Pastor Kerry’s sermon this morning expanded my mind! He told us that in a little over two weeks people who would identify as conservatives and people who identify as progressives will go to the voting booths across our country and vote for totally different people and that they will do so from their understanding of love as their faith community teaches them. I posted a quote from a progressive christian yesterday and saw quickly that where I read a inspiring message regarding helping the poor and needy and marginalized and oppressed on our shared home…the earth…my friends saw a darker writing. The quote began by stating that the Bible spoke more about how christians should treat the less fortunate, while on earth…and spoke little about the afterlife… I latched on to the message of helping others…but upon re-reading I could see how other readers might feel that the message of Heaven had been discounted… I think we all see our world, rather political or our faith communities, through kaleidoscope glasses.
Let me bring you into my little secret…I have a lot of conservative friends! I have conservative friends that I would do anything in my power to help. To consider a group of people as wrong or bad or misguided is to discount their sincerity and their humanity. I was visiting with a friend recently and I mentioned that the truth of most situations is neither to the extreme left or right…but usually somewhere in the middle. When we paint each other with demonizing labels and derogatory epithets…how are we solving the unprecedented division that our country is undergoing?
Have you watched on television when protests become frightening, where each side that is advocating an issue gets in the face of the other side and they scream at each other at the top of their lungs! If you have a position that you would like to share with someone who is of another mind…do you believe that screaming at them or labeling them or wishing them harm…is the best way?
Conspiracy theories are being given the credence of truth and reality. This is happening in a dearth of collegiality and fellowship and communication. If we are ever to understand each other we must first listen to each other…and consider why they have the point of view that they have. We can sit down at the same table and break bread together, but first we must stop the spewing forth of vitriolic verbal hyperbole and learn to see our common humanity…