A time to shun...
A time to plant, a time to harvest, and now a time to shun


Well, it's that time again - election time in good ole Virginia Beach. Time to get out your purses and wallets and dig deep for political contributions. They'll all be around to put the touch on you to be sure. Only this time do a little checking, and take a very good look at the candidate, especially if he or she is an incumbent. Or anyone who has ties to an incumbent.

Look for connections between the special interest groups that are being served well by the current city council, and the newcomers that want their 15 minutes of fame, most of which will come at taxpayer's expense.

Be highly suspect of those who will be spending $100,000 or more for a job that only pays $18,000 per year. And be especially wary of those who say they will do the job for no pay. They will get paid all right, but in ways never revealed to the uninformed voters who might elect them.

Those of you in our community who still have your integrity intact, may want to consider something that has worked well for the Amish when considering those currently on council, those leaving council, and those seeking a seat on council with ties to those of ill repute leaving council . Shunning.

Shunning has been a Amish tradition. Those who break their baptism vows of obedience to God are shunned by the Old Order Amish.

"Belonging" is important and shunning is meant to be redemptive. It is not an attempt to harm or ruin the individual and in most cases it does bring that member back into the fellowship again.

Something that has worked so well for the Amish could also work well for the rest of us.
If you find yourself in the position of feeling betrayed by an elected official's actions, shunning may be the best answer to get their attention.

If you have voted in a referendum and were on the winning side and your favorite council member voted against the results, it's time to shun.

If you find your least favorite council member making big bucks from his or her insider council position contacts, it's time to shun.

If you feel the integrity of an elected office has been compromised by the individual holding that office, it's time to shun.

If this sounds extreme, consider the Amish attitude toward loved ones. The families of a shunned member are expected to also shun them. Families shun the person by not eating at the same table with them.

In a recent article by Bill O'Reilly that appeared in Townhall.com, he suggests that no one in America should talk to Ken Lay of the Enron scandal. He says, "When Kenneth Lay walks by, we should all avoid his eyes." O'Reilly continues his solution to the betrayal. "If he (Lay) says anything to us, we should say: "I'm exercising my Fifth Amendment constitutional right to be silent, Mr. Lay. I don't want to incriminate myself by talking to the likes of you."

Bill O'Reilly believes that decent Americans should use their power to begin isolating the bad guys. He believes we can use our First Amendment rights to criticize those who damage our society, and we can use our Fifth Amendment rights to avoid talking directly to them.

Public pressure can be a powerful tool in dealing with elected politicians, especially when they compromise the integrity of an elected office.

Contemptible elected officials and those they are supporting for selfish reasons are in the same gunny sack as dope dealers, child abusers, wife beaters and sex perverts. They deserve and should be shunned.

To shun or not to shun, that is the question that should be on the mind of everyone associated with this upcoming May 7 election. When you reach into your pocket to give, give it a second thought. Your personal integrity may be at stake.

It's a matter of trust.