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Jim Wallis is seeing things, or is Jim Wallis just being appeared to?

He exclaims: "I see lies being told, I see fears being raised, and I see violence even being threatened at these mob sessions." He is, of course, talking about the many ordinary American citizens who had the temerity to "speak truth to power" at recent Townhall Meetings hosted by assorted members of Congress over the past couple of weeks.

Also, why the passive voice? The Rev. Wallis saw "lies being told," but did he see people telling lies? He saw "fears being raised," but did he see people raising fears? He saw "violence being threatened," but he did see people threatening violence? At some point, the Rev. Wallis should assert what he thinks and believes rather using language that allows him to accuse without making accusations.

Or perhaps he didn't see anything. Perhaps he was just being appeared to.

(Originally posted on First Thoughts)

Comments (13)

"but did he see people telling lies?"

All over the place. Grassley last night on the TV. Palin on the innertubes. He might have added, "passing on lies." I too would be happier if my side started playing hardball.

Well said, Dr. Beckwith! Incessant use of the passive voice is one of the main ways the English language is being abused in public speech to the destruction of rational discourse.

Al, a lie is an intentional falsehood told to someone who is entitled to the truth. Palin and Grassley could certainly both be mistaken. But to say they are "lying" is way over the top. If you read 1233, especially given how this sort of thing has been cashed out elsewhere, what they are saying is not unreasonable. Again, could they be wrong. Yes, but the way you should prove they are wrong is to show how their interpretation is in fact wrong. Showing that one could read the document in a less malevolent way does not prove that their interpretation is wrong. It just means that one can read the document more benignly without violating the text.

These things are complicated. To say that someone is "lying" simply because they read a document differently than you, does not mean they are lying. And to believe that those who are pushing the health care plan are pure as the driven snow is naive.

Al, he said "at these mob sessions." Were Palin and Grassley at a town hall meeting?

Putatively, if a session is a mob session, then the organizers of it are mob leaders, yes?

And just why are people like Obama and these congress-critters holding mob sessions, anyway? Are they members of the new Mob? The grab-for-power Mob under the disguise of "crisis"?

The Rev. Wallis saw "lies being told," but did he see people telling lies?

"Grass is pink," I told my twelve-year-old son.
"Grass is pink," said my wife.
"Grass is pink," said my son to my three-year-old daughter.
At school the next day, my daughter said to her teacher "Grass is pink."
"I see lies being told" said the teacher, even though she knew my daughter believed what she spoke.

"This is what the healthcare plan says," said some blogger.
"This is what the healthcare plan says," said Liberty Counsel.
"This is what the healthcare plan says," said Francis Beckwith.
At a town hall meeting the next day, Patti said, "This is what the healthcare plan says."
"I see lies being told" said Jim Wallis, even though he knew Patti believed what she spoke.

Too subtle?

Dr,Beckwith, I don't believe the proponents are pure in any way. I do believe that they want to deal with a system that is rapidly becoming unsustainable and I know that there is no honest way to see euthanasia in that bill. As all systems will ration, using rationing as a reason to oppose this bill obligates one to explain how the resulting rationing will be worse than the present rationing, this has not been done.

To be specific, I will take your point on Palin as her erratic actions and general weirdness point to a somewhat disordered mind. She may not possess the abilty to differentiate truth from falsehood. Grassley is another matter. He is working on health care and he knows the players. Does he really believe that Isakson and Blumenauer want to kill granny? It is about politics with him and the Republican strategy is to stop health care reform and damage Obama and they have no problem in pushing lies and fear in order to do it.

I know how to read a bill. There is no process outlined in the bill that I have seen that would allow for euthanasia. If anyone on a panel proposed such a thing it would have to survive the process which couldn't happen. Any attempt to bypass the process would trigger a suit which would succeed. The only way in which these worse case fears could happen is if we had a coup that suspended the Constitution and ruled by fiat, in which case we would have bigger problems then poor granny's fate.

Sticking in your finger and pulling out a plum isn't competent analysis. Engage in selective reading, quote mine and pull stuff out of the darkest regions of the human imagination and one can come up with anything. That isn't good faith analysis. Folks can honestly differ on some things, this isn't one of them.

You may consider Democrats and the left in general so evil that any tactic is justified in stopping them even if it renders the country ungovernable. There are health care issues that could be debated but that isn't happening. Your side has decided that truth and rational discourse are acceptable collateral damage.

Not every one is lying. Some may be so deeply opposed to any government role and so inexperienced in understanding legal language that their minds are fertile ground. Others are easily confused and scared. But, just to be clear - Chuck Grassley is a bald faced liar.

Because withholding nutrition and hydration until death is, of course, never euthanasia.

What if I've instructed that? Would you impose on me that which I have rejected?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/08/why_we_cant_have_good_policy.html

Amazing how many politicians had to do a complete turnabout to demonize advance directives.

I think it's great that so many citizens are excited about telling their doctors they are not trusted to provide information about advance directives. I don't know why anyone would keep a doctor you think is going to pull the plug on you first chance he gets, but this adversarial relationship should probably be expanded to require a lawyer every time you see a doctor, just to be safe.

Wallis is a clown and has become more and more of a Democratic Party shill as he's gotten older.

He constantly criticizes the Evangelicals for selling out to the GOP (he has a point there), but his solution is to sell out to the Dems. He's an ass.

I don't believe that Palin and Grassley are lying, but even if they were, from whence comes this new aversion to lying by the Dems, who've spent the last 30 years doing exactly that? The Republicans want to cut school lunches! The Republicans want to take away your Social Security! The Republicans want to raise the retirement age to 70! The Republicans want to put poor children into orphanages! The Republicans don't want children to have health care!

I'm no great fan of the GOP, but the Dems' attempt over the past three decades to make them into a combination of Nazis and robber barons has been ridiculous. With much experience they've made dissembling, prevarication, and equivication into an art form.

To those Libs complaining about GOP lies I say, "Physician, heal thyself."

Rob G, you forgot to say that Newt and the Republicans were accused of wanting to pollute the water too.

I agree about Wallis. He's on the road he had to take after helping shape "an evangelical manifesto." Once he and they reduced abortion and traditional marriage to just one or two of many issues, you end up where he's at, providing cover for Obama and the health care package funding abortion and shilling for those trampling on the sanctity of life. I suspect he had already made up his mind that the unborn were expendable years ago. Now he's pretty much saying health care reform-his way-is too important to let the lives of hundreds of thousands of more unborn baby boys and girls get in the way. If needed health care reforms go down in flames, it will be due in huge part due to Wallis's pay masters' obsession with abortion. They are trying to add something that's not necessary and which 70 percent of the nation opposes. It will be their and his fault, not ours.

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