Politics are Killing America

It's okay to like someone that thinks differently than you.

There's no denying that our country has seen its fair share of polarization over the past few years.  Things like gun control, abortion, free market capitalism, immigration reform, global climate change, marriage equality, cancel culture, religion, social justice, and the president are just some of the hot button issues that have divided our nation.

In our modern culture, transparency is at an all-time high.  Social media lends us an outlet to share all our thoughts, beliefs, and opinions--many times, in a not-so-humble way.  It also gives us a window to see inside the hearts and minds of everyone we know, including celebrities, politicians, and athletes that we follow.

Good or bad, this is the reality of the world we live in now.  

Individually, I have chosen to try and stay out of the public debate forum the last 3-4 years.  I once wore my emotions on my keyboard and pounded away at the keys when I needed to get something off my chest.  Hitting send always felt like sweet justice.  However, the satisfaction never lasted long when I started receiving waves of opposition from other armchair quarterbacks.  The online debate is one you'll never win.  However, that's beside the point.

What is bringing me out of my recent silence is that I am beyond burdened for our nation.  I've been burdened this whole time, but I grow more hurt the way that I see people become increasingly more divided.  Our nation is such that to disagree in most instances is equated with showing hate.  Every move that every person makes is scrutinized as having political motivation.  We've become so prideful in our views and opinions, that it has spurned genuine anger and hate.

It doesn't matter what end of the spectrum you fall on, (right, left, somewhere in the dead center), every side has grown intolerable and repulsed by those who think differently.  

During a beautiful act of forgiveness and a genuine desire for reconciliation last week (Brandt Jean hugging Amber Guyger), naysayers hated seeing a young man forgive a woman that shot his brother dead.  They hated it for many various reasons, but nonetheless, people hated it.  


Ellen DeGeneres sat with former president George W. Bush at a Dallas Cowboys football game this week.  An openly gay woman hung out with a conservative politician.  And people FREAKED OUT!  I appreciated Ellen's response, by the way.  However, our divided nation didn't want to see it.  

No, our divided nation wants controversy! Our divided nation is addicted to anger and hate!  Our divided nation gets high off the rage!  Any type of mutual understanding or amity is seen as a loss, not a win, and this is truly sad.  

Abraham Lincoln is famously quoted as saying, "a house divided against itself, cannot stand."  He recognized that the United States could not truly be united with differing views on slavery.  He wasn't the original author of this quote, however.  Jesus originally said this in Matthew 12:25.  Again,  Jesus recognized that a nation not united would crumble.  Spiritually speaking, the church gets obliterated warring against Satan when there is a lack of accord.

You might say, "Well, these quotes seem to say that our nation is doomed. Two differing views cannot work together." I'd challenge that.  I don't think that's the point of either context, Lincoln's or the biblical.  

Professional sports teams do it all the time.  There are 53 players on an active NFL roster.  Each year, a 53-man roster with men of all different beliefs, backgrounds, experiences, and opinions come together under a common goal of winning and achieving the crown jewel, winning a Super Bowl.  

Simplistic it may seem, but I would suggest it to the alternative.  Why don't we take every opportunity we can to sit down with someone different than us?  Can you have a cup of coffee with someone who holds different religious beliefs?  Would you be willing to invite someone with completely opposing political views into your home for a meal?

For every moment in which you want to hit send on a Twitter zinger, debate someone with differing opinions, or blame others for being intolerant, how about replacing that with offering genuine welfare?

I'm a Christian.  I consider myself conservative.  I did not vote for Donald Trump.  I did not vote for Hillary Clinton.  I am Pro-Life.  I believe Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father, except through Him.  While my faith absolutely gives me my identity and purpose, it does not give me an excuse to be a hateful jerk.  

I'm also not naive.  I truly believe that it would take a genuine act of God to unite our nation.  All of our focus and pursuit would have to be on Him.  

I would absolutely encourage all who ever read this to turn to God, like Brandt Jean asked Amber Guyger to do.  I want everyone to find true salvation in Jesus Christ like I have found.

However, if you're not there yet, I would at the very least encourage you to think about your contribution to this matter.  Can you find a way to like someone different than you?
Christians, this should be second nature to us!  Christ in us is manifested through our genuine love and teaching of truth.  

What we're doing now isn't working.  Our nation grows colder.  We've distanced ourselves too far.  We've acted in hate.  

I rest peacefully in the victory I know I have in Jesus, but it doesn't keep me from having concern for this country and our world.  I would love to see my children and grandchildren have the freedom to worship Jesus, live in a nation that works together for the common good, and enjoy the world that God has created as they work to build His Kingdom.  

Ultimately, I see all of that slipping away for our country if we continue down this path.  That means, my way of thinking and decisions on how I live my life will be impacted just like yours.  Again, I have confidence that God will sustain me and my family.  What is your hope in?