Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What legacy are we promoting?

As a child I visited the Missouri capitol with my school classes. I visited many more times with my parents. As a parent I proudly took my own children to Jefferson City to help them understand our process of government. As a minister I have taken youth groups and concerned citizens to visit the capitol and to meet with our elected leaders. On every visit, I walked the hallowed hallways, admired the murals of Thomas Hart Benton, and studied the history of Missouri in the museum. I have always felt a spirit of reverence for our democratic process and for all of the people who walked those halls before me.

Now, Missouri House Speaker Rep. Steven Tilley has commissioned a sculptor to create a bust of Rush Limbaugh to install in the Hall of Famous Missourians in the State House in Jefferson City. Among the likenesses of Mark Twain, Stan Musial, Dred Scott, and Sacajawea, Missouri children will now learn about the hatred and bigotry promoted by Limbaugh, thanks to Speaker Tilley.

My prayer is that the great state of Missouri should promote a legacy of kindness and humanitarianism, which should be reflected in the Hall of Famous Missourians. By adding Limbaugh's bust to our Hall, we are acknowledging a history of hate. As Missourians, Midwesterners, and Americans, this is a public shame. We want our children to know of the great advances of Edwin Hubble, the journalistic achievements of Walter Cronkite, and the historic implications of Dred Scott and his famous lawsuits. These Missourians are famous for making our world a better place. Of every single person in the Hall of Famous Missourians, it can be said that they set an example of excellence. But Rush Limbaugh shows no excellence; his infamy is for vitriolic insults and drug scandals.

This is not the story I want to share with my grandchildren. It is a scar upon all our people that can only bring us ridicule.

We need to stand united against the Speaker's attempt to memorialize a dark, embarrassing piece of Missouri's history. Rush Limbaugh does not belong in the Hall of Famous Missourians. Our children deserve better. Please, let us promote a proud Missouri legacy of love, not a history of hate.

-The Reverend Rebecca Turner

No comments: