Friday, January 21, 2011

Silence



Justin Rosario writes from a liberal perspective and posts on a site called Addictinginfo.org.  Today, he’s published a piece about the righteousness of and the need for liberal rage.  Please check it out at http://addictinginfo.org/new/?page_id=655.   As usual, I couldn’t agree with him more.  Not only does he write pieces with which I agree, but the pieces he writes make me think and make me want to act.  In other words, he’s good at what he does!

My first taste of adult politics, after my adolescent political crush on JFK, was in 1967.  The war in Viet Nam was taking more and more of my peers and giving them back in body bags.  I was one of thousands in the 1967 March on the Pentagon.  That day changed me. I was a Franciscan Friar and so immune from the draft at that point, so my feelings weren’t prompted by direct self–interest; they were prompted by a sense of powerlessness, a sense that my fellow male baby boomers were being used by President Johnson, Secretary MacNamara, General Abrams and others in an obscene way for obscene purposes.  I wrote letters to the editor of The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Time Magazine (none of which were published).   I participated in any local protest that was open to me.  I boycotted classes.  I was mad.  My rage only increased under Nixon and his thugs.

Justin’s piece this morning made me remember the intensity of my rage during those Viet Nam and Watergate years.  Because most of my peers back then felt the same rage for the same reasons, it seemed normal and right back then to stand up and scream my anger in concert with my buddies.  Justin’s piece also makes me ask myself what has caused me to become so complacent, even in my current anger and rage.  Why have I become so accommodating of assholes?

I live in a country and in a time where people try to teach superstition instead of science in high school science classes.  I am a gay man living in a time when Marine Generals, televangelists, and pseudo–counselors feel that they can tell me on TV that I’m an abomination.  I am a man who fully supports women’s rights, including their right to determine what happens to their bodies, living in a time when women’s rights seem once again to be endangered.  I am a man who has been personally harmed and misled by religion living in a country and at a time when uneducated religious zealots are trying to turn my government and my culture into some kind of Christian gulag.

If ever there was a time when I should be enraged, now is that time.

It’s good for me to hear what young people like Justin Rosario have to say.  It’s good for me to plug into the fury and angry energy of young people who see injustice and stupidity and are brave enough to speak out.  I need to march again.  I need to stand up to bullies like Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Pat Robertson, and their ilk.  I need to feel and express the anger that I know is in me.  I need to get over my lethargy and start screaming.


 

1 comment:

  1. God bless you. I hope your wonderful words inspire us all to get off our butts and take action - protest, organize, VOTE!

    ReplyDelete