A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.
Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.
I came upon an article in the Sunday paper about Rick Warren, the author of the blockbuster best-selling book, “A Purpose Driven Life.” Apparently, Mr. Warren has had a change of heart and is telling his flock to play nice.
According to the article, Warren now regrets an e-mail that he sent to 136,000 pastors prior to the 2004 election. That e-mail called for churches to focus on hot-button issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion and stem-cell research.
The article goes on to say that Warren now wants to promote “personal responsibility and restore civility in American culture.”
“I just think we’re becoming too rude,” he said. “You have no right to demonize someone just because you disagree with them.”
To that, I say – AMEN!
In the interest of full-disclosure, let me say that I hate politics. I don’t do yard signs and I don’t campaign for anyone. I prefer to keep my politics, or lack thereof, to myself.
Modern day politics are so rarely about issues and more often about money well-spent and verbal jabs well-aimed. To me, it’s like the sound of children fighting. We never get to the bottom of what they’re fighting about and we often miss the purpose of what they, and we, are fighting for. In fact, the more noise that politicians make, the less I tend to hear what they’re saying.
Let me also say that I hold very dearly the privilege, the honor and the right to vote in our elections. Men and women have given their lives so that we can freely vote. To ignore that is to dishonor those who have sacrificed.
It is February 2008. Soon, our state will be in the middle of a primary and will be under the spotlight of the nation. Shortly after that, Wauwatosa voters will choose a new mayor. With that in mind, I’m calling for a cease-fire.
No, I’m not saying you shouldn’t fight for what you believe in. I’m just asking you to fight fair. Leave the sarcasm, anger, name-calling and venom behind. Argue respectfully. Stop using terms like “flaming liberal” or “conservative shill.” Argue the issue, don’t attack the person.
Look, you don’t have to agree with Rick Warren’s politics or religion to appreciate his most recent message. No matter what side of the voting booth you stand on, it’s always nice to practice the golden rule.