Thinkerfromiowa's Blog

Conversation about a variety of subjects

May We Make Them Proud

May We Make Them Proud

.Hello, everyone.

Yesterday, 12/16/12, President Obama addressed a prayer vigil held at the Newtown High School in Newtown, Connecticut, for the children killed in the school massacre. Here is the transcript of his remarks.

12/17/12 Remarks by the President at Sandy Hook Interfaith Prayer Vigil

 Newtown High School

Newtown, Connecticut

 8:37 P.M. EST

 THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, Governor. To all the families, first responders, to the community of Newtown, clergy, guests — Scripture tells us: “…do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away…inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”

 [COMMENT: The verses that President Obama referenced were II Corinthians 4:16 –5:1.]

 We gather here in memory of twenty beautiful children and six remarkable adults. They lost their lives in a school that could have been any school; in a quiet town full of good and decent people that could be any town in America.

 Here in Newtown, I come to offer the love and prayers of a nation. I am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts. I can only hope it helps for you to know that you’re not alone in your grief; that our world too has been torn apart; that all across this land of ours, we have wept with you, we’ve pulled our children tight. And you must know that whatever measure of comfort we can provide, we will provide; whatever portion of sadness that we can share with you to ease this heavy load, we will gladly bear it. Newtown — you are not alone. As these difficult days have unfolded, you’ve also inspired us with stories of strength and resolve and sacrifice.

 We know that when danger arrived in the halls of Sandy Hook Elementary, the school’s staff did not flinch, they did not hesitate. Dawn Hochsprung and Mary Sherlach, Vicki Soto, Lauren Rousseau, Rachel Davino and Anne Marie Murphy — they responded as we all hope we might respond in such terrifying circumstances – with courage and with love, giving their lives to protect the children in their care. We know that there were other teachers who barricaded themselves inside classrooms, and kept steady through it all, and reassured their students by saying “wait for the good guys, they’re coming”; “show me your smile.”

 And we know that good guys came. The first responders who raced to the scene, helping to guide those in harm’s way to safety, and comfort those in need, holding at bay their own shock and trauma because they had a job to do, and others needed them more.

 And then there were the scenes of the schoolchildren, helping one another, holding each other, dutifully following instructions in the way that young children sometimes do; one child even trying to encourage a grown-up by saying, “I know karate. So it’s okay. I’ll lead the way out.” (Laughter.) As a community, you’ve inspired us, Newtown. In the face of indescribable violence, in the face of unconscionable evil, you’ve looked out for each other, and you’ve cared for one another, and you’ve loved one another. This is how Newtown will be remembered. And with time, and God’s grace, that love will see you through.

 But we, as a nation, we are left with some hard questions. Someone once described the joy and anxiety of parenthood as the equivalent of having your heart outside of your body all the time, walking around. With their very first cry, this most precious, vital part of ourselves — our child — is suddenly exposed to the world, to possible mishap or malice. And every parent knows there is nothing we will not do to shield our children from harm. And yet, we also know that with that child’s very first step, and each step after that, they are separating from us; that we won’t — that we can’t always be there for them. They’ll suffer sickness and setbacks and broken hearts and disappointments. And we learn that our most important job is to give them what they need to become self-reliant and capable and resilient, ready to face the world without fear.

 And we know we can’t do this by ourselves. It comes as a shock at a certain point where you realize, no matter how much you love these kids, you can’t do it by yourself. That this job of keeping our children safe, and teaching them well, is something we can only do together, with the help of friends and neighbors, the help of a community, and the help of a nation. And in that way, we come to realize that we bear a responsibility for every child because we’re counting on everybody else to help look after ours; that we’re all parents; that they’re all our children. This is our first task — caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.

 And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we are meeting our obligations? Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children — all of them — safe from harm? Can we claim, as a nation, that we’re all together there, letting them know that they are loved, and teaching them to love in return? Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?

 I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change.

 Since I’ve been President, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by a mass shooting. The fourth time we’ve hugged survivors. The fourth time we’ve consoled the families of victims. And in between, there have been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country, almost daily reports of victims, many of them children, in small towns and big cities all across America — victims whose – – much of the time, their only fault was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that — then surely we have an obligation to try.

 In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens — from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators — in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. Because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom? All the world’s religions — so many of them represented here today — start with a simple question: Why are we here? What gives our life meaning? What gives our acts purpose? We know our time on this Earth is fleeting. We know that we will each have our share of pleasure and pain; that even after we chase after some earthly goal, whether it’s wealth or power or fame, or just simple comfort, we will, in some fashion, fall short of what we had hoped. We know that no matter how good our intentions, we will all stumble sometimes, in some way. We will make mistakes, we will experience hardships. And even when we’re trying to do the right thing, we know that much of our time will be spent groping through the darkness, so often unable to discern God’s heavenly plans.

There’s only one thing we can be sure of, and that is the love that we have — for our children, for our families, for each other. The warmth of a small child’s embrace — that is true. The memories we have of them, the joy that they bring, the wonder we see through their eyes, that fierce and boundless love we feel for them, a love that takes us out of ourselves, and binds us to something larger — we know that’s what matters. We know we’re always doing right when we’re taking care of them, when we’re teaching them well, when we’re showing acts of kindness. We don’t go wrong when we do that.

That’s what we can be sure of. And that’s what you, the people of Newtown, have reminded us. That’s how you’ve inspired us. You remind us what matters. And that’s what should drive us forward in everything we do, for as long as God sees fit to keep us on this Earth.

“Let the little children come to me,” Jesus said, “and do not hinder them — for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Charlotte. Daniel. Olivia. Josephine. Ana. Dylan. Madeleine. Catherine. Chase. Jesse. James. Grace. Emilie. Jack. Noah. Caroline. Jessica. Benjamin. Avielle. Allison.

God has called them all home. For those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on, and make our country worthy of their memory.

May God bless and keep those we’ve lost in His heavenly place. May He grace those we still have with His holy comfort. And may He bless and watch over this community, and the United States of America. (Applause.)

END 8:55 P.M. EST

Of course, this is the United States, which means that there is rank bigotry running rampant here. Here are some examples taken from Twitter. I am including 5 examples here – only five, because even one more would make me vomit.

  1. Take that nigger off the tv, we wanna watch football!@Hester52 @Ty_CoolerThanU

    Bradley Patterson@2A_HogOfTheYear

    2. Obama you stupid sand nigger get off my tv. Your just making the families hurt and miss their kids more and I want to watch football

    Jarred Faul@Jard212

    3. really? can’t even watch sunday night football cuz our nigger prez has to talk, really?

    Ortiz@Brandon_Ortiz13Brandon

 4. I don’t want to see some nig making a speech, I want to watch the 49ers beat the patriots

Pusha B @Bryant_Jaimes

 5. What the fuck is this nigger doing on my screen?!?!?!? I want football!!!

Nick Brack@BrackBrackCity

 You get the idea – Christian America in action. And here is an excellent example from the Crooks & Liars website:

 “A Tennessee pastor on Sunday told his congregation that the number of mass shooting were escalating because of schools were government ‘mind-control centers’ that taught ‘junk about evolution’ and ‘how to be a homo.’

“Old Paths Baptist Church Pastor Sam Morris began speaking about last week’s school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut by warning that ‘this sermon will not be pleasant.’

“‘We get all up in arms about 20 children being shot in a day care but we don’t give one good-glory rip about the 4,000 that were removed violently from the wombs of their mothers [in abortion procedures] the same day,’ he explained. ‘I believe they use children and Christmas and all that to pull on our heart strings about gun control. That’s what it’s all about.’

“…

“‘We’re going to see more of this,’ he continued. ‘Because notice, the first thing in America we start yelling about is gun control is gun control. Have you noticed that? Gun control. No one’s even thought about the fact that these shootings only happened at places where guns are banned. Have you noticed that? They have never had a mass shooting at a gun show, where you can find over a thousand loaded guns at one time.'”

That’s enough of this sanctimonious crap. I just can’t get over this wonderful “love of Jesus.” He’s belching about abortion, but not a word of comfort for the parents going through the heartache. Only in Christian America.

But not Pauline America. Those of us with functioning brains know full well the truth and wisdom that Paul speaks. That is why we not only grieve for the lost children, we also rejoice for them because they have reached that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

I am fluent in English, French, and Spanish, and I can get along in Latin, but I do not know any word in any language that can justly define my anger and revulsion at the hatred displayed in the Tweets given above. A fucking football game is more important than honoring the fallen children in that elementary school in Connecticut? Or more important than showing respect to the leader of our country? This country is one sick puppy, people!!

And here is an excellent example of that sickness. On one of the blogs I read every day – I believe it was Daily Kos – I read an interesting and revolting fact. There are 24 senators – Republicans and a couple of Blue-Dog Democrats – who are in the hip pocket of the National Rifle Association. Those 24 senators were invited to appear on “Meet the Press” to discuss the Connecticut school shooting. Not surprisingly, all 24 declined.

Here’s another example: The shooting occurred last Friday. As of 3:00 pm Mountain Time today, 12/17/12, there has NOT been one single word of comfort or support from the Republican or Evangelical community for the families of the dead children. WHY IN THE HELL NOT??? Billy Graham was loud enough and quick enough in begging people to vote for Mitt Romney in this past election. Pat Robinson, never at a loss for an opportunity to flap his flapper, has, for some unknown reason, decided to stand mute as concerning the deaths of the innocent children. And no House Republican from John Boehner to the rawest back-bench neophyte, has said a word. Same for the Senate Republicans.

I am hurting over this thing. I never had any kids of my own, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love children. Sure, they can be royal pains in the prat at times, but at other times they can be royal joys. And how can anyone resist having a little one come up to you and have him give you a big hug and maybe a sloppy kiss? And so I am dumbfounded at not only the Tweeters, but also the Republicans and the Evangelicals being unable AND unwilling to express any sorrow, regret, support, or unanimity with the grieving families.

I’ll get over my hurt and be OK again – until the next mass shooting and especially the next school shooting. Because there WILL be another, and maybe many, many more, because the Republicans and the Evangelicals are not men enough to stand up to the NRA and support the enactment of stricter gun control laws. And the Democrats aren’t innocent in this either; they have been all too willing to stoop over and grasp their ankles so the Republicans can ream their butts royally. But THIS STUPID NONSENSE HAS GOT TO STOP!!

Why is this problem of gun violence so prevalent in the United States but so lacking in other, more definitely civilized countries? I truly believe in my heart that it is because of the influence of Jesus Christ in this nation. Remember that NOT ONE Evangelical Christian spokesman has spoken a word of solidarity with the parents of the dead children. We also have Jesus’ own word – spoken in Matthew 10:34 – that he – supposedly the “Prince of Peace” – did not come to this earth to bring peace, but a sword, or warfare and strife. Also in Luke 22:36, he advises his disciples to sell their clothing and use the money to buy swords, or arms. Time and space constraints hinder me from discussing this country’s bellicose history in any depth, but it is there for those who have the intellect to comprehend it.

Barak Obama said it extremely well: “God has called them all home. For those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on, and make our country worthy of their memory.”

May we make them proud! May we decide that enough is enough and put an end to the Republican / Evangelical stupidity that holds us powerless except to observe shooting after shooting after shooting. And, if need be, may we grind Jesus Christ and his warmongering and life-taking spawn and grind them into dust and embrace a deity – Mohammed, Allah,The Buddah, or some other deity – who knows the pathway of peace and who chooses to endeavor to lead us in that pathway.

They say that every cloud has its silver lining. Out of the carnage of Newtown, HOPEFULLY we will emerge as smarter human beings. I do have my doubts, though.

Season’s Greetings, and Happy Holidays to you all

Bill

Advertisements

December 18, 2012 - Posted by | Miscellaneous, Politics, Religion |

1 Comment »

  1. Wow! Mary Joy Sherlach was the cousin of Elzie Crisler Segar, the creator of Popeye the Sailor!

    Comment by V.E.G. | May 29, 2014 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: