Brewing Thoughts

May 2, 2007

Kids These Days

Filed under: Family,Politics,Religion — jidd @ 10:08 am

No Bullshit

Question(s) for the day:

What are our responsibilities in terms of respecting our elders? When does it become justifiable, or possibly essential to contradict our parents, elder family or even church leaders?

I recently received a forwarded email from a dear, elderly family member whom I haven’t seen in several years. However, while this email purported to be raise political concerns about a presidential candidate, nowhere did it once mention this candidate’s position on any issues or even point to actions this individual had taken that were in any way suspect.

No, this email simply pointed to the candidate’s ethnicity, the religions of his parents, and where he had lived during his life. Any time ethnicity or religion was mentioned, it was in ALL CAPS to be sure that you noticed.

I generally disregard most of the political forwards that I get from my family, however this one struck a nerve. While it has obvious political implications, the argument it proposed wasn’t political, it was racial and religious.

Not surprisingly, my response has started a bit of a firestorm. However, as I stated in one of my replies to another family member on the distribution who suggested I just delete the message, “I am compelled both by my faith as well as my personal integrity to denounce racial slander when confronted with it. To do otherwise would be traitorous to my eternal soul.”

So I ask, when is it right to call bullshit on our elders?

I’ll close this post with the same way I closed my response to the email. This is a variation of a poem by Martin Niemöller, inscribed at the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts.

First they came…

They came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)



  1. Yeah, we hate Hillary too.


    Comment by woody — May 2, 2007 @ 9:04 pm | Reply

  2. i think you can always challenge what is being said and still be respectfully, and honoring to your elders. i also think that doing what is right is more important than simply following a rule.

    and i hate stupid email forwards.

    Comment by ed — May 3, 2007 @ 2:51 pm | Reply

  3. I don’t think you did anything wrong either JD. Speaking out against bigoted ideologies and/or ignorance is never wrong.

    Comment by adam — May 4, 2007 @ 8:16 am | Reply

  4. i like the blue dotted box around the quote. nice touch.

    ps. i have something for your wife. could you email me your address?

    Comment by timidvenus — May 8, 2007 @ 10:25 am | Reply

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