***I started writing this in June. I didn’t publish it (or anything) as I wasn’t sure that it would be received well or perhaps that emotions were just too high. Praying, thinking, and deciding to resume my blog, I read over it for the first time in months. Turns out, I stand by it. Not only am I posting it, I’m adding to it at the end.***
I am firmly against it. I will not stand for it. I will have nothing to do with it. I stand with every victim of it. I can’t believe I have to state it but I am. It is wrong. It is not Godly. It is not from or unique to the left or right, young or old, domestic or foreign, white or black.
I am against evil. I am so against evil and it is so prevalent today. It surrounds us and permeates our world in the greatest and obvious ways as well as the smallest and most insidious. Sadly, evil is typically what the “other” people do. It never occurs to us that we are the ones doing it.
Isn’t it a bit strong to say that we all do evil? Murder, violent crime, stealing…that’s evil but what I do isn’t (whatever I do that isn’t that). However, our world is dichotomous. There is good, there is evil. What isn’t good is evil.
Thus, I am against the murder of an innocent man (evil). I am for the Police in general who serve and protect (good). I am for the protesting of injustices (good). I am against the destruction and theft of property and the physical harm to innocent bystanders and property owners (evil).
We are all fighting with and against each other both in the streets and on social media. What we don’t realize is that in doing this we are doing the bidding of the evil one himself. It is his goal that we are divided, first from God and then from each other. When we are divided from each other we don’t communicate, we don’t learn from each other, we don’t have compassion, we don’t love, and we do evil.
Think about how we attribute such negative absolutes to our different divisions. If you are pro-life you hate women. If you are pro-choice you hate babies. If you are republican you hate poor people, minorities, and immigrants. If you are democrat you hate the freedom, free markets, and the wealthy. If you are pro-police you are anti-black. If you are for civil rights you are a vigilante. It goes on and on and we see greater and greater division.
You can be pro-police and anti murder by police. You can be pro protest and anti violence and looting. We don’t have to pigeon hole what we believe and who we are by anyone’s definitions. We can be more complex and diverse than that. All the while being ever so simple saying that we are pro good, anti evil.
Are thinks ok? Clearly not. However, let’s not let it further divide us and make things worse. That is not what God wants, it’s what the enemy wants. I want to do good and avoid evil. I want healing and not hurt. I want peace and not violence. I want equal opportunities for all and oppression for none.
***Added January 25***
Sadly, the division has not subsided but has even intensified. We are not even more divided politically. There are those who are pro Trump and those who are pro Biden. Even within those who like Trump’s policies there are those who hate his demeanor. Others are all in. Some people love that Biden is not Trump. Others think that he’s the answer. The pandemic has continued and people have chosen sides. One side is focused on science. The other is focused on science (just not the same science). We have people who were ok with what happened this summer in cities across America and are aghast at what happened at the Capitol. We have people who were against everything that happened this summer and are fine with what happened at the Capitol. There are yet some who are against both. People are even divided as to why there’s so much division. Some blame Trump. Others blame those that oppose Trump and the media for the divide.
Please understand that I am not against different opinions. Different opinions are a great thing and I have surrounded myself with people in every category in this post. However, we need to take the time to LEARN WHY people believe what they do. We need to UNDERSTAND THAT they have the right to feel that way. We need to SEE HOW people have come to these beliefs through their life experiences. We need to entertain the thought that we might LEARN FROM others and what they believe. If nothing else, we need to KNOW THE TRUTH that God is a God of reconciliation (and unity) and the enemy (the god of this world) is one of division. Ironically, there is a phrase which says, “The devil is in the details.” Actually, the devil is in the headlines. Almost no one reads the details anymore. Very few do the homework, research, and sift through the facts on their own. They just see a headline, click, copy, and paste.
I pray that we stop the vitriol and remember that there are real people, good people, people like us, who just don’t think like and believe everything we do. There are people who need us and that we might need who may never reach out due to the roadblocks we’ve put up due to our fervent opposition to their positions on topics. It doesn’t have to be that way. I hope and pray that you experience or find peace and extend it to others.