Michele and Openers, Presenters and Closers.

Thank you for your efforts and focus in bringing this subject to us. My comments may be more ‘aggressive’ because of my age, life experiences and approach to individual responsibility. I was an Infantry officer in the Marine Corps, on active duty during the Korean War and in the active reserve during the Vietnam War. Dehumanizing and demonizing was essential to mental health and combat effectiveness tampered by moral responsibilities toward civilians and prisoners etc. However, we suffered from mental compartmentalizing after we returned home. Candidly, I am having some difficulty even in writing this. This experience makes conversations about how we talk about or to others very poignant.

I am thankful for my mother who taught me some important skills very early in my life. Her admonition to say nothing about a person unless I could say something nice is with me today. I can hear her voice and more importantly her tone. When I hear de-hum/de-mon comments today I try to use a light, nonoffensive conversational question.

In all our Zoom calls I would like to have presenters place their comments, at least in principle, placed in the context of our foundational documents such as the 10 Command-ments, Lords Prayer and even the Apostles Creed. In this specific regard John 4 deals with the marginalized and outcast, those most often de-hum’d and de-mon’d. I find those helpful. I think I heard that in a question, but I do not remember where.

I may have more to say as I continue to pray and reflect, Love, Hank

Ah ha, another of my mother’s favorite admonitions was, “Just because you can, does not mean you should.” This is where personal responsibility comes to roost. We seem compelled to speak anything that comes into our heads whether it is true, factual, offensive, abusive or coarse. We are all lessened by this.

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