Opinion

Krause: Let’s stop talking and start doing

I will admit it. I am defeated. I’ve run out of indignation over the state of affairs in this world. There’s only so much railing on Facebook you can do … only so much righteous anger you can muster.

Somehow, the expression “shoveling sand against the tide” springs to mind. You can shovel, shovel and shovel some more and the only thing you’ve accomplished is a sore back. The tide keeps rushing in, and it keeps washing over everything we’ve accomplished, or tried to accomplish, and obliterating it.

Friday, we had another mass shooting, this one claiming 12 lives in Virginia Beach, Va. These are becoming sickeningly commonplace. And all the outrage in the world isn’t stopping them. So why get outraged, then? Who’s listening?

What’s the point? We can’t seem to go two months without some grisly, hideous mass murder, and the best we seem to be able to offer up are thoughts and prayers.

The talk surrounding Friday’s shooting was depressingly familiar. We had public officials asking “but what can we doooo? These guns were obtained leeeeegally.”

Rather than attack the problem head-on, the way we do when some poor woman with no visible means of supporting either herself or her impending baby has an abortion, we hide behind some bizarre interpretation of a poorly-written document (the Second Amendment) as justification for letting this stuff continue unabated. Read it sometime. Right there in it are the words “well-regulated.” So why don’t we? Where is the fortitude? I think you know where.

Last week in Peabody, there was an ugly incident involving anti-Semitism. For those who don’t understand what that means, it means hatred of Jews. There will be a rally outside City Hall this week in efforts to educate people on why there shouldn’t be this type of hate.

I don’t mean to demean the effort. I’m happy that Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt Jr. and his staff care enough to make a statement. But I’m also keenly aware that the city will have the rally, and everyone will resolve to do better … until some night, in the not-too-distant future, probably in some other city or town, some kid (or kids) will get liquored up and draw anti-Semitic symbols, or scrawl anti-Semitic messages, somewhere. Then, there will be another rally and, once again, we’ll vow to do better. Until we don’t.

The world may be short of a lot of things. Money for those who need it, compassion, humility … but we’re not short on hate. That’s for sure.

We’ve become very conscious in this country about honoring military veterans, which is only right and proper. Because whether you agree with our military policy, it’s unconscionable to hold those policies against men and women who have served honorably.

During the latter half of the 20th century, and the first part of the 21st we were blessed with having a patriot’s patriot in our midst: Sen. John McCain.

I’m not a Republican (nor am I a Democrat) but while I disagreed with a lot of McCain’s political positions, it was difficult to have anything but the utmost respect for what the man endured, and his grace in how he dealt with it.

Yet someone in the Trump White House thought it was appropriate to request that the Navy hide the name “USS John McCain” when the president visited Japan last week. The president said it wasn’t him, and one would hope he’d have better things to worry about than that. But the idea of it is ridiculously petty, and the fact that someone in the White House thought such an idea was a good one speaks volumes about the respect for McCain in that residence.

All you can do is shake your head and wonder where we’re headed. It does pull you up short.

Finally, Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin tweeted Sunday that members of his flock should not observe LGBTQ Pride Month because such lifestyles run counter to Catholic teaching, and that they’re a bad example for children.

Let’s think about this for a second. A bad example for children. Duly noted.

I’m guessing Bishop Tobin said this with absolutely no awareness of the irony contained within that sentence, which, of course, is absolutely stunning.

How could a Catholic bishop have this galling lack of awareness?

It’s bad enough that all religions save their more punitive measure for those who struggle to figure out who they are, where they fit in, and how to make decisions that are best for themselves and their bodies. But to link this intolerance with pious sanctimony about the welfare of children too? I’m at a loss to reconcile that to the reality of what we’ve discovered about the conduct of certain priests in the church.

As Roger Waters wrote, “I’ve become comfortably numb.” If I were to articulate the outrage I feel over what’s happening in this country, I’d be like Elmer Fudd chasing the “cwazy wabbit.”

Conservative pundit George F. Will said on “CBS Sunday Morning” that the most effective way to start changing the vitriolic dialogue in this country would be to defeat the incumbent president next November.

Let’s do that. It would certainly give me more optimism than I have now.

 

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