Many blogs have been discussing the Bush shoe incident lately. I must say that I have been a little disturbed by what I have found. First I have to say that what I find within myself is often the most disturbing. There are times I also get angry at people. There are also times past I have wished someone would “get what is coming to them.” I don’t think either of those things are godly and certainly do not reflect the teachings of Jesus or represent the fruits of the Spirit.
I am not typing this to point fingers at anyone and I am not going to link to anyone I disagree with or even quote them in an effort to out what I find disturbing and inappropriate. I have seen several instances of non-violent, pacifist Christians condoning the actions that were taken out against our president. I see dramatic inconsistency in people who say there is no place for violence in the public or private arena but then applaud it when it is done toward the man they believe is evil. When did it become right to wish harm on President Bush? If you can answer that then we can all just as easily say it would be fine to wish harm on any of the rest of us.
First of all Bush is our president, like it or not. He is. Let me put this in perspective. I didn’t vote for Obama and I really hoped he wouldn’t get elected but I dare you to try and throw a shoe at him in my presence. I couldn’t stand for it. Even if he does an awful job at being president and even if he directly or indirectly (e.g. abortion) costs this country millions of lives I still wouldn’t condone someone attacking him because he is a real person and he is our president. We should be appalled at anyone who would try to harm our president or insult him in this manner. The same should hold true for those who don’t like Bush. They should at least not wish harm on the man.
Second, we cannot find something favorable just because we believe “he had it coming to him.” I am not quoting anyone in particular there, just making a point. That does not justify violence either.
Third, there are means through which people can make their voices and opinions heard in the public sector due to freedom of speech. This man is able to disagree with Bush, which he couldn’t have done under Saddam, and even throw shoes at him without getting shot because Bush had the vision (call it what you will) to grant this man freedom. I know many of you will disagree with this point and that is fine. Let me make the point another way…some of the same people who favor Obama because he is pro diplomacy and hate Bush because he “rushed to war” are in favor of this man throwing his shoes at Bush. Shouldn’t this man also use means of diplomacy and his rights of freedom of speech to make his voice heard? Does he have to try to smash Bush in the face with his shoe to get his point across?
Fourth, I don’t know if this man is a Christian but for those of us who are…we can never, ever condone this kind of behavior. This is just beneath us. Sorry. Oh, but Bush is evil and he killed all these people, etc. Okay then, just agree that war is fine based on the same criteria. That would be fair right?
We all make mistakes. I have made plenty. But I would sure hope that no Christian would hope I, or anyone else, would get our face pummeled to a pulp for making the mistakes we have made. Feel free to disagree. This is just where I am at in all of this. So what do you think? Is there a certain level of judgment you can pass on another person that makes it okay to behave like this?