Letter: ‘Rabble-rousing… of the worst sort’
I am appalled to open our local paper and find a lengthy article detailing the ugly tone and content that evidently was the focus of the so-called "Peninsula Patriots" meeting at Lighthouse Worship Center in Gloucester last week.
This article reports that the speaker, who calls himself "Bishop Jackson," carried the crowd into a fervor as he assailed our president, made references that invite paranoid thinking (to an "evil leadership" supposedly international in scope), labeled our national leaders "anti-Christian"—and threw in a good dose of homophobia to round out his pitch.
Nowhere is "Bishop Jackson" recorded as offering constructive, realistic suggestions to move forward our national dialogue, and nowhere does he offer to "reach across the aisle" and work in a real and planful sense with people with whom he disagrees. It is just this self-serving, dramatic and emotional behavior that keeps us from making progress in our current political climate. Was this meeting about workable ideas and plans, or about "Bishop Jackson?"
The statements made at this meeting, quoted in the Gazette-Journal article, are shocking in the calculated, divisive negativity that underlies them. They mixed half-truths with exaggeration and innuendo. No one in a civilized country is exempt from responsible representation of his or her point of view—which must be based in reference to empirical facts, and in respect for one’s opponents. What we had last week at the meeting here in Gloucester sounds like rabble-rousing and hate-mongering of the worst sort. Is that what we want in our community? I don’t.
Mary Williams Montague