Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Gabby Giffords Gives Us Hope for Congress - and Humanity

This made my day yesterday. Last night, during the debt ceiling vote in the house, Gabby Giffords walked in, and she got a standing ovation from everyone. After months of partisan wrangling and holding the American people as well as the full faith and credit of the United States of America hostage, at the last minute, the congress finally got together and voted to raise the debt ceiling. But Gabby walked in moments before passage and registered her vote. Although the rules of the house prohibit applause, everyone ignored the rules. This shows that the congress is human, and still capable of showing respect and empathy. We need more of that in government and in society at large. Sometimes it takes a tragedy to bring it out. Gabby Giffords dedicated her life to public service, and she was acknowledged for that by minority leader Pelosi last night. "Throughout America, there isn't a name that stirs more love, more admiration, more respect, more wishing for our daughters to be like her, than the name Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords," Pelosi said.

Ever since Ronald Reagan said “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I'm from the government and I'm here to help,’” there have been forces that want to tear government down, and kill those who represent it. But the government is us. If we kill the government, we kill ourselves. The government is an collective body, elected by society, that takes care of society at large. We have chosen representatives to take care of the least among us, the poor, the elderly, and the disabled. That’s why we have Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. If we break our social contract with those people, and the wealthy use their money to influence politicians to destroy those programs for their own benefit, America will no longer be great. America is only as strong as it’s weakest link. We cannot let the least among us fall through the cracks. That’s what Jesus would do. If Republicans claim to be Christians, they must acknowledge the truth of Christ’s admonition that “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” - Matthew 25:40 Christ gave his life to deliver that message, and his name has been plowed into history forever. Gabby Giffords almost gave her life as well. It’s a shame that it takes such sacrifice for us to wake up from our selfish slumber to love and care for our brothers and sisters.

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