29 July 2008

Candace Chellew-Hodge's Open Letter to Sean Hannity

Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge has written a response to the right-wing pundit incitement to violence connected to the recent Knoxville Unitarian Universalist church shooting.

Candace is the founder/editor of Whosoever: An Online Magazine for GLBT Christians and currently serves as associate pastor at Garden of Grace United Church of Christ in Columbia, S.C.

Here's a short quote from her open letter to Sean Hannity (who used to be a former co-worker when she worked in the news media business before entering the ministry):
Sean, you occupy a position of power. All words have power, but some words are more powerful than others simply because they are amplified from a larger stage. With power comes responsibility. If there is any of that old Sean left—the one before the big office, the popular TV and radio show and best selling books—I appeal to that man. Understand the power of your words. I know that words of division are profit-making words for you. We human beings apparently love to see a good fight, or feel our views justified by a good argument. But I hope this incident will give you pause and help you begin to choose your words more wisely. I hope, in choosing future words, you’ll consider not what’s best for the Hannity bank account, but what’s best for humanity.

I long for the day when profitable words are words that uplift, encourage, and inspire people. The strength of this nation has always been our unity in diversity and our unity in the face of adversity. By using your words to create a world of “us” and “them” you only perpetuate violence and discord in our society. I am asking you, Sean, to examine yourself and your words. You don’t have to agree with liberals and their views, but you can oppose liberal ideas without painting those who hold those beliefs as enemies who need to be stopped or defeated. If conservative ideas are truly superior, then a compelling case can be made for them without resorting to the politics of personal destruction.

Sean, your words have the power to heal and the power to destroy. The choice is yours.
The rest of the letter can be read here.

Her new book, Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians, will be published in September 2008 by Jossey-Bass.

1 comment:

jUUggernaut said...

conservative ideas

"If conservative ideas are truly superior, then a compelling case can be made for them without resorting to the politics of personal destruction."

Yup, that's the crux of the biscuit.

For my part I fail to identify anything worth calling an idea in what passes for conservatism today.
Being prejudiced against gays or uppity women is not an idea. Believing in a free market is not an idea. Believing in capital punishment is not an idea. Believing in "My country, right or wrong, my country!" is not an idea. Believing in military might is not an idea.
The only way in which these could be seen as an 'idea' is as an 'idée fixe" which are simply refusals to open one's eyes.
That last part, opening one's eyes, has been hampered somewhat in recent years, as many people now manage to ingest any media 'a la carte', excluding anything from view that might disturb their preconceived notions. This trend is particularly strong for sectarian Christians, but my no means limited to them.