CONVERSATION STOPPER

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(A “demonstration”  of how to stop a conversation.  Pardon the pun.)  —

I stopped off at Son’s house Monday afternoon and evening, so I missed all the local excitement.    We made national news — again.   Local college “kids”  whom I like to call superannuated children,   tried to shut up  a visiting speaker . . . .

It’s Spring Break – they could have been having fun doing spring break things,  but it’s “in the air”  today, in our country:    if you don’t like someone’s opinion,  you get yourself all riled up and angry —

Pro 1

You get angry and shout things.

You get all worked up and pound something:

Pro 3 anger pound

In this case a poorly-made effigy of the speaker was being pounded.    Because, see, in real life,  if you don’t like what someone is telling you,  you get angry enough to want to pound him,   hurt him . . .  kill him.

What’s the difference?     Jesus explained there really is no difference in spilling out your anger on someone and wanting to hurt him with words,  or with your actions:    Murder begins in the heart –    “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’  But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment . . .  (under judgment for  murder).  (Sermon on the Mount)

You need your “brother”  to stop talking, to stop saying what he’s saying.   So often I’ve seen on television,  or I’ve read in comment boxes,  or I’ve seen in real life that people don’t like to hear what they’re hearing, and rather than this be the start of an exchange of ideas,   one side wants to close off any chance of discussion.

Pro 4 insult

Insults come next:    (And whosoever shall say to his brother  “Raca!”  shall be in danger of hellfire.     That is,  the insulter is condemned.  )

The protesters escalated  their actions to  name-calling,  blaspheming what the speaker holds dear,  or acting out the worst insults they could think of.  The fire in the photo above shows a burning American flag  (who are these protesters?)  — and to make it personal,  the young kid is lighting his cigarette by the fire of our burning flag.

I don’t know much about the speaker who was speaking to a very small group nearby.   I probably strongly disagree with his words.   The local entertainment-news media around here don’t like the speaker either;  every time they say his name they use a variety of negative adjectives.     When they talk about the protesters, I notice no adjectives are used.  They’re just “protesters.”     The noble little  dears.       Anti-fascists using fascist techniques.

So, no,  I don’t agree with the protesters either, but they are part of the growing incendiary confrontations our society is plagued with.

How do you stop a conversation?

Talking over someone,  shouting at someone while they talk,  throwing insults,  and  getting angry enough to want to pound someone, as these protesters did yesterday,   are all ways to STOP a conversation.    

Unfortunately,  pressure mounts when there are differences of opinion and no way to relax the natural tensions by means of discussion and civil discourse.

The last step, of course,  is to make your protest public!    Tell someone!   Make sure the cameras are there!    Make sure you have an audience!    The protesters made sure they made a public nuisance of themselves by stopping cars on the streets.

Pro 2 cars

On second thought,  I’m glad I missed all the excitement.

I wouldn’t have gotten through these people anyway.

I wouldn’t have gotten through to them either.

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