The “Great American” Stand-Off Show

A man turned around and called my daughter a “bitch.” What was her offense? She asked him to calm down, rather than scream at the Target cashier for moving too slowly while he was waiting in line. If I had been with her, then there would have been much more to that story. I’ve always taught my children to stand up for others and that’s exactly what she was doing. I’m very proud of her.

Everything is a standoff. Even a casual scroll through the news or social media reveals what has become of American society. I have shared three different news stories in the past week. All of them were deleted by me within twenty-four hours due to the amount of senseless bickering it sparked among those commenting. Even excitement that I expressed about the ability to stream Hamilton on Disney+ served as a magnet for negativity. Folks have pulled guns on business owners and customers have assaulted other patrons. Why? Because it was requested that they wear a mask. It is not just facemasks causing insanity. Black Lives Matter protests along with All Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter counter-protests are sparking strong emotions as well. I’ve written about the BLM protests and my involvement, so I won’t write about it here.

Our nation has a disease.

The disease is that we have reduced the value of an individual to what they produce or contribute. While flipping through news channels recently, I saw a conservative political commentator bemoan the thought that many who are unemployed may receive more in benefits than they would had they remained employed. He was worried about the unemployment rate remaining high as people refuse to return to a job that pays less. People are simply a number on a graph that may or may not contribute to a desired electoral outcome. Meanwhile, this same conservative contributor regularly refers to the United States as a “Christian” nation.

If we were a Christian nation, then we would be observing the teachings of Christ. We would believe that we receive in order to give, not to accumulate for ourselves. We would believe that all individuals should be treated with dignity, and as greater than ourselves. We would hold possessions and wealth loosely, freely giving of our excess when we see another person in need. People would not be treated like a number or method by which a graph is reconciled in order to obtain political power.

Our nation should be going through a time of soul-searching right now. Many individuals are sincerely taking this time to learn from those who differ. There are scenarios where people are shutting up long enough to hear their neighbors and learn.

We have a real opportunity to address some of the sins of our nation’s past. Let’s not mess it up because of blind political loyalty and our refusal to shut up for long enough to listen.

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