Bill Moyers on Political Rhetoric Gone Wild

In the last post on Palin's interview with Gibson, Bob Nunz pointed us to this episode of Bill Moyers' Journal. Iwas originally just going to respond in the comments, but I thought the piece was worthy of its own post. Here's the video:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUTmsHe36do[/youtube][youtube]http://www.... reminded me that in these charged political times, it is important to make sure our rhetoric remains civil.Especially in theimpersonality of cyberspace, it can often be easy to get carried away and wind up belittling and even dehumanizingthose who disagree with us. (I know I am guilty of it at times.) I found the "fable" with which Moyers closed the segment particularly poignent. It is often easy to assume that those who listen to hate rhetoric and act upon it with violence are crazy, but Moyers reminds us that there are two wolves in all of us, the good and the bad, and the one who wins is the one who gets fed.This piece also reminded me of the documentaryJesus Camp, which shows how a certain version of Christianity is being used as a vehicle for a certain kind of political indoctrination. The results areequally scary in that it breeds a similar us-versus-them mentality that is so corrosive to our civil discourse. Yet, Ialso felt similarly sympathetictoward those in the movie, as there is a power in being handed such a black and white view of the world.Thanks to Bob for pointing out the Moyers piece, and I'd love to hear thoughts on it as well as reactions from anyone who's seen Jesus Camp.

Eric Bugyis teaches Religious Studies at the University of Washington Tacoma.

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