BY SHARON MARTIN
I can be manipulated. Just show me a picture of a hungry child or abused animal. You can play on my heartstrings. You can play on my fears.
When folks are afraid, they want to run and hide and change nothing – better the devil you know – or they get all patriotic and want to stand and fight [or have some young person do it for them]. Neither of these solutions works.
Listen up, guys! FDR was right; we have nothing to fear but fear.
The Bush/Cheney crowd led too many to believe that an attack from Iraq was imminent. Then Iraq got even scarier because they purposely spoke about it and Al Qaeda in the same paragraph, sometimes in the same sentence. Using fear tactics, Bush got what he wanted.
Oppponents of health care reform are using scare tactics. We’re passing a deficit on to our children. Bigger than the one created by the Iraq War? We’re losing our freedom of choice. What choice, to get medical treatment or keep the house? To buy food or refill prescriptions? They’re going to kill Grandma. How does one respond to that lie?
I understand why Republicans want health care reform to fail. Legislators have good insurance, and Republicans are looking for a return to power. Failure of health care won’t hurt them, but it can help them. What do obstructionist Democrats stand to gain? I bet it has something to do with either money or power. It was money from oil and defense contracts that led us to Iraq the second time.
Church leaders have jumped on the fear bandwagon. Have you received your invitation in the mail to study “The Final Events of Bible Prophecy?” As the daughter of fundamentalists, I’ve been hearing about the end times my whole life. Wars and rumors of war are the warning signs. But when has the world not been at war?
According to my Bible, man knows “neither the day nor the hour,” so what do religious leaders have to gain by throwing gasoline on this particular fire? And this isn’t the only fire the Christians are stoking.
A friend of mine sends e-mails about how God is under attack in the public schools. I guess she hasn’t seen the athletes and their fans praying around the flag pole. This same friend sees the mention in the classroom of any religions other than Christianity or Judaism as an attack on Christianity. What she really wants is a theocracy, I think. Now, that scares me!
Christians’ greatest fear seems to be the assault by gays on their family values. What is this about? Are they afraid gay parents will do a better job of raising children? I can tell they are afraid by the passion they bring to their arguments, and we have religious and political leaders to thank.
There is plenty to fear in this world. I fear Jim Inhofe who told constituents at a Town Hall meeting, “We’re almost reaching a revolution in this country.” He’s using scare tactics to foment that revolution. I fear the Limbaughs and Becks of the world because they stir up hate. I fear “supreme leaders” and men who call themselves holy while denying the holiness in all of us. I’m afraid of what scare tactics are doing to my country.
Who wants to help me spread a little hope?
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer