as part of my nightly routine monday through thursday i like to watch the daily show and then the colbert report (prounced colber repor) before turning off the lights and snuggling into my pillows.
last night stephen colbert had cokie roberts as his guest and he asked about life in washington dc. cokie described it as nasty and likened it to the days prior to and during the civil war when politicians would cane one another.
colbert, always the devil's advocate, asked her what could be done about the nastiness of today, was it even worth trying to change...
cokie (who i take seriously despite the fact that she calls herself cokie) said that yes, it was worth trying to change and that the way it could be done was by putting new people in power, but that would be difficult because of districting which has created a status quo where politicians are allowed to pick voters rather than voters picking their politicians.
she reminisced about the days when the people in power could be nice to one another. they were able to disagree but still get along... they went to dinner together, attended church together, socialized with one another. but now-a-days our political process has become so partisan that it's more fun for politicians to not like each other.
so what do we do about it? colbert asked.
and cokie's reply? "well, we could beat them over the head."
to say that i laughed at that would be an understatement. i'm surprised that i didn't wake hubby who was already asleep next to me. i actually wanted to stand up and cheer.
it has become more fun to dislike other people. i see the same thing in the church; people who have learned to dislike one another trying to make decisions together and it just doesn't work.
debate turns into argument and every disagreement or misunderstanding becomes personal attack.
and people who should care for one another turn situations into us verses them and them verses us.
hmmm... jesus says that we are supposed to turn the other cheek, but i wonder if there is any biblical support for cokie's suggestion of beating "them" over the head?
well, here's a stretch: jesus never backed down from a fight... of course he never used his fists or canes for that matter, but he also never avoided conflict or failed to use it to preach the good news.
fact is we don't all need to like one another, but we DO need to find ways to respect others again. it needs to happen in politics and in the church in our work places on-line and in every other aspect of our lives.
and there it is.