By Guest Blogger: Farah Thompson
The true character of people is revealed in adversity. In the midst of recent, horrible natural disasters, we have seen people step up and care for their neighbors, and people they had never met. At the start of COVID-19, there were heartwarming stories of people helping each other out. In the midst of tragedy, humanity shines.
But in the midst of politics, humanity is banished. The “other side” becomes the enemy, and no quarter is given. Once, I respected the people who cared about politics and elections. They made an effort to guide our society, versus just being content to live in apathy. But now… I am ashamed and afraid of the people who are most invested in politics.
We’ve always know politics was a cancer, but in the past it only affected politicians, not voters. I’ve seen Americans applaud the death of fellow Americans because they had different political opinions. Americans used to live by “innocent until proven guilty,” but no longer. Now, your guilt is not defined by your actions or even your beliefs—you are guilty simply because you belong to the “other side.” I’ve even heard people say we need another civil war. They seem to think it would be… fun to shoot people they disagree with, or to see the government shoot them. That’s horrifying.
We have become morally bankrupt in the political arena, and it is affecting our daily lives. Watch social media. Good people, people you respect, will use every nasty word and innuendo possible to advance and defend their beliefs. This can’t continue. Words and actions have consequences. I don’t want to live in an America where my political views determine who my friends are, where I shop, or where my kids go to school. I want to live in an America where we proudly embrace the dangerous freedom of associating with people who think differently than us—the dangerous, precious freedom of respecting our fellow men and women because of their inherent value, and for no other reason. Every human being deserves a level of respect—and that’s not something that’s earned, it’s intrinsic.
Before you argue, I challenge you to look deep into your soul. If that basic level of respect had to be earned, would you yourself deserve it? If you’re honest, I think you’ll quickly realize you wouldn’t. Our own intuition and a study of history both teach us that evil lives in the heart of each of us.
So, I am afraid for my nation. The citizens that are most actively trying to guide our nation are losing the ability to see shared humanity. When we no longer believe the other side deserves a basic level of respect, it becomes easy to justify all sorts of evil. Call me crazy, but I don’t think the world needs any more evil. It needs grace, forgiveness, unity, and gentle strength to bring healing to such deep division.It needs grace, forgiveness, unity, and gentle strength to bring healing to such deep division.