Saturday, March 11, 2006
It's the most important thing about him to keep in mind. He is not trying to tell the truth; he is not trying to guide people. He is trying to say what he thinks will draw in a big audience. He is playing a game. It's a nasty, and very damaging game, but to him, it's a game. You can't shame him into backing off, because he doesn't mean anything he says.
So, I try to ignore him, but recently,I heard something he said that pissed me off. There were four Christian peace activists who had been kidnapped in Iraq. He said that part of him, just a part, was glad that these crazy liberal peace-lovers were learning what the enemy was like.
Now, I understand where he's coming from. He's like, "you keep claiming that if we're just helpful and understanding, we'll prevent criminals... and you just got mugged. Did you try to be helpful and understanding to your mugger? Didn't help you much, did it?"
I understand that nasty little urge, and I'm not pissed off about that. I'm pissed off by the automatic assumption that Tom Fox, and his three collegues, Harmeet Sooden, Jim Loney and Norman Kember, thought that they were not putting themselves in danger.
Jesus told his followers that this life was not the important one; he told his followers that they should use this life to build their treasure in the next. They should help the poor, the sick, and the oppressed in this life, and not be afraid, because doing what's right is more important than whatever can happen to you in this world.
He challenged his followers to love the world as much as he did... and Jesus was willing to be tortured and crucified for the sake of the world.
Do I think Tom Fox was surprised to find out that going to Iraq was dangerous? No. Not a bit.
If you haven't heard the news, his body has been found; he was tortured, and shot. He knew that this was one of the risks he was taking; he felt his service to humanity was more important than this risk. He gave his life to follow his beliefs.
Rush Limbaugh is a bullshit artist; he's not worthy of contempt. But he comes awfully close when he denigrates courage and love, and confuses them with foolishness naivete.
Rest well, Tom... and know that there are many of us who understand, and will do our best to carry on.