Update: Voices in Advocacy Response to Today’s Congressonal Attack

Today was not a good day in our nation’s capital. Today we experienced political discourse in its worst form.

Members of Congress have always been in the political cross-hairs – today sadly they were in the cross-hairs of a powerful rifle. Fifty or more ammo rounds rang out across a baseball field in Alexandria, VA. Without the tremendous bravery of U.S. Capitol Police, we might be talking about the loss of many lives from within the congressional family.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said it correctly this morning to a full house chamber “Make no mistake: an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.” He was speaking to all Members of Congress. He may also be speaking to all of us. This attack – attacked all of us.

The high-pitched vitriol extoled in recent protests and congressional town halls may have predicted today’s events. The great Martin Luther King is celebrated for his non-violence stand and eventually won breakthroughs in new civil rights legislation. We will never know how much he would have achieved if it were not for an assassin’s bullet.

Violence in our society is an unacceptable solution to our differences.
We the people… all need to take a deep breath and end the very divisive personal verbal or physical attacks on the people that serve us in our government. We need to resolve to end this toxic stew.

It is incumbent on us as a citizenry to ratchet down the political rhetoric, this bombastic dialog is not limited to one-side or the other, it is not limited to those elected. It is our responsibility to chart a new course of discussion and interchange that leads to a better understanding of the pain and anxiety we are experiencing.

We cannot expect others to politically agree with us on everything, something or even anything. Can’t we just politely agree to disagree regarding our personal politics? We don’t have to agree but we do have to have an open, safe dialog that aims to solve problems – not create more problems.

We as Americans, are a melting pot of many peoples from many societies. Yet we have similar desires and primarily the same beliefs. We believe in a core set of rights. Our Bill of Rights lays out a set of freedoms that have been the envy of much of the world. Yet recently all we can see is our differences. This must change.

As a nation, it is time to sit down and begin peace talks among our neighbors.

Let’s pray tomorrow begins a shift to more civility.