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American Brokenness: A Lament on Healthcare

Conservatives in this country are undergoing an existential crisis, but this is not the time for liberals to sit by smugly and watch.

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But I would love to see a sign at the next health care town hall meeting declaring WE SHARE YOUR PAIN AND WE NEED YOUR HELP. I would love to see Barney Frank or any other Congressperson say to a protester, “I will not allow you to disrupt this meeting out of consideration for the other citizens who have come here to engage in the democratic process. But I grieve with you the simpler days that we seem to have lost. What are you afraid of, and how can we address your fears?” That, it seems to me, is the only way we are going to change the dreadful national script we have written for ourselves this summer.

Buber has a final word for the puppet masters suborning violence this summer, however:

All this is the work of the mighty, in order to render tractable by their deceits those whom they have oppressed. Their tongues maintain them in their superiority. They ‘speak great things’ and by the speaking bind their bondslaves still more to them. And if they guess that rebellion is stirring in the minds of the oppressed and the hope awakening that ‘the Lord is with us!’, then they answer themselves ‘Our lips are with us, who is lord over us?’

Free speech and AR-15s are one thing, but the debates of this August begin to take on the character of ultimate things. The lie is not real. Its power, no matter how thuggishly supported, cannot last forever. That message needs to be heard by those who speak the lies and those who hear them alike.

Daniel Schultz a.k.a. pastordan, leads the online community Street Prophets . A minister in the United Church of Christ, he serves a small and very patient church in rural Wisconsin.