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All Torn Up

I cannot get the image out of my mind. It keeps playing back in slow motion, like Joe Montana hurling a football into the end zone to Jerry Rice. But 70,000 fans are not screaming. Instead, millions of Americans are horrified.

Nancy Pelosi is ripping the State of the Union Address to shreds. Slowly. Deliberately. Defiantly. Like a petulant child who didn’t get her way, the Speaker of the House is desecrating the speech which bears the name of the President of the United States.

Never in recent memory has anything like this happened in Congress. At least not in my lifetime. Political opponents have always disagreed, yet maintained a semblance of respect. Tip O’Neal respected President Reagan. Newt Gingrich was able to make good progress with President Clinton. Paul Ryan showed respect to President Obama.

But political discourse took an ugly turn on February 4 when the Speaker of the House brazenly tore the President’s State of the Union Address. Commentators did what they do best. Political pundits weighed in. Members of both sides the isle chipped in: Liberals offered excuses. Conservatives offered condemnation. This morning, Americans will discuss Pelosi’s latest stunt around the water cooler.

When the smoke clears and everyone has a chance to make their partisan contributions, we’ll still be left with a speech torn to shreds. That speech will likely end up on the desk of a politician – a memorial to the defiance of the Democratic party.

But think about what the desecrated speech really represents. When the Speaker of the House shredded President Trump’s speech, she didn’t merely disrespect the highest office in the land. She disrespected America. She disrespected the hopes and dreams of people.

When Nancy Pelosi ripped the president’s speech asunder, she offered a vote of no confidence to Americans like Army veteran Tony Rankins. She offered a vote of no confidence to Janiyah Davis, a beautiful little girl who was given an opportunity scholarship to attend the school of her choice. Speaker Pelosi dishonored the memory of fallen American soldiers. And she disrespected the most recent recipient of the President Medal of Freedom, Rush Limbaugh.

Today, President Trump will be acquitted. America will move forward. Some Americans will celebrate a vibrant economy, a rock-solid military, and a country committed to the cause of freedom. Others will be left with the fragments of a torn up State of the Union Address. Senator Lindsey Graham remarked, “You can tear up the speech but you can’t tear up the accomplishments.”

Thomas Jefferson allegedly said, “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Pelosi’s actions do not represent dissent, however. Her behavior was disrespectful and defiant. Her actions represent a new low in American political discourse. Her unprecedented and shameful act will be etched on the American conscience for generations.

On a day when Americans should be talking about a historic speech and hope for the future, the Speaker of the House has managed to turn the spotlight on herself. “Congratulations, Mrs. Pelosi. Your selfish and immature actions have swayed the public discourse.” Is it any wonder that so many Americans are all torn up?

4 thoughts on “All Torn Up

  1. I know he will take heat for the lack of handshake in the beginning. But having watched the clip a few times as well as seeing Pence’s lack of hand extension, I think (albeit I could be totally wrong) the lack of handshaking was planned. Meaning he wasn’t going to shake anyone’s hand. I’m wondering if that too was nothing more than an intentional hand extension in order to create a “talking point” when she knew from the get-go that no handshaking protocol would occur. If not then Pence would have extended his hand and shook his hand, but no such move was made indicating to me he knew it wasn’t planned/scheduled/part of the procedure that night.

  2. I did not watch, for I was at work. I saw it after I got home. I completely agree, with you David. Pure evil, filled with hate. I’m appalled that any American would be proud of what Pelosi did. It’s censorship, at it’s worst, & beyond that it’s a sign of being a traitor to her country, & to the people she represents. She pretty much tore up the Constitution, you can say. Evil always shows itself in the end. Last night she showed her true colors, & her colors are full of hate. She should be forced to step down. If this is what the Democratic party wants, they all need to step down.

  3. Thirty-two years ago today my 52 year old husband died, paralyzed for 4 months by a metastasized tumor which closed off his spine, and largely ignored by staff and congregants of our church. We were at that time long time members of the former NV Baptist Church. I became a fairly young widow with 2 teenaged children in a church which had no idea how to handle the terminal and paralyzing illness of a formerly active teacher and dairy farmer, struggling physically, emotionally and spiritually with his approaching death and how to comfort and minister to his wife and children. After Chuck’s death, I remained a member of NVBC for 5 more years as it became increasingly apparent to me….an educated woman (6 years of college, including 1 year of Bible college), an extensive reader, a ponderer….that there was no place for me in a church which counted its membership by 2s and told its female membership that if they had a question about theology or church polity they should ask their husband and he would seek out the answer. I had NO husband! I knew I was an intelligent woman, more well-read in theology and church history than many men on the church council…I once complimented the pastor on a CS Lewis quote used in a sermon and he admitted he hadn’t read any books by Lewis, but found the quote in a book of suggested sermon quotes. I left NVBC, in search of a God who was not limited by a patriarchal interpretation of the Bible, a God who welcomed all into his community, the church and, regardless of gender, encouraged all to serve according to their talents. I found my Home in the Lutheran denomination of my Swedish ancestors where I was honored to serve as deacon and church treasurer for 8 years, positions that would have been denied me at NVBC. I continue to love the Lutheran liturgy (though with increasing health issues I am unable to attend), the thoughtful and varied music, and the short(er) sermons nearly always based on the words/life of Jesus, both Savior and teacher. I can say that my years in a small, rural Lutheran church in Whatcom County and the concomitant experience with Hispanic immigrants opened up Christianity to me in New ways, helping me realize that it wasn’t just about me and heaven but about all of us, inside and outside the church, involved in this journey called life. (The former NVBC would not contribute to the community Food Bank, instead exercising their right of separatism by keeping their own Caring Closet, access by special request or invitation. I know, because I was Caring Chairperson for a while, taking a nasty fall as I delivered food one icy Sunday to a needy family had which passed muster. I hope the church has now grown beyond that GARBC separatism.)

    Back in 1992 I voted for the first and only time for a Republican candidate for president. Bill Clinton was somewhat unknown, but we were getting Hillary jokes from the pulpit, Oh not in the morning service…A M quality, you know….but in the evening service when only the faithful attended. I was organist, so I was faithful. I voted then for George HW Bush, yielding to suggestions and questions of faith from the pulpit, so you see that a pastor’s attitude and suggestions carry a lot of weight. Evidently God had other ideas because Clinton won. Since then, I have relied on the intelligence and inquisitive mind God gave me to make my own political decisions as well as religious choices (which is why I am no longer an evangelical Christian, just one following the Way of Jesus.)

    Now to Nancy Pelosi, the reason for this writing. Contrast her with President Trump, his bullying, name-calling, invectives, thousands of lies, broken promises especially in regards to health care. She’s a woman and a Catholic woman at that. Does she deserve leadership, or do those characteristics disqualify her? Did her tearing up the copy of Trump’s SOTU speech step over the line of respect and propriety? Some will say it did. Men who still harbor streaks of misogyny and view Nancy Pelosi with that lens will say it did. As a widow for 32 years and now 76 years old I learned many years ago that I must advocate for myself…because no one else will, not my son, not any other family member, not a Pastor. I alone am responsible for my votes, my judgements…responsible to myself and God who made me and gifted me with this curious and thinking mind. And so I say to Nancy, you may have slid over the line of propriety here a bit, but with your visual display tearing the paper copy of the speech in pieces you exercised your first amendment rights showing how you feel about this president, his speech and his administration. I’m glad you did and I’m with you!

    Mark Galli of Christianity Today is my Evangelical Hero!
    Mitt Romney is my Senate Hero of Today!

  4. I hope you will let this stand for others to read. In fact, I would encourage you to read and discuss with your church council, some members might still remember Chuck and me.

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