Love your Neighbor

Love your Neighbor

The United States Constitution was drafted as a document of rights and freedoms for the American people. Anyone reading the document can see the influence of Christian teachings running throughout. “Love thy neighbor’ is a continuing theme. It is emphasized repeatedly in the New Testament and is reflected in the Constitution. The responsibilities of citizens toward each other spring from that one clear message. Yet, today, there is great anger and divisiveness. If you don’t agree with me I have a right to shoot you, or destroy your business, or have a violent protest march. The news media have been fomenting anger and divisiveness for months. Then everyone seems shocked when Republican congressmen, playing baseball, are shot. Why the surprise? The media deliberately created the climate for this act of violence to occur.

A very strange response to the heroic actions of the police who were in attendance at the ball game came with this article that was widely shared on social media:

Oddly enough, the reporter thought the gender preference, gender and race of the police officers was the most important issue in this tragedy. I wondered why.

We live in a society where there are many public services paid for by taxation. The people trained for these public services are accepted for their jobs regardless of race, gender, gender preferences, religion or political party. If they meet the job qualifications and can pass the training, they are given their responsibilities. In the case of the police service, it is to protect and serve the public. There is no qualification about which members of the public are to be protected and served. There is no matching of police officers and public by any criteria other than the equal rights and responsibilities under the law. This is as true for firefighters and health professionals as it is for police officers.

Why then, did this reporter emphasize the race, gender, and gender orientation of one of the police officers injured in this confrontation? Only to foment dissent, anger, divisiveness and sell his paper. Emotion and divisiveness sells. The American public has come to expect gossip, negativity, sexual deviance and violence in its news reports. The more violent, the more readership. A sad commentary on who we are as a nation.

The implication generated from this article is that public servant can pick and choose who they serve. The reporter seems to imply that sexual preference and race take precedence over the duties and responsibilities of the job. Is he right?

To use a parallel situation, what if there were an automobile accident or a terrorist attack and the victims were all taken to the nearest emergency room and the triage included race, sexual preference and gender in addition to the physical trauma? How would the American public react to that scenario? Americans expect to be treated equally in a health care facility.

But are they?

Pamela J. Brink, RN, PhD, FAAN. 2017. Patientology: Toward the Study of Patients. Charleston: Create Space.

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