Do you see things a little differently?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Attempting to make sense of it all

There has been a great deal of contentious argument lately regarding the health care bill.  What I am trying to understand is why people are tearing each other down instead of finding ways to make things better.  Have we degraded to such an uncivilized state that attacking those we disagree with, is considered a fair substitute for presenting a well reasoned argument with supporting facts?  Why is making up half truths and lies, then sending them across the web, an accepted practice?  Even worse, why are people willing to believe the worst about those we disagree with.  Just because someone holds a different view of things, does not mean they go around torturing small animals for pleasure.
I was forwarded an email recently which disparaged our current President (Barak Obama).  The email included two pictures.  One showed our former President speaking with a group of school children in a casual setting.  The next picture showed our current President behind a lectern with teleprompters, clearly in a classroom setting, indicated by the background items.  The email  went on to propose that these two images showed the difference between how the two Presidents related to children.  Not being one to take things at face value, I took a few moments to research the supposition, and quickly learned that the email author was taking a partial truth and distorting it to the detriment of our current President.  The picture with the lectern was for a press conference held after a meeting with the school children, a meeting held in a manner very similar to the one shown with the prior President.  If this was the only example of this behavior, I would not be very concerned, but I am seeing examples of this over and over again, across all fields of the political spectrum.  This behavior is unethical, and immoral.  The concept of promoting the truth is a core value in Christianity, and many other faiths, but lately I am not seeing that value reflected in action.

I believe in maintaining an open mind, and listening to what others have to say.  I am willing to review facts (even those I don't like), and change my mind based on the evidence (real, not invented).  I can accept that I may be wrong, and I do not know everything (far from it really).  I do not know what the changes in health care legislation will bring, but I am optimistic that these are attempts to make life better, and if something isn't working, that it will be changed to fix it.  I remain hopeful that people will once again be civil with each other and agree to disagree when a compromise can not be reached.

Its getting late for me, and I need some sleep.  Please feel free to let me know your thoughts.  It would be great if you agree with me, but if you don't I would love to hear that also.