During two of the most religious times of the year -- Passover for Jews, Easter for Christians -- shouldn't we pause and ask: When is some of the hatred and downright meanness that seems so prevalent in our political discourse going to end?
In a blog during Thanksgiving last year, I referenced the question asked by the Boston lawyer Joseph N. Welch during the 1954 United States Army McCarthy hearings of Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin: "Senator, have you no shame?" and the 1992 statement of Rodney King ,after LA police officers, who beat him unmercifully, were acquitted he, asked, "Why can't we all just get along?"
Senator Joseph McCarthy had had some modest success in scaring the country about the number of alleged "communists" who were working in the federal government in the early 1950s. There is an eerie similarity between some of the statements directed at President Obama to those earlier, irresponsible, unfounded charges of Senator McCarthy.
Why do not more people in the Republican Party or leaders from our faith-based religious community speak out and stop this dumb nonsense about President Obama not being born in the United States, and, therefore, not legitimately qualified to be president of the United States? Persons of otherwise goodwill and apparent superb intelligence continue to indulge in challenging Obama's U.S. birth in what can only, charitably, be called sheer stupidity.
More importantly, when our country needs serious thoughtful deliberation about resolving our debt and deficit crisis, expanded participation in yet another foreign war (Libya), continued joblessness, home foreclosures, increased healthcare costs, rising gasoline prices, a failed "war on drugs," wanton gun violence, and a crisis in educating our children, is the best we can do is increase the decibels of our acrimonious discussion of these very urgent issues?
Again, at this time of national religious reflection, why are leaders of churches and synagogues and faith-based community organizations AWOL, on the sidelines, and not assuming a more public, constructive role and participation in the discussion and resolution of these major issues, which affect our nation's survival and ability to preserve the American Dream?
During this time of Passover and Easter, "Why can't we all just get along?"