You have dismissed me with remarks that attempt to make me feel that my opinions were at best uninformed at at the very least.... oh, what's the word you used?... ah, yes...."stupid".
You have chided me with statements that want me to believe that somehow I am not "tough enough" to take the reality of our world. That, if I just "walk it off" and "rub some dirt in it," I'll be able to play the game with the big boys.
You have questioned my intelligence, my theology and my sanity.
You continue to repeat your belief that "Never Retreat. Reload" is not a violent statement, apparently oblivious to the fact that repeating an untruth at ever increasing decibels does not make it true.
You can't understand how I can look at Sarah Palin's web page and see a target over the twenty districts that voted for Health Care Reform while even a blind fool can see that it's a surveyor's symbol - despite the fact that Palin's language on that page includes words like "salvo" and "fight".
You become absolutely enraged when I simply can't understand that the vitriol and violent rhetoric comes from the Left, too, even though I can show you fifty examples from the Right for every one that comes from the Left.
You don't want to hear that. You seem so desperate to defend your right to Free Speech that you can't hear my right to express my opinion and perspective which differ from yours. Which is really what the First Amendment is all about - not the right to say absolutely anything you want, even when that fans the flames of anger or, in the case of that poor, delusional soul who shot all those people in Tucson, pushes people who are emotionally and psychologically fragile deeper into the darkness of their mental illness.
You don't want to hear that there are consequences - often tragic consequences - for violent, vitriolic language and we have to hold ourselves, and others, accountable for those consequences.
Oh, and to the person who told me that I ought to "shut my filthy lesbian mouth" and that all I needed was to have you come and show me "what a real man is all about" - you have been blocked from my email and blog. I have also reported you to Google and Blogger, with a copy of your post to me.
That won't change you or your opinions - that's really not my goal, anyway - but it made be feel a bit safer.
So, as Joe Biden would say, here's the deal.
First, I want you to read the Comment Code of Conduct which appears above the box where you leave your comments. I borrowed it from (and attributed it to) Sojourners. I'll reproduce it here - just in case you missed it:
I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of this online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree—even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)
I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)
I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)
I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by the Blog Owner and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)
If you continue, I will block you and forward your comments to Google and Blogger with a formal complaint.
If you have a difficult truth to tell and are unable to leave your identity, I understand completely and I appreciate your contribution to the conversation. However, I ask that you abide by the Code of Conduct.
If you leave a questionable comment and I can't trace your identity, I will not post your comment.
In conclusion, I urge you to read "Surely Some Revelation Is at Hand" by Steve Almond, which, from my perspective, is the best I've read on this terrible tragedy.
Here's part of his analysis, which is startling in its clarity:
It has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with the capacity for moral self-reflection. What happens when a large and well-armed portion of our citizenry can no longer apologize? When humility becomes another form of humiliation? Their heroes exhort them: Never retreat. Reload.Here's the quote I want to highlight, because it resonates with my experience of your words to me:
The young man with the gun, in a final note to friends, put it like this:
"Please don’t be mad at me… I cannot rest"He seemed to recognize that he was going to do wrong. But he couldn’t stop himself.
He was not merely following orders. He was attempting to construct a world in which it was bearable to live. When this became impossible, he sought to die for a noble cause.
"The more hysterical reactions will come from those who feel themselves implicated, who fear the great con of their professions exposed. They will react with absurd rituals of denial, as if, after all their violent agitation, they are the ones being fired upon, the victims of some vast and unending conspiracy."I wish you well, dear Anonymous. I wish you peace - that peace of God which passes all understanding.
I trust you will join me in prayers for all the victims in Tucson, for all those who died, for all those who grieve their loss, for the residents of Tucson, as well as for this nation.
Oh, I'll keep writing my opinions which express my particular perspective. You haven't stopped me. But, since we won't be talking again this is goodbye.
You may not have left your name, but I know it. We all do.
Your name is Legion.