Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The Friendship of Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neal

We're living in a day when people seem willing to sacrifice friendships for the sake of politics. Polarization is the norm. "Unite with me in politics, or I'll separate from you in friendship" becomes the mantra of many.

George E. Demacopoulos of Fordham University opines, “Most of us allow political allegiances to predetermine the moral calculus that we perform individually.”  Politics is the easy path. We find a problem, blame someone else, and nothing gets done.

But for disciples of Christ, we must refuse to take the easy road. 

Love should trump our politics every day. There used to be a day when placing friendship and love before politics was the norm in America, for both Christians and non-Christians.

I remember those days. When I first began to vote at the age of 18, I had the pleasure to cast my first Presidential ballot for Ronald Reagan. I watched as the new Republican President of the United States formed a friendship with Tip O'Neal, the Democratic Speaker of the House.

Listen to essayist Stefan Kleinhenze describe the Reagan/O'Neal friendship of the early 1980s.
"(They) were opposites politically–yet they never allowed that to define their relationship. One time Reagan confronted O’Neill about some nasty things said in the newspaper, and O’Neil replied with: “That’s just politics, after 6 o’clock we’re buddies–we’re friends.” And that’s exactly what they were–frequently going out after work and simply having a beer together, and after Ronald Reagan was shot, the first person to come and visit him was Tip O’Neill. Reagan took it, that when things would get a little heated in some of their meetings, he would visibly set his watch to 6 o’clock, as a frolicsome reminder of their true identity in friendship.
The Christian life is to love. Mark Dayton, the governor of Minnesota, was once giving a speech to both state legislatures, when he suddenly collapsed. As he falls, the entire room of opposing opinions and beliefs stand up in unison out of concern for their fellow man, and those who were close, rush to catch him before he hits the ground. It’s a simple story, but a profound testament to the nature of humanity–that we are created to love. It is in the love of one another that we draw near to God, and it is in the love of one another that we find our political party. We should absolutely welcome politics, but never at the expense of our neighbor–because our opinions, discussions, and debates won’t be there to catch us when we fall. My brothers and sisters in Christ, the course of history has arrived at our hour, it is time we ask ourselves: is it 6 o’clock yet?"
I'm setting my watch.

How about you?


Rex Ray said...


Rex Ray said...


Your post would be a great post, but not when there’s so many lives at stake, and the reputation of America is going down the toilet; thanks to you know who.

This post at this time, is like singing Jingle Bells at a funeral.

Rex Ray said...

One more shot:

America; land of the free, and home of the brave.

Biden’s America; land of obeying Taliban, and home of the fearful.

Christiane said...

It's a good post, WADE, a needed one, thank you.
I was reminded of that terrible day when Steve Scalise was shot and would have died without the medical care and the prayers of the nation for his recovery. No one cared what politics he embraced, no. He was an American, duly elected to office and when he was attacked, so were all voters attacked everywhere in a nation where a person's vote has meaning, and is sacred in that our soldiers fight and die for our freedom to vote our conscience in a free country, yes.

I wrote something on Dee's post Sunday, this:

"People are infinitely more important to us than their politics and/or theological stances. As is said in the Church, ‘in all things, caritas’.

WADE, I think your post represents the Church's saying,

We, (I), needed this post at this time. Thank you so much. And I thank Providence for inspiring you to write it. :)

Rex Ray said...


Thanks for making my point when you said, “We, (I) needed this post at this time.

It’s like the song: “Sing me back home before I die”

Christiane said...

I think the post is referring to 'shalom' in the sense of how Christians in the early Church would greet one another with 'Peace be with you' and the other would reply 'and also with you'

The full idea of 'shalom' extends to far more, of course, but being 'peaceful' was something much valued in the early Church, as it was seen to have been Christ's gift to His Church (the peace that is beyond all understanding, the 'Pax Christi')

Wade Burleson said...

This post is "Like singing Jingle Bells at a Funeral."

Rex, you sir, win the Internet today!



Scott Shaver said...

The kinder "peaceful" early church which marched children to death and slavery at the hands of Muslims during the crusades or the peaceful church of the Inquisitors and their disembowlment of heretics?

Rex Ray said...


Thanks; that help to make my day. :)

Scott Shaver,

Google states between 40,000 to 100,000 were killed for being witches.

Scott Shaver said...

Rex: Was that during the Spanish Inquisition?

RB Kuter said...

Wade commented: "This post is "Like singing Jingle Bells at a Funeral."

I disagree. This post is like singing a message of reflection on how things were and how they should be, not an endorsement of one pole or the other. It is what we need to hear.

Things have gone to such extremes of the perversion of moral integrity on both sides as to make us wonder if there can ever be a recovery of civility that was seen during the Reagan/Oneal days.

We need to be reminded that this is not the way it was meant to be.

RB Kuter said...

Speaking of civility and authentic friendships, my wife and I have witnessed a surprising aspect of our relationships with some friends since having COVID.(We have been blessed with not having serious symptoms thus far).

There is extreme hostility and condescending judgment expressed by those angered by we who decided no to have the vaccine. Even some of our church friends.

I wonder if I should just go ahead and tell them "why", or just let it slide. I doubt they are ready to hear the reason or can process the logic used by us. I believe this is another aspect of this "man-made" monster and the immense propaganda that is being used by those who created it. Many have simply lost the ability to discern logical reason and have become blind and deaf to those who choose a different course.

Rex Ray said...


In my book, you’ve always been on target. (I haven’t the shots either.) But today you said, “Wade commented: “This post is like singing Jingle Bells at a Funeral. I disagree.”

All Wade was doing is repeating what I said. The reason I said it is because in the past if America was going to leave a war-zone, American civilians were evacuated and THEN our military. Biden reversed the evacuation; leaving American civilians to be killed by the Taliban.

I’ve campaigned for only two people in my life; Reagan and Trump.

Tomorrow, my daughter and I are driving about 400 miles to see my sister, Ann. She’s had a relapse in her memory and is in a hospital. She’s allowed one visitor at a time.

Today, Judy picked up my doctor’s prescription of pain pills. When she was getting the third degree about me taking too many, I wished she’d told them not to worry because I sell half of them. :)

Christiane said...

I am so sorry to hear about your sister's relapse. Good for you to go to see her now. She may recognize you. That might make a difference. It is a blessed thing to visit the sick, yes.

As for the pills, I still have half of my pills (opiods) from when I came down with that VERY painful rash called 'Shingles' . . . terrible pain for a couple of weeks and the pain medication was much needed at the time

HOWEVER, my family (the doctors) had warned me not to take much of the opioid pills and to try to tough it out instead. Problem: I listened.
So now I've got opioids sitting on my bathroom shelf. I ought to throw them out.
Or flush them down the toilet. But maybe first, I'll get a vaccination for shingles, as OMG the pain was severe.

All I know is that my family said that the 'withdrawal' from opioids was horrific.
I'm sure Judy will keep you on schedule so you won't get in trouble with addiction.
Just like you to joke 'selling half of the pills'. LOL

Christiane said...

Mr. Kuter,
it does seem that peoples' reactions to masking and vaccination for covid are more a kind of 'acting out' from other kinds of anxiety and worry, and maybe a feeling of 'lack of control' in a world that is rapidly changing, seemingly for the worst.

I'm sorry to hear about you and your wife having covid symptoms, and I'll pray for you both that the Good Lord keeps you from the worst of it now.

When I was classroom teacher in the inner city, we would sometimes see a kid 'explode with anger' and act out in ways that didn't line up with any of the situations at hand,
and often, we found out that the child WAS 'acting out' from pressures outside of school that became too much to handle,
and as a counselor once said to me: the children erupt in school because they know it's a 'safe place' where no one can hurt them more, so they express their pain to us and cannot control keeping it in, and often it's a cry for help, this 'acting out'.

My point is that today, we are seeing a LOT MORE 'acting out' by adults in our society in public places (even Church, a 'safe place', even Church). But we need to realize that the behavior is not to be taken personally, but is a sign of being deeply troubled and in need of reaching out, although the 'acting out' behavior is inappropriate, it is still like a 'red light' that they need to vent some of that pain.

Mr. Kuter, you take care of yourself and your family now. And know that 'this too shall pass' and that even I still hold out hope that the 'culture wars' will cease and people will find 'a better way' to behave towards those who are 'different' from themselves, in time. Trust the Good Lord for good to come. The Lord be with you.

Scott Shaver said...

The culture wars will culminate eventually in civil and possibly world war. I see more probability in that scenario at the moment.

Scott Shaver said...


You could always just tell em to piss off.

Scott Shaver said...


They revealed the capital police officer today who executed unarmed 21 year old Ashli Babbit. The killers name is Michael Byrd. The young ladies widower is being interviewed as I write this. The capital coo shooter admits he knew she was unarmed.

Jan 6 has been used as a liberal gaslighting of the public.

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray, we agree, of course, that the regime currently in power is a disaster. My comment was describing my opinion that Wade's post was not intended to be defending anything being done these days but rather saying how things should be. I could be wrong.

Christiane, thanks for your kind words.

Scott, you are hilarious. Sometimes I come close to doing that.

Christiane said...

'empathy' - in the new 'anti-gospel' it is being taught that 'empathy' is a sin

I don't believe that at all. That 'anti-gospel' is like something out of the days of the Third Reich when a whole section of a country thought to be Christian and known to be highly civilized,
began to treat certain groups as non-humans, even to the point of extermination.

My question is WHY are we seeing a re-surgence of distrust for 'empathy' in our own time? Where does this 'anti-gospel' come from THIS time? And what does it hope to change, and in what ways?

In the days of the Third Reich, Dietrich Bonhoeffer stood up for a solidarity among humans born out of Christ's Incarnation when He assumed our humanity to Himself in order to heal it. Bonhoeffer on the Incarnation:
" We now know that we have been taken up and borne in the humanity of Jesus, and therefore that new nature we now enjoy means that we too must bear the sins and sorrows of others. The Incarnate lord makes His followers the brothers and sisters
of all humanity. The “philanthropy” of God (Titus 3:4) revealed in the
Incarnation is the ground of Christian love toward all on earth that bear
the name of human. The form of Christ incarnate makes the Church into
the body of Christ. All the sorrows of humanity falls upon that form,
and only through that form can they be borne. The earthly form of Christ
is the form that died on the cross. The image of God is the image of
Christ crucified. It is to this image that the life of the disciples
must be conformed: in other words, they must be conformed to his death
(Phil. 3:10; Rom. 6:4). The Christian life is a life of crucifixion.”
(Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

Bonhoeffer recognized the 'anti-gospel' of his day;

will we recognize the 'anti-gospel' of our own time?

Christiane said...

a film about healing

"The Healing Garden"