Today's Examiner reports that the church attended by Governor Sarah Palin and her family has been badly damaged by a fire which has been determined to have been caused by arson.
The details, perpetrators and motives are still under investigation, and I will, of course, suspend judgment until all the facts are in, but let this stand as a conditional statement: Here is a glaring example of the depths to which the vitriolic atmosphere which grows like a cancer in American politics will ultimately take us. Somehow we have come to a place where policy differences become yoked to a visceral hatred which invites the unhinged to take actions like these.
It is a very ominous trend, one which undermines the very foundations of our democracy, and of our pluralistic society as a whole. If we cannot disagree without demonizing, then we will surely reap the whirlwind.
If this shameful incident turns out to be what it appears, then it is a stain on our Republic, and I hope even the most fervent Palin-haters out there will use it as an occasion to reflect on the pathology which the Governor has awoken in dark hearts of some people. Aside from all the other ways in which an act like this is nauseating, it points to a fundamental breakdown in the faith which some citizens of this great Nation place it its system of laws and in their validity for resolving differences among us. Chaos waits hungrily, just outside the gates of such an outrage.
UPDATE: Link fixed.
UPDATE 2: Just to be perfectly clear, here, I am not equating those who emigrate from the US as a result of their beliefs with those who would torch a church, bomb a government building, etc. The latter are dangerously deranged, and deserving of nothing but scorn and punishment as the criminals that they are, regardless of their views. The former may hold beliefs that I find problematic...but at least they have the courage of their convictions. Further, those who choose to check out of the US are exercising their freedom under its laws (more than a bit ironic, actually), while those of a terroristic bent are implicitly voting "no confidence" in those laws and the freedoms they protect.
It's an important difference, which bore clarifying.