Curbing the Hate Speech
by Good News Focus
While we are quite aware of the overwhelming temptation to utilize colorful rhetoric in the heat of the moment, especially when caricaturing those with different views, it seems as if the Rev. James Lawson recently ventured off into the feverswamp of verbal vindictiveness. Although not a General Conference delegate this year, he was in town to pick up an award from the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA).
The Saturday evening acceptance speech turned into a stem-winder of accusation and hyperbole. Lawson disingenuously attempted to cloak the renewal movements amidst white hoods and burning crosses.
Lawson further alleged that Good News and the IRD, with "their counterparts in other denominations and in the political world," are responsible for imprisoning two million Americans, in an apparent reference to the total prison population of the United States. "Its our own version of the holocaust. And its not going to get any better." He stated that these groups will cause "men and children and young people to suffer unnecessarily" and warned, "We cannot win unless we see the enemy for who he is."
One is hard pressed to remember when so much vitriol has been jammed into such a brief speech. According to Lawson, the church is "under assault"; renewal groups are not interested "in serving Jesus Christ"; were preserving "white supremacy and male domination"; were the voices of "greed, capitalism, racism, and American domination"; were causing others to "suffer unnecessarily"; and we must be seen as "the enemy." (As Focus went to press, Lawson had not yet accused the renewal groups of the Love-Bug virus or rainforest deforestation.)
So much for the "ties that bind."
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