Friday, February 4, 2011

Responding to a Threat of Violence

Long-time readers of this blog will know that I disagree with many of the positions of Indiana Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel). However, despite the fact that I disagree with Sen. Delph, he and I have developed what I believe to be a good relationship, based upon a mutual willingness to engage in good faith, civil discussion of the issues. So, after reading the story “Police probe e-mail threat to state senator” in today’s The Indianapolis Star, I sent the following email to Sen. Delph’s office:

Dear Sen. Delph:

You and I have had several occasions to sit and discuss issues. Rarely have we agreed on much of anything other than that: (a) we disagree and (b) we both value civil discourse and the opportunity to discuss our views and our differences. And though you and I rarely agree, I commend you for always being willing to talk about issues, to listen to opposing viewpoints, and to engage in just the sort of civil discourse and dialogue upon which our governmental system depends.

Given the news about the recent threat against you and your family, I thought that it was important for me to take a moment and reach out. Violence and threats of violence have no place in our system. I think that we all have the obligation, when we see or hear things like this, to stop and say “No! Not in my country! Not in my state.” We may disagree, but our ability to disagree with civility is what separates our system and our society from so much of the world.

I hope that you don’t allow this threat to change your approach to doing what you think is right, yet still engaging in dialogue with those with whom you disagree.

I’ve used the platform of this blog to argue against violence and violent rhetoric. Thus, when violent rhetoric and threats of violence hit close to home, I felt that it was incumbent upon me to at least say something.

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