In a booklet I wrote recently on the politicized culture, I quoted from some relevant comments by Ben Shapiro. He reminds us that when we politicize a sacred space in our culture it is a serious problem. He believes it is serious “because no culture can exist without certain cultural capital—trust—and that trust exists only when there are certain spaces in which we can assume agreement without having to ask.”
When there is shared agreement, there is communication and less friction. If every issue becomes contentious, then the chances for miscommunication increase. Also the cost of transactions increases dramatically.
One of the cultural taboos (until recently) has been the politicization of Gold Star families. Their loved ones have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and they certainly deserve to be left alone to grieve and rebuild their lives. They should not be at the center of politicized statements.
President George W. Bush provides a good example of how to respond. You might remember that he was the target of a Gold Star mother by the name of Cindy Sheehan. Instead of opposing her or reacting to her, he allowed her to make harsh political statements and did not respond.
It is worth remembering she alleged that Bush went to war for oil. She said that Bush sent her son to die to make his oil friends rich. She even camped out near his home in Crawford, Texas to protest him. He showed character and restraint.
Perhaps there is a lesson for us to learn. In this politicized environment, we need to be peacemakers as people of integrity and civility. We should practice restraint because it is often better to turn the other cheek. Sometimes it is better not to respond or retaliate. After all, that is what the Bible tells us to do.