Time to Stop Rewarding the Dehumanizing Rhetoric

January 13, 2011

Recently, I was honored to receive an invitation to join the esteemed panel of the Washington Post’s On Faith. Please read and share my first piece — below is the beginning, and it can be read in full at On Faith:

megaphoneIn the wake of this national tragedy, many have speculated about whether violent rhetoric and imagery used by Sarah Palin and others directly influenced Saturday’s devastating events. We may never know if there was a direct link between Palin’s words and the tragedy in Arizona, but as Stephen Prothero eloquently argued this week, we shouldn’t hesitate to reflect on the impact of the rhetoric used by those with political influence.

As the news broke on Saturday morning, I was in the middle of writing about something Palin had written in her most recent book, America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag – specifically, her claim that “morality itself cannot be sustained without the support of religious beliefs.” Unlike the moral outcry inspired by her demands that “peaceful Muslims” “refudiate” the “Ground Zero Mosque,” her comments about the nonreligious were met with silence.

Sure enough, some on the political right are using this same logic to explain the actions of the alleged gunman, Jared Loughner. Said one right-wing pundit: “When God is not in your life, evil will seek to fill the void.”

Continue reading at On Faith.

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2 Responses to “Time to Stop Rewarding the Dehumanizing Rhetoric”

  1. Taylor N. said

    Great post, Chris. It’s interesting to me that neither belief in God, nor a devout atheist philosophy can guarantee morality. But I see that as the problem with humans, not with God. I do believe God is the judge of ultimate ethics, and we’re all on a journey to learn it. Thanks for pointing out the demeaning comments, I definitely learned that they slip under my radar more often than I think.

  2. Richard said

    I follow right wing shows they have always denounced violence and quoted left wing shows with sound bites in good amount of time to get the full jest of what they are saying even our president said they bring a knife we bring a gun or something to that nature
    This guy who shot the congress lady and judge ect is just a crazy nut he didn’t vote in the election was regester independent and an athiest he had mental issues traceing back to colledge this situation had nothing to do with stuff on talk shows but the left would like to link it

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