Posted by: megshoeman | November 5, 2008

All Cruelty (Hatred, I Might Add) Springs From Weakness (Seneca)

Since last night’s election of Barack Obama as president, I keep hearing folks remember Martin Luther King’s hope that his children would one day be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. I think to think that a huge measure of that dream has been realized is no stretch. It’s quite a thing, isn’t it? 


Several weeks ago my therapist told me that one of her clients confided to her that though she thinks herself fairly sophisticated and basically decent, she knows that when she gets alone with just herself in the booth, she couldn’t actually bring herself to vote for an African American person. Of course, many Americans, if pressed (some after all need no prodding whatsoever) would admit to feeling the same way. But last night, just enough of us acted with more moral wisdom than has ever been seen in the history of American politics.

I find this level of change to be really encouraging. And it leads me to hope even more that the so called “pit bull” and all dogs will one day be judged by the content of their character rather than the misconceived image of their breed. On Election Day, the shelter had a special on select animals’ adoption fees. Some long time residents had cute little 50% savings cards with themselves pictured in little Uncle Sam style top hats attached to their cage doors. Many of them were pit bulls.

As I was opening the kennels, families came in pretty steadily. I could feel their anticipation–their hoping for a good dog at a good price. And as usual, I could see their faces fall as they walked down the corridors to realize that most of our dogs are pitties. This sounds innocent enough–maybe a poodle would be nice–so what, right?  Well, but what lies beneath the public’s disappointment in pitties is dreadfully ugly–it is fear and hatred propagated by the violent acts and ignorant acquiescence of anybody but the pitties themselves.

Anyhoo, all this to say that I believe a change is going to come. One day pitties will be respected and loved for the the uniquely loyal, utterly joyful, brave and beautiful dogs they are.


By the way, my presbytery’s committee did not pass me through to receive a call. Racy Gracie’s time was basically up. Though these are extremely painful and remarkably inconvenient circumstances for me and my family, we’ve officially adopted her and things are going well. It is such a blessing to look over and see her dreaming cozily in her own bed. Here she is on the surgery table at the time of her spay operation. Of course I was there all along.




  1. This was an inspiring post on so many levels, thank you!

    I’m sorry to hear about your presbytery’s decision, but I’m glad to hear that Racy Gracie has finally found her home.

    I’d like to get together and catch up at some point in November. Any chance you are free in the nearer future?


  2. […] Ramblings on the Net Alan Bevere posts the latest Methodist Weekly Roundup Ben Simpson on how Elections Bring Out the Worst Olive Morgan writes on being interviewed by the United Methodist Reporter Dixon Kinser writes on the Day of the Dead (or Día de los Muertos) Meg Shoeman on All Cruelty Springs from Hatred […]

  3. Meg,

    I am also sad to hear about your presbytery’s decision. I will be praying for you.

  4. Thanks, guys.

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