Respect for Rush Limbaugh? No.
Do we owe respect in death to a man who in life espoused only disrespect?
“I am to die steeped in treasonous guilt, my name cursed, my memory unmourned.” –Paul W.S. Bowler
As regards how people are reacting to the death of Rush Limbaugh and demands for more “respect for the dead” — He now reaps what he had sown all his life. Limbaugh was man of caustic ignorance and cruel bigotry.
To those demanding kind words in the light of his passing, as I have commented elsewhere over the course of the past few days: Have you any kind words for Hitler or Stalin or Mao? Have you kind words for Nathan Bedford Forrest, James R. Crowe, Richard R. Reed, Frank O. McCord, J. Calvin Jones, John C. Lester, and John B. Kennedy, who were the founders of the KKK? How about some kind words James Gardner Clark, Jr, the sheriff who directed the violent assault in Selma as Black protestors marched, singing hymns and praying, across Pettis Bridge on Bloody Sunday? Have you any kind words for McCarthy? Why is Rush Limbaugh exempt for the consequences of the hate he promulgated or the damage those words caused simply because he has died?
Is anyone saying anything more caustic about him in death than they said about him in life? For that matter, is anyone saying anything more caustic than he himself said about masses of people over the entire span of his adult life? Recall that Limbaugh played celebratory music as he spoke the names of gay Americans who died of AIDS. Why must we have kind words for someone who said such things?
I have no kind words for Rush Limbaugh in the wake of his passing. I do have pity for him when he stands before the Creator in whom he claimed to believe. I cannot help but be saddened over the life he wasted on pouring all that energy into promulgating hateful ignorance – and, to wonder what might have been if he had instead devoted that life to making his corner of the world a better place.
Literature and life have much to say on the subject. Here are a but a few literary quotes:
“It is hard to die unmourned.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
“The man… will pass away unwept, unhonoured and unsung no matter to what uses he leaves the dross which he cannot take with him.” — Andrew Carnegie
“And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.” ― Neil Gaiman, American Gods
“The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonored, and unsung.”
―Walter Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel 1805
Scripture, likewise, has something to say on the passing of the unjust:
CEB Romans 1:18 God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodly behavior and the injustice of human beings who silence the truth with injustice… 21 Although they knew God, they didn’t honor God as God or thank him. Instead, their reasoning became pointless, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 While they were claiming to be wise, they made fools of themselves… 29 So they were filled with all injustice, wicked behavior, greed, and evil behavior. They are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, deception, and malice. They are gossips, 30 they slander people, and they hate God. They are rude and proud, and they brag. They invent ways to be evil… 31 They are without understanding, disloyal, without affection, and without mercy. 32 Though they know God’s decision that those who persist in such practices deserve death, they not only keep doing these things but also approve others who practice them.
Proverbs 29:27 The unjust person is disgusting to the righteous; the straight path is disgusting to the wicked.
Isaiah 53:8 Due to an unjust ruling he was taken away, and his fate — who will think about it? He was eliminated from the land of the living, struck dead because of my people’s rebellion. 9 His grave was among the wicked, his tomb with evildoers, though he had done no violence, and had spoken nothing false.
Jeremiah 22:17 But you set your eyes and heart on nothing but unjust gain; …you practice cruelty… 18 Therefore, this is what the LORD says… They won’t grieve for him, saying… They won’t grieve for him
1 Corinthians 6:9 Don’t you know that people who are unjust won’t inherit God’s kingdom? Don’t be deceived… 10 thieves, the greedy, drunks, abusive people, and swindlers won’t inherit God’s kingdom.
2 Thessalonians 2:12 The result will be that everyone will be judged who is not convinced by the truth but is happy with injustice.