Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Lost Voices


Lost Voices

I trusted the voice of my father.  He was a man of few words who never sang in church, but he could recognize the atonal notes of a lie like someone with perfect pitch and he had no time for the people who told them.  He lived by the rules of his heart, while I watched.  From him I learned that strength and honesty walk hand in hand, that humility and compassion are never signs of weakness and that a man is only as good as his word.  Daddy could say both "I love you" and "I'm sorry" without losing an ounce of his pride.  His voice was underscored by his integrity, it was consistent and unwavering and, consequently, I trusted it.  I listen to that voice even now, though it's been ten years since I heard it outside of my dreams.

Despite the cacophony of sounding brass and tinkling cymbals aloft in the air today, the silence is deafening.  So many voices have been sacrificed for political expediency and can never be trusted again.  Men who once proudly stood beneath the red, white and blue banner of "family values" now clump together in a frayed knot of self-righteousness, weakly defending their new holy policy of justification and end result.  But the curtain has been lifted.  It is now apparent that the outrage they once spewed at the slightest perceived infraction was only a theatrical act.  How long will it take them to realize that their voices have forever been muted by their own hypocrisy?

Many people of faith feel like they're living in exile because American Christianity is no longer known to champion the words of Christ.  By aligning itself with the vile and indecent its voice has reduced to a whisper.  By linking arms with the National Rifle Association (from whom we are told guns are our "god-given right"), it has muddied the truth with an ignoble cause.  It has looked away while the murdered are ignored, the survivors slandered.  We have listened for its outrage as the poor have been denigrated, both in speech and in policy, and heard nary a word.  While the immigrant is demonized in direct contradiction to the call of Scripture, it has stood by in a silence seen as tacit approval by many.  Kindness and compassion?  Decency?  Beauty?  Love?  All have been devalued by a misguided agenda that has far overshadowed the bright light of Truth.  How long will it take those aboard this off-course ship to notice no one on shore hears their voice any longer?

These are the days we never expected, the days we thought gone for good.  These are the days that can break a person, even a person of faith.  I have watched those I once admired either goosestep their way down a path I find reprehensible or choose instead to prioritize their own contentment, riveting their eyes heavenward and refusing to stand in the way of the lies currently prostituting the very faith they profess to follow, the very country they profess to love.

We Americans have always been proud of our spunk.  If we think we are right, we will go it alone if we have to, make no mistake.  For generations we have stood as a beacon of hope and justice in a fractured world.  With all of our faults, and we have them, we have generally been looked to as a people of compassion who have at least the desire for good.  This reputation is now in peril.  Yet there remain those amongst us who continue to shake their fists in the air, determined to defy the world if they must, not in defense of the good but in a defiant embrace of what they themselves would once have deemed downright ugly.  Our pride is being used against us by a man devoid of the most basic of decent human qualities, a man more than willing to break us into a million pieces for his own gain.

How many lies does it take to lose a voice?
One?  One thousand?
Two?  Two thousand?
How long will it take us to realize we're rapidly losing our own?

21 comments:

  1. Beautifully written! Decency has left the building!

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  2. Eloquent, thoughtful, thought provoking.

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  3. Bravo! Every word you wrote is the absolute truth.

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  4. A thoughtful and eloquent post that puts into words so beautifully what is wrong with the world and why. On a side note, whenever you write about your father I take note of your words. He sounds like he was the type of person I strive to be. Lisa from @bookscooksandlooks

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  5. just one example of our integrity and loss of sense and honor... as i write this there is a bill on our state governor's desk.
    we're already an 'open carry' state. there is a bill that passed our congress. it's only now awaiting her signature to be made a law. the bill says anyone over the age of 17 may own and carry any fire arm without having a registration or a license. can you believe that? i despair at their stupidity.
    every single law enforcement group we have has made it clear they are not for this bill. but no one listened. the people did not get to vote. but this state has lost its sense long ago. we have given the world the likes of Pruitt. so i doubt it would make a difference.
    your post here as always is a tour de force for vanishing integrity. for finding our way before it's too late.

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  6. These are dark days for the compassionate and those with honor and honesty as a part of who they are. Thank you for always sharing---your words bring more comfort than you may know.
    xo,
    Karen

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  7. It is so very sad that you are right in all you say........So very sad.

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  8. We watch from up here and worry. I wonder if this is how the Swiss and the Danes and the Dutch et al felt in the 20s and 30s. It's clear that we didn't learn anything from the horror of WWII, or if we did, we have forgotten it all. No country is immune, and there are leaders here who seem to model themselves after what they see to the south. So far good has prevailed, but barely. So many are afraid to raise their voice or their pen as you've done. I hope there are more people out there like you.

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  9. Powerful post, Pamela. I am seeing the country I love smashed to pieces and a world evolving that I never expected to see. It's heartbreaking. It's more than heartbreaking. It's horrifying.

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  10. This needs to go viral. Your voice needs to be heard. Well done!!

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  11. Well said Pamela from the other side of the pond.

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  12. This is the most powerful summary of our world right now. Thank you for putting together the right words. I will read this over and over.

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  13. Susan from MichiganMay 8, 2018 at 1:13 PM

    I am heartened to know there are others who feel as you do, as I do. My heart does break and then I tell myself that we shall rise up. This is not the world I want to live in. We need to spread a very different message. Thank you, dear Pamela, for your post.

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  14. Perfectly written and thought out. How have we come to accept a liar as President? Sadly, I think only half of us are "spunky" nowadays. "The times, they are a changing." Let me just mention an insidious corporation I have just recently learned about. The Sinclair Broadcast Group has purchased more than 200 local television stations, our ABC affiliate in Tulsa, being one. They are disgracefully making Trumpist fake news right wing statements. I've had to quit watching it after 30 years.

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  15. There are so many people with blinders on. Of course, there are those that just don't care. I am sincerely afraid that our country is in for a rude awakening that will change the course of our history. That sounds dramatic, but I think that's where we are headed if we don't put a immediate stop to the craziness that is going on. Heaven help us.......

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  16. Pamela you should submit to the Huffington Post. They used to feature "thought pieces" from the public and they are always wonderful reading.

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  17. Thank you for this. I feel such deep despair for our country. It is almost unfathomable that one man seems to be almost singlehandedly destroying our democracy. Those who voted for him and those who continue to support him will have a lot to answer for one day, in this world or the next...

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  18. Well said, and keep speaking to what you see and know to be true. I live 1.5 hrs north of the international border with Mexico. I volunteer with a humanitarian group that distributes water and food in the desert to PREVENT deaths. About 25 refugees die each month in the Arizona desert entering the country. Recently, fellow humanitarians found three bodies in one trip. Please do not believe what you hear is happening here. The biggest threat right now in southern Arizona are the out-of-state vigilante groups that roam the desert with assault rifles terrorizing refugees, humanitarian volunteers, and local residents. The vigilantes tell media the humanitarian groups are working for the Mexican cartels. People from all over the USA come here to volunteer to help our local humanitarian groups.

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I love to read your comments! Each and every one! Though I'm always reading your comments, I may not respond in the comment section. If you want to write me directly, you may do so at pamela@pamelaterry.net. Thank you for reading!