The single most dangerous thing in this country right now is not rioters or gun-toting militia. The most dangerous thing we face is the fear that law-abiding citizens have of those who disagree with us.
It is our fear that the extremists on both sides feed on. And suddenly, that fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. That fear becomes our reality.
If law-abiding Americans would stop living in terror and vilifying those who see the world differently from themselves, the extremists would drown in our common sense and rationality, their movements would slowly starve, as their numbers dwindled and their lies were exposed.
We all want the same things.
Peace. Love. Safe communities. Good education. Affordable health care. Reliable income. Justice.
We simply disagree on the most effective path to obtain these things.
When we vilify other decent citizens for disagreeing on social, moral, and political issues, we are violently shoving them into the same category as the extremists, and we abandon all hope of restoration and healing.
We assign this word to people breaking store windows, throwing bottles at police, openly carrying guns on the street, and shooting those guns.
We need to adjust our understanding of violence. Violence begins long before property is destroyed and lives are lost.
Violence begins online, not only when nameless, faceless trolls comment anonymously, but when friends, family, and neighbors launch attacks against those with whom they disagree.
Violence begins around our dinner tables, in front of our televisions, inside our houses of worship, and in our Bible studies when we isolate ourselves from other good people with differing opinions, and cordon ourselves with other like-minded individuals.
Violence begins with the seemingly “innocent prayers” of everyday Americans.
Last I checked, the terms Democrat and Republican aren’t in the Bible. Every time someone utters phrases such as, “Thank God Biden is ahead,” or “Thank God my state voted Republican,” they are inciting violence by fueling the rage of those in the opposition who seek to do harm to our great country.
God is not concerned with petty politics. God is rooting for us regardless of how the free will of mankind determines elections.
Individuals may have strong opinions about right and wrong, and that may be reflected in personal politics. But God loves everyone, regardless of their political persuasion. This isn’t just a platitude. It’s the truth for every believer in many faiths.
I know so many people who pay lip service to the “God loves everyone” notion, but they don’t live it in their day-to-day lives. I believe the Biblical term for such individuals is pharisee.
If you can’t sit comfortably with the idea that members of your opposing political persuasion are truly, deeply loved by God, then it’s time to check into spiritual rehab.
When we forget that God loves everyone, we are as guilty of destroying American democracy as those we fear.
In just the last few days, I’ve seen “good” people make the following comments online:
“Kamala Harris is a literal whore.”
“The whole world would be better off if Trump would just die.”
“Joe Biden is a creepy pedophile who will sell all our children as sex slaves.”
“Maybe a few members of Trump’s Supreme Court will keel over. Some of them are pretty old.”
“The libtard Democrats want to turn the U.S. into a communist country.”
“All Republicans are fascist idiots.”
I could continue, but I think you get my drift. If you make these sorts of comments, online, in-person, or even in your head, I have two pieces of advice for you: 1) Grow up. 2) Read the U.S. Constitution. Every one of these comments is refuted within that document, or is so irrelevant that it was not considered important enough by the Founding Fathers to include it.
I’m relatively acquainted with the American Constitution, so I’m pretty sure none of these comments qualifies as “American values.” I also know a thing or two about the Bible. For a nation built primarily on Christian ideals, we sure seem to have strayed far from our roots.
Or maybe the Constitution and the Bible are of no more value than the paper they are written on.
I’ll be honest, it’s getting harder and harder for this Christian American to believe otherwise. And this has absolutely nothing to do with rioters and militia on the streets.
It is due entirely to the violence of the words and prayers of “good” Americans; common, everyday citizens who maintain such little respect for the processes of democracy that they can’t behave with even the basest of human decency towards those with whom they disagree.
Frankly, it disgusts me.
It is with shaking hands and faltering faith in my fellow Americans that I pray the following heartfelt plea:
God, please bless America.
Please speak kindness into the hearts of those inciting violence with their words.
Please speak grace and peace into the hearts of those who fear anyone who votes differently than themselves.
Please speak rationality into the minds of those rattled by the current state of our beautiful country.
Please, God, I beg of you to bring common sense and basic human decency back, not only to our streets, but to our churches, synagogues, and mosques; our living rooms; our keyboards.
Please, God, hear my prayer.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
If you find yourself praying this same prayer, please share widely.
It’s time for the rational moderate majority to take our country back.
Copyright © 2020 Sara Beth Wald