helping matters?
People who are there to disrupt the proceedings, just so they can play the typical political games aren’t helping solve the health care problem.
That doesn’t sound very American to me, either.