Yesterday, a news story broke about how some kids in Tennessee had had a plan to try to assassinate presidential hopeful Barack Obama. While I am a strong McCain supporter, I can say that thankfully, the plan did not succeed. I don’t want Obama in the White House at all, but this certainly is not the proper way to prevent that from happening. Murder is always an evil.
I’m also on the Facebook application. Several of you are probably on there as well. I’ve found many of my high school class who have, unfortunately, drunk the Obama Kool-Aid and one of them put up a link about the story. What was most amazing though was that in her comment on the story, she was blaming the religious right.
I read the story that she put up and it said nothing about religious beliefs. (Well, it did say they shot out the window of a church. Last I checked, religious people don’t normally do that.) What was said though was that we all know what happens when the religious right starts acting with literal interpretations of Scripture.
I’ll also point out that what I’m saying is paraphrase and there is no intention to misrepresent what was said. Unfortunately, it looks as if the comments that I made aren’t there any more. However, I was told in reply that we’re from different worldviews so there can’t be any discussion and that this poster has a real beef with the religious right.
My reply was simple. If you have a real beef with the religious right, that’s just fine. It doesn’t mean though that they’re to blame for every evil out there. However, if we also have different worldviews, the thing to do is to meet in the open marketplace of ideas and discuss them. We can find out which, if any, of our views are true. As much as we should be eager to share beliefs we think are true, we should always be open to the possibility that we’re wrong. I also stated that my Facebook IMs were open for such a discussion. The reply I got was simple:
Then, there was a change to this one saying they were being personally attacked in describing their activity. This really stunned me. Personally attacking? I was simply stating a divergent viewpoint. (If anything was an attack, it was insisting that the religious right were the ones behind an attempt by neo-nazis to assassinate Obama.)
It makes me think we’ve lost something in our world today. It’s getting to where you can’t tell anyone that they’re wrong about anything. This is something especially evident in political circles today. Thomas Sowell has written a great article telling how presidential candidates back in the 1800’s got called far worse things than anything McCain or Obama have been called.
Some people might find my stance on negative campaign ads odd. I’m all for them. If someone goes too far, the public will see it. However, I think it’s perfectly legitimate for any candidate to call his opponents view into question. Let me see his record. I want to see that. I don’t want to just hear the good things being promised today.
It’s what Sowell refers to as record vs. rhetoric. If someone has a problem with someone on an issue, it’s perfectly all right to say so. This is the way ideas get sharpened and improved. I have my own stances on theology. If I meet a Christian, I’m more than wiling to discuss our disagreements. (There is one exception. If that disagreement becomes a point of fellowship, I no longer want to discuss it. It seems that what divides us has then been put above what unites us, our faith in Christ.)
If we live in a society where we can’t even say someone is wrong without considering it an attack on the person, there’s a problem. I’m not saying I’m against cold hard truth at times either. If someone is honestly being an idiot, I have called them on it before. I don’t prefer to beat around the bush. There are several people though I don’t use the tactic on. The ones that get the toughest treatment are the ones I believe are not really seeking truth but simply to destroy the flock.
Either way, they do have a right to raise questions though and we should answer them. If we have reached a point in society though where we cannot call something into question though, then we definitely need to take a second look. Anyone of us could be wrong and we dare not try to play God and act as if we can’t.