Obama’s High Ground on Public Dialogue

Barack Obama, responding to an angry speech by his pastor, wrote this on HuffingtonPost

“I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it’s on the campaign stump or in the pulpit.”

We might ask why Obama chose politics as his profession if he abides by such a lofty principal, but of course, part of his mission is to change the way we do politics.  Will he succeed?  That’s in large part up to us.  We shall see.

In light of Obama’s statement, I offer these words from the writings of the Baha’i Faith, my religion:

… the tongue is a smoldering fire, and excess of speech a deadly poison.  Material fire consumeth the body, whereas the fire of the tongue devoureth both heart and soul.  The force of the former lasteth but for a time, whilst the effects of the latter endureth a century.

And:

That seeker should, also, regard backbting as grievous error, and keep himself aloof from its dominion, inasumuch as backbiting quencheth the light of the heart and extinguisheth the life of the soul.

(Source: “Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah,” Wilmette, Ill.: Baha’i Publishing Trust.)

(DISCLAIMER: Baha’is do not practice partisan politics, so this blog entry should not be considered an endorsement of Barack Obama or any other candidate, or a statement against any other candidate.  Its intent is to praise a particular stance of Obama’s, not his candidacy or policies.)

As John Lennon sang, “Imagine” …

Politics without degrading anyone …

Media without gossip or backbiting … (Yes, the unemployment rate would skyrocket)

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Filed under National Politics, Presidential Campaign

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