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Shooting of Cong Scalise: When will shocking violence be the tipping point? | MercatorNet | June 16, 2017 |

Shooting of Cong Scalise: When will shocking violence be the tipping point?

MercatorNet | June 16, 2017 |

When will shocking violence be the tipping point?

Congressmen play baseball when a gunman shows up.
Sheila Liaugminas | Jun 16 2017 | comment 

If one of the Members of Congress on the GOP team weren’t one of the top ranking House members with a security detail always covering him, what happened Wednesday on a pastoral, serene, community ball field would easily have turned into a real life rendition of a horror film. Many congressmen and staffers would have been mowed down by an assailant with a deadly weapon and many rounds to reload, if he had made it through the gate, and armed guards weren’t nearby.
It was the closest of calls on a baseball field.
And a “dark day in DC”, a district that has seen historic numbers of them and especially in recent history.
Nebraska Congressman Jeff Fortenberry said it left him “shocked and numb” on the day it happened. The next day, Thursday, he was my guest on radio, and said Members of Congress in both parties have met and talked a lot to get their minds around what happened in this attack on their colleagues on a ball field, and more generally at their town hall gatherings in home districts, which are growing increasingly hostile, angry, and dangerous.
He told me “we’re losing the narrative of virtue, with no formative institutions left except in residual form,” starting with the basic family foundation, extending to schools, churches, community organizations where people are formed with fundamental principles and values of public service, duty, responsibility, virtue. “We need a recommitment to being a source of wisdom” he said, which means acquiring the wisdom in the first place to give others who share goals and ideals, and those who don’t. To be wise enough to speak and listen, and challenge others to solve problems together.
Congressman Fortenberry was shaken by the reality that his close friend, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise – as one of the top congressional leaders – was wounded badly in the shooting but that “it would have been a massacre” on that ballfield had Scalise not been there with the Capitol Police officers assigned to guard top leaders. Without his security detail present, probably no one else would have had weapons to stop the assassin who came to the Republicans’ practice site “to assassinate my colleagues”, he continued. That assassin would likely have mowed them down in a bloodbath and we would have had a human catastrophe in our nations’ leadership. In one party in one branch of our federal government.
Threats have been piling on in emails, phone calls, yard signs and shouting matches at townhall meetings for members of both parties over the past several months.
“We’re not any more special than anybody else, but we are targets,” (Republican Rep. Barry) Loudermilk told reporters in the Capitol. “This is exactly why there is a lot of fear of even doing town halls at this point. Some of the things this guy is posting on Facebook — we get the same things, and even worse.”
(Democratic Rep. James) Clyburn, for his part, wants lawmakers to have more access to security measures.
“For us to have a rule … that you can’t have security cameras in your offices unless you pay for them with your campaign — I just found that out this morning — or you can’t have security stuff in your homes?” Clyburn said. “I can’t tell you how many threats I’ve had against my home. In fact, I’ve had state police staying at home with my family.”
Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) said he urged Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to fast-track new security measures for lawmakers.
“Many of us receive threats. And it’s not that we get used to it. You’ve just got to hope and pray that people don’t follow up on those threats, but at any given moment they could, like we saw this morning,” Cárdenas said. “I personally stressed to the Speaker if we could put that on hyper drive and get those results and those decisions as quickly as possible.”
The threats they have been receiving, and the vitriol on social media, emails, letters and in verbal assaults at public appearances is a jolting alert to the rest of us that our fellow Americans are not settling in finally to give the new administration a chance, like or strongly dislike the president as people do in any new administration.
It’s an alarm, as veteran political analyst, data wonk and electoral analyst Michael Barone notes. Resistance to President Trump now fuels the sense of entitlement for opponents to take recourse to violence.
House Speaker Paul Ryan opened the very next session of Congress just hours after the shooting of Cong. Steve Scalise and several others on the practice field near DC, with a strong call to unity and civility.  "We are united”, he boldly declared. “We are united in our shock, and in our anger. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us." There was rousing applause, and determined standing ovation, emotions obviously raw and Representatives in the House obviously shaken. Staunch, even polarized, political opponents suddenly became unified Americans and they declared with more humility than has been evident lately that angry, hostile rhetoric has to stop, now.
Hope springs eternal, so although the unprecedented terror attack on 9/11 brought Congress and most Americans together in a newly and deeply unified sense of purpose to stay strong together, didn’t last long, and the call for a new era of civility after the shooting of Cong. Gabby Giffords didn’t last more than a couple of days at most, this is a new chance.
As Congressman Fortenberry and many, many others have asked, people of faith and goodwill can pray for the recovery of Cong. Scalise and others shot by the assassin on the baseball field this week in Virginia. And do something, proactively, to build foundations and bridges and the infrastructure of a civil society in our homes, families and communities, starting (again) now.

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June 16, 2017

A man who evidently hated President Trump and Republicans in general shot two Congressmen from the party and several other people having a baseball game on Wednesday. He was shot in turn by police and died in hospital. Sheila Liaugminas reflects on the violent incident in her post today.
It seems that there are people motivated largely by hate, and perhaps they get together in groups sometimes, but can there be – as the Southern Poverty Law Center claims – nearly 1000 such groups in America at last count? And should a group that lobbies for conservative family values – and has consultative status at the UN – be counted, solely on that basis, as one of them? Surely not.
Yet that is how the SPLC portrays C-Fam (Center for Family & Human Rights), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute that advocates vigorously, but always civilly, for the protection of the family founded on marriage between one man and one woman – and related rights. The “poverty” activists would like to – in their own words – “completely destroy” groups like C-Fam.
Austin Ruse is president of C-Fam; read his account of the SPLC – a darling of big media – and wonder how this defamatory group of activists has been able to grow rich on the proceeds of false labeling in a democratic country like the United States.
There’s plenty of other good reading also in today’s line-up, so enjoy.

Carolyn Moynihan 
Deputy Editor, 

When will shocking violence be the tipping point?
By Sheila Liaugminas
Congressmen play baseball when a gunman shows up.
Read the full article
Is being a Christian a sackable offence in UK politics now?
By Michael Kirke
The leader of the Liberal Democrats has resigned over his beliefs on same-sex marriage
Read the full article
SPLC: A ‘poverty’ project whose aim is to destroy Christian pro-family groups
By Austin Ruse
The Granny Warriors are a dangerous hate group. Just ask the crack investigators at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Read the full article
Hey, Millennials! This is the sequence of success: education, job, marriage, children
By Carolyn Moynihan
Keep these milestones in order for the best chance of financial wellbeing.
Read the full article
‘Beren and Lúthien’: The surprising origins of a Tolkien legend
By Harley J. Sims
A new book that may be the final work of JRR’s literary afterlife.
Read the full article
Evolution of the West: the complex relationship between Christianity and modernity
By Matthew J. Franck
Christianity's positive role in the formation of Western civilisation.
Read the full article
Elder abuse is a clear and present danger in the euthanasia debate
By Paul Russell
An Australian report underscores the seriousness of the problem
Read the full article
A Kentucky handmaid’s tale
By Michael Cook
The tragic story of a a real-life surrogate mother.
Read the full article
How Hokusai’s Great Wave came into the world
By Angus Lockyer
His quest included the unseen forces by which this world is animated.
Read the full article
Growing family culture locally: the church
By Patrick F. Fagan
Migration makes the local church as a home even more necessary.
Read the full article
New population control stirrings in India
By Marcus Roberts
But is there any need?
Read the full article

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