I couldn't have said it better myself.
Granted I haven't read the book that Williamson references, Sarah Palin's book, however I think this is a plea that can be made to all politicians. It can be made to all those who have "power," to all those who use their voice and share their opinions with others. Freedom comes with a lot of responsibility (no that's not the quote from Spider-man, Uncle Ben says with great power comes great responsibility – which is still true but that is for another blog).
Many people – myself included – want all the freedom they can possess, but rarely the responsibility. All the freedom one can possess is quite different than all the freedom one can handle, and all the freedom that one can handle responsibly.
We have the freedom to say almost whatever we wish. And while I disagree with some of the things Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter say, I defend their right to say it. However, I defend their right to share their opinions and enjoy this freedom while also imploring them to use that freedom for good. Call me a bleeding heart liberal, call me naïve, call me whatever you want – but speech and actions that do not build up humanity, speech and actions that incite hatred and antipathy cannot build up humankind in any way. A strong word is different than a hateful one. A stark argument is different than a hostile one.
May God send the Spirit among us – that we might learn to see the Divine in one another and to accept others as we have been accepted and loved.
Marianne Williamson's Plea to Sarah Palin: Words Have Power
"Dear Sarah Palin,
I don't share your politics but I do share your country. I am writing to you now as a fellow American and also as a woman who, like you, puts my spiritual journey above all else.
When your book first came out, I knew I had to read it because I felt judgment in my heart that was not in keeping with my religious convictions. I was tempted to think about you in prejudiced stereotypes, and I know that this doesn't jive with "Love one another" or "Judge not lest ye be judged." So I bought your book.
And I liked it. I admire you as a self-made woman who has achieved a lot in your life, and I can see how some unfair criticisms that have been leveled against you could have hurt terribly. I am sorry for that. As a woman from Texas, I recognized your refusal to "sit down and shut up" as the attitude of a kick-ass woman from a kick-ass state. Although I am pro-choice, I felt your spiritual process regarding coming to acceptance and obedience in relation to giving birth to a Down Syndrome child was both inspiring and profound.
When I read your descriptions of liberals in the book -- not just critical, but simply false -- my jaw did drop a couple of times, like I almost thought you must be joking... you couldn't really think that. But I knew my job in reading the book was to beware my own judgments, so I simply read on and tried to ignore your jibes.
I have defended you since reading the book, particularly when others would make fun of your comments about looking to God's Will to guide you. But something is happening now that is so critical to this country, with such genuinely significant repercussions, that I implore you to hear me -- not just as a fellow American, but as a sister who I know prays to the same God that I do: Words have power. Please modify your words.
In my lifetime, we have lost a President, a Civil Rights leader and a Presidential candidate -- all to gun violence. Another President was shot and survived the ordeal, while his press secretary was paralyzed for life. These are not left-right issues; they are not political correctness issues; they are human issues concerning life and death. I am not suggesting you would pick up a gun and shoot anyone; I am suggesting that there are other people who would, however, and in your position as a leading political figure you are stoking fires -- regardless of your intention -- that are simply too dangerous to be safely stoked.
This is not the stuff of media bias. It is the stuff of history -- in the United States and elsewhere. From Hitler's Germany to the arousal of genocidal fervor in Rwanda, there are more than enough examples of how a group psychosis can emerge within a nation. I beg you to join with me -- even though I am not your political ally -- in praying for blessing and protection on all our politicians and their families, and looking deeply within our own hearts for where violence lurks so we can cast it out.
I am speaking from genuine concern for our country -- a concern no more or less meaningful or legal or freedom-loving than your own. I have a pretty tough edge myself, and I don't mince words when it comes to politics. But no one needs to be "re-loading" now, and our political opponents are not "enemy territory." In a free society, we do not have to agree; in fact, that's the point of freedom. "Shoot with accuracy; aim high and remember it takes blood, sweat and tears to win" is a frightening statement, Sarah. It is not funny; it is threatening. There are some crazy people in this country on both sides of the political aisle, and saying such things could incite them to violence that is very real.
Please join with me in turning to a God of Love and not fear, that our country and our world -- and perhaps most importantly, our own hearts -- might be purified of hate. It is love and love alone that will heal our country and heal our world.