May 21, 2013

Help Oklahoma City

English: Downtown Oklahoma City from the north...
English: Downtown Oklahoma City from the northwest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You can file this one under things that piss me off about politics. But it would probably be more accurate to file it under things that piss me off about what happens when we buy into ideologies that lead us to view the world as if we are competing against an opponent in a zero-sum sort of contest. As you know, Oklahoma City was hit by a major tornado yesterday in which at least 24 people lost their lives. As encouraging as it was to see the public outpouring of support and many people advocating for donations to the Red Cross, I observed a few things that made me feel more than a little disgusted with my fellow humans:
  1. Many Christians took to social media (especially Twitter) to use this as an excuse to promote prayer as if that accomplished any good at all. How about doing something to actually help those who just experienced a tornado?
  2. Some people took to social media in what looked primarily like an effort to scold anybody living in tornado-prone areas (e.g., much of the midwest and south). As someone who lives in a tornado prone area, I realize I may be overly sensitive to this, but again, I found the timing of such comments disgusting. Besides, there are not many regions of the U.S. where one can be free from every type of natural disaster.
  3. Last and perhaps least of all, some of my fellow progressives decided to use the disaster as an opportunity to bash political opponents. Yes, I agree completely that Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) are monstrous hypocrites, but can we at least wait on pointing this out until the situation on the ground is not quite so dire?
Am I just being a big whiner here? Probably. I'm in a foul mood, and this is likely the result. Still, I can't help wonder about our priorities when I see this sort of thing. Here is where you can join me in donating to the Red Cross if you are so inclined.

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