"Bush did it": Dr. E on the London Attack

He is reasonable, intelligent and clear-minded. He’s also charming, wonderfully witty and refreshingly disarming. He’s humble, honorable and compassionate. He has always considered my interests above his own and has gone out of his way to take care of me. He is my optometrist.

We’ll just call him “Dr. E.” Dr. E has become quite a friend. Just a friend, really. And, we have talked about quite a number of things. It wasn’t, however, until my last visit to his office, just a couple of days ago, that I ventured into the realm of the forbidden: religion and politics.

I’ll save our religion discussion for another more relevant time. Suffice it to say that we don’t see eye to eye (ha ha). When I realized that was the case and didn’t see any need to argue about what would be pointless at the moment, I thought I’d attempt a “safer” route. “How about what happened in London this week?!” I asked. This very reasonable man responded, “I think Bush did it!” He was not joking. I could hardly believe it. How could this intelligent man say that…and believe it? I laughed, “You’ve got to be kidding me! You don’t really believe that, do you?!” Oh yes he did!

The discussion continued as he questioned why terrorists would settle for killing less than a hundred people and why they would attack in England, where the population wants its government out of Iraq. After virtually picking myself up from the floor, I responded with the simple observation that England’s Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has been the one European leader who has stood with President Bush in the war against terror and in the fight in Iraq. That’s why. Though he credited me with the point, we had stumbled onto yet another disagreement. It seems as though our views do not fall in the same vicinity, to say the least, on the political spectrum.

As the conversation progressed, it became painfully apparent that Dr. E's ideas had nothing to do with the events of the week, or terrorism or even war. Instead, his issues were all focused on his disagreement, disapproval and possible disdain for President Bush. That was the crux of the matter.

And, because it was, I had a choice to make. Would I proceed to tear apart what was, in my view, an emotional and irrational perspective? Would I enter into debate mode? I was tempted. I considered it. But I didn't.

While our conversation remained interesting, I found myself much more concerned about maintaining civility and respect than proving a point. Not because I’m in anyway inherently above the debate and argument that naturally ensue over these issues. Actually, as you'll find on this site, I am very prone :)

This was different. I could tell that Dr. E may have had prior run-ins with people who believed what I believed but whose tone was different. I have every intention of talking further about these kinds of issues. Because they matter and because he’s a friend. But, that's not the point.

Instead, the exchange reminded me of the priority in times like this, when our nation is so torn, so divided on such major issues of the day, for consideration and respect for others. So many times, as I watch cable news and listen to talk radio, I hear people whose ideas I share but whose attitude turns so many people-- including some who agree--off. Being right never justifies being self-righteous, obnoxious or disrespectful.

Being right has as much to do with having right answers as it does having the right attitude towards others. In the book of Corinthians, the apostle Paul declared that “the love of God compels us.” The Bible also says that it is both lovingkindness and truth that go before God. There are times to set agendas aside, however true we think they may be, as an extension of love, respect and consideration.

I believe that as we extend more respect, we will find more open hearts and minds. The purpose is not to manipulate people but to embody the very truth we claim to represent. If being right means being mean, intolerant and arrogant, then it's no wonder people aren't interested. Neither am I.


At 7/11/2005 10:20:00 PM, Anonymous Clayton Bell said...

This is why I always carry around a roll of duct tape, so in situations like that I can wrap it around my head to keep it from exploding! (You know what blogging reveals more than emotions and personal experiance? Spelling. And that scares no one more than me. People used to thaink that I was smart...yes, I know I spelled that wrong). Why is it that people who hate Bush are so far past the people who like/love him? I've never met anyone who likes him as much as I've met people who hate him. And most of the arguments never make sense to me. Like the whole "no blood for oil". Didn't Bush's family make their money on oil? Wouldn't it make more sense for him to leave that region so that his close friends in Texas would make more money as people came to them instead of SA? How does getting the oil in SA and the Middle East get Bush more money? He's a twice-elected president, you think he's picking up the check anywhere that he goes? See, these are the kind of people who not only make "Skulls" a successful movie, but allow for two sequels because they think they might catch a scene of PGWB and other secret people in the background, not realizing it's only a movie...

Why do you get better rants on your blog than I get on mine? I'm a better reactionary ranter, not that much of a rant initiator. More soon...(do you know what blog that is from?)


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