Sadly remarkable or remarkably sad…
Posted June 24, 2015on:
Sadly, the horrors of the massacre at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston were numbing. It’s an all too routine occurrence in the country these days. This time it was nine people in a church as opposed to a school with twenty first-graders and their teachers.
Remarkably, it looks as if the northern Virginia battle flag will be withdrawn from the capitol grounds of South Carolina. The swiftness of this action is unprecedented. What is even more exceptional is that it took something this horrific for everyone to take a breath, realize the undeniable racist symbolism, and unshackle themselves from the lies told to justify the hatefulness.
It is remarkably sad that this is what it took to bring people to the point of just listening to facts — facts that haven’t changed in 53 years. In 1962, the battle flag of Virginia found its way to the South Carolina statehouse after segregationists took it as their symbol of open rebellion against civil rights. In this instance, the Stars and Bars had little to do with Civil War heritage – other than being a continuing subterfuge of tacit racism.
It took nine good people dying to spur a simple conversation based upon irrefutable facts – facts heretofore unacceptable and unspoken because they fell outside preconceived opinions. If this is a lesson from the Mother Emmanuel massacre, wouldn’t it be extraordinary if it was a lesson capable of being applied to other divisive issues? For instance:
What if people took a moment and considered that the Second Amendment did not guarantee any individual gun rights until the case of District of Columbia v. Heller? What if there was a realization such an interpretation of the Second Amendment was considered laughable prior to 1977 and only after the NRA was taken over by cabal of gun manufacturers did such an interpretation gain traction? There has never been a historical “right to bear arms” only an unflinching greed to sell more guns. A greed not constitutionally sanctioned until 2008.
Or what if people took a breath and realized abortion did not magically appear in 1973 by virtue of Roe v. Wade, but existed as a right from the beginnings of the country. Under English common law, legal medical assistance was available for pregnancy termination until the time of quickening (first perceptible fetal movement usually at about four months). Our incorporation of English common law formed the basis of our legal system and with it, the right to abortion services.
Or what if people were disabused of the notion that the biblical definition of marriage is synonymous with only opposite sex marriage? As recorded, the biblical definition of marriage was in constant flux – from polygamy to taking the wife of a dead brother to forcing a rape victim to marry her rapist to prohibition of interracial or interdenominational marriages and that’s only a few variations of sanctioned biblical marriage. “Traditional marriage” is merely the latest incarnation of a constantly changing cultural practice with same-sex marriage being far from the most shocking installment along its evolutionary trail.
A little self-reflection would go a long way for everyone no matter what their political leanings might be. Just think what would happen if Texans had to drive 550 miles, both ways, to exercise their “constitutional right” to buy a firearm — the equivalency of what a Texan woman must do now to exercise her constitutional right to access legal abortion health services? Just think what would happen if older Americans, incapable of childbearing, were denied marriage licenses under the same logic used to bolster opposition to same-sex marriage?
Just think of the progress we could make if everyone would stop, take a breath, listen, and consider irrefutable facts before rushing to distort them in favor of baseless opinions. It’s sad that nine people had to die at Bible study to remind us of something so remarkably simple.
Take the conversation in any direction you might want to explore today.
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