As I sit and watch my Facebook, Twitter, and even opening my e-mail, I am inundated with “world news” photos and stories. “News” has taken over the Internet! It’s truly no wonder everyone is so high-strung these days. Our “news” is nothing but pandering to “one side” or the other. “Click bait” and argument. News has always been depressing, but now it is downright divisive! Why is it divisive you ask? Restrictive labels. The more defined the label the more prejudice takes root. We, as a society, pick a side, pick a label, and are willing to “die on that hill.” Everyone else is enemy number one!
Alt Left, Far Left, Alt Right, Far Right, Extremest, and on a funny note we even have “woke” vs. “woke AF” because of course there are different levels of being “woke” as well….it is truly hard to keep up these days. I imagine many at the rallies don’t even know “exactly” what they are fighting for or against. Many just pick a side, pick a sign, and shout “hate” at the “other side.”
As if there aren’t people on each side. As if there aren’t brothers, mothers, sisters, daughters, sons, and spouses on both sides. The sad reality is we don’t often humanize those tragically hurt at these rallies until it is too late. At their funerals we learn they were great fathers, mothers, or gentle spirits.
Let me just say this; just because you believe yourself to be “right,” doesn’t make you “right!”
As Dr. Martin Luther King said so eloquently, “hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” So let us stop seeing people for their labels, and classifications, and start seeing them as someone! Someone to love, someone to help, someone to share our opinions with, or -at the very least- just someone.
How callous we have become. Someone on the “other side” gets hurt and our curt response is, “wish it had happened sooner,” or they protest at the funeral; just to drive the point home further right?
As a parent I’m often met with fighting children. One comes running in crying, holding their face, head, stomach, arm, whatever, and I’m left asking, “what happened, are you o.k.?!” To which I usually hear from the other room, “well they hit me first.” Both now get punished and both are hurt. I have to explain to them that no matter who started it someone has to end it. If they come tell me then I’ll deal with the person who hit, but if they hit back they both are in trouble. Both are wrong. Of course there is also defending yourself, but that isn’t the situation I’m speaking to right now. I am speaking to getting revenge. Tit for tat.
What good is it for both sides to end up bruised and beaten? Does anyone win? Does love win? When you turn on the news and see both sides doing the same yelling, destroying property, and fighting does either side look “right?” It doesn’t matter who hit who first! What matters is that someone has to be strong enough to stop it!
So next time you want to take a side don’t combat hate with hate. Meet hate with love! Start seeing people for people and not a label. Treat all people with dignity and respect.
This means don’t wear a mask and go beat someone, spit on someone, run your car into someone, or kill someone because they stand for something you hate! The world has enough of that! What we need is for people to care for others. To listen to others! Now we determine if we will even hear another person out based on their label.
It is time for Christians especially to stand up and show the love of Christ. To heed His teaching. It is time to pay special note to these scriptures:
Matthew 5: “38“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’h 39But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.40And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.”
Matthew 5:43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbori and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. “
This does not mean Christians are relieved from their duty to call out evil for what it is. It just means we should always do it in the spirit of love and encouragement. With grace in mind, not condemnation. We should not “pick a side” and spew hate. Let’s stop dehumanizing people based on a “side,” and instead see each other as brothers and sisters– people who have equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
We should reject the lie that our Country was founded on hate and instead unite under the freedoms of speech and religion that we enjoy!