Saturday, November 6, 2010

What we have here is a failure to communicate

A word on politics.

I probably should have written this last week in preparation for the vote when things were getting really heated up, but in some of the aftermath, I've heard a few things that have reminded me that it's never really too late to say what really needs to be said.

At some point, we all need to take a deep breath and realize that the mud-slinging and dirty politics is going to be the undoing of our entire culture. Is this really the legacy we want to leave behind for our children? When my great-grandchildren are learning about the politics of this era, they are going to have a tinge of embarrassment over the way we've handled this country. It is time to put our big girl/big boy pants on, grow up and fix this mess we've gotten ourselves into.

I have the unique pleasure of being able to say that I have been blessed by some truly amazing friends that I have learned so much from. I have friends on both side of the political line. And over the past few years I have learned a lot from all of you.

To my Liberal friends (of which I proudly belong) ... You are a diverse group. You are made up of Christians and non-Christians. Working and unemployed. Rich and poor. Gay and straight. Homeschooling and nonhomeschooling. You make up every single people group in our great country. You care for others, are concerned for their welfare, take a peaceful stance, and want this world to be a better place. Most of you are very outspoken about why you are tired of the conservative right stripping you of your freedoms. Because, to you, that is what this country is based on: FREEDOM.

To my Conservative friends (I don't belong to you, but I love you anyway) ... You are not as diverse. You are made up of mostly Christians. You are forthright and outspoken. You are quiet and unassuming. You are steady and strong. Your hearts ache with the downtrodden of others. You are concerned with the betterment of our communities, of our schools, of our government, and of our society as a whole. For many of you (but not all, not trying to completely generalize), there is only important factor and that is that our country is under God and needs to be protected by His Law.

What I have to say now is going to completely blow you away. Are you ready?

You. Are. Both. Right.

(I'll give you a minute to compose yourselves)

At some point, all of you are going to have to take one big collective deep breath and realize that fighting is NOT the answer. We MUST find common ground and build from there.

Conservatives, I am a Christian, too. I, too, believe that God is sovereign and that it is Him we need to honor in everything we say and do. But, allow me to point out that the mud-slinging that happens during campaigns is NOT honoring to Him. And, please, do not give me the line about "we are just trying to expose the truth of our opponents" because I'm only going to answer with "splinter and board". Let's save us all some time on that discussion, shall we? Consider this, also. Yes, we are Christians. But isn't one of the most important things to realize as a Christian is that not everyone is a Christian? When, as Christians, are we going to lay off and let people live their own religions - or non-religions? We must befriend Buddhists. We must love Muslims. We must understand Agnostics and Atheists. Why? Because God commands us to. We must learn a little bit of lenience and acceptance. You're against abortion? I understand that. But you are not allowed to make that decision for everyone. You want to reform and limit welfare? I understand that. But outlawing, limiting and reforming can be dangerous in that you are automatically turning away your mission field. You want to help a young mom who has been overwhelmed by life, has children, pregnant and considering abortion? The last thing you want to do is leave her with unsafe choices and calling her a whore and putting the children in a position of malnourishment and lack of health care. She's not going to listen to the gospel from you, then.

Does change need to be made? Absolutely. We have let our country run amok. But, stirring people into a frenzy of name-calling, finger-pointing and judgment will NEVER be the answer.

Libs, let's get one thing straight. All conservatives are not out to get you. They don't ALL think you're going straight to hell. They don't all want to stop you from living your life. They want a better country. They want peace. They want clean neighborhoods with safe streets. And that is okay. They don't understand that we want the same thing.

Did you hear that?

We. All. Want. The. Same. Thing.

We are all tired of seeing our sons and daughters slaughtered in foreign countries. We are all tired of watching our tax dollars get flushed down the toilet. We are all tired of fearing for our children in schools. We are all tired of overflowing prisons. We are all tired of worrying about our futures, and the futures of our children.

See how much we have in common?

To sum up ... Conservatives, please stop saying that your way is the right way because it is holier. Remember who you could be hurting by those words. Libs, please stop combating every point with such ferocity. I promise, that over all the people telling you that you're sinning, are people who are listening to you.

As for me. I am not turning my back on my religious beliefs by being open to the thoughts and feelings of others. I have learned that in order to find the best way for the better to be done for all of us, I must hear what real people are really saying. And being a Christian doesn't mean that I'm sitting in judgment waiting for others to mess up so that I can point it out to them.

I think if most of you sit down and truly search your heart, you're going to find that you're not that different than I am.

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