Andrew Brasher letter

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 21, 2008

Letter to the editor

Words matter, especially when they are used to manipulate

Words matter! They form tiny windows that allow us to peer deep into the human soul revealing our innermost and conflicting thoughts. Words have the power to propel us to lofty heights as well as to drag us to the dregs of the abyss. Of all the imperfect measurements of human intelligence, none is more noted than one’s demonstration of language. It is essential for those of us who use words, not just as a means of disseminating information, but as a vehicle of conveying thoughts and ideas, to measure our words carefully. Unfortunately, Reverend Wright, Mr. Obama’s former pastor, failed to do so.

Tuesday morning, I listened intently to Mr. Obama’s characterization explanation of Reverend Wright’s inflammatory language. Anger, Mr. Obama said, was the basis for it. I believe his analysis is correct. Injustice, on any level, should make us all ill, but to manipulate those feelings into a diatribe of hate, and proclaim it as the Gospel, is in itself an injustice. Each person is entitled to his own opinions, but to speak it, as if it is a revelation from God, is thoughtless and reckless.

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In all of my years in the ministry, I have attempted to keep at bay my own demons from behind the sacred desk. Yes, I am terribly flawed and at times I have been guilty of prejudical thought and words, but due to my unwavering belief in the transformative power of “The Word,” my parishioners have not suffered from my own ignorance. Surely, the Church should be a sanctuary of love and not a dungeon of hate.

As I have pondered these recent events, the words spoken by Michelle Obama, several weeks prior, may require a new interpretation. At first, I dismissed her public gaffe concerning her “newly acquired pride in America” as harmless, but after considerable thought, she may be echoing the same anger as that of Reverend Wright, and if this is indeed the case, the must question the influence of Reverend Wright on Mr. Obama and his family.

Yes, words really do matter. The potential they have to heal, persuade and even to destroy cannot be ignored. Scripture, just words about “The Word,” should never be polluted by anger or prejudice.

Dr. Andrew Brasher
Cornerstone Baptist Church