Stepping back from the noise that deafens our senses, it can be easier to understand what is happening to us personally, and how we will respond to it. Emotions are the winds that blow, to and fro, causing confusion to be the ruler of reasoning. We are suddenly caught up in a tornado of confusion. Whether this is by design or not does not matter. We can wail about unfairness. We can blame the very people we gave power over us who we believe now to be corrupt. But emotion will not save the day. And emotions will never bring us together. There are those who know this, and use it to step over the line of reason, who will continue to say those with opposing opinions are evil.
America is a family which is dysfunctional and fractured. Those are facts I think most of us can agree upon. Some families have a great diversity in beliefs among them. On religion, for instance, my immediate family was very diverse. My sister became a Catholic when she married at 18. My brother went off to war in Vietnam and came home believing in the Baha’i faith. My stepbrother became a Southern Baptist. We all were raised in the Methodist church.
On the Thanksgiving after my brother returned from the war, he shared his faith at dinner. My Baptist brother turned to my Baha’i brother and said, “You are going to hell! Jesus is the only way to heaven.” I took a breath and thought the war had begun, yet the perfect response came as my brother, James, turned to him and said, “Let’s talk about it when we both get there.” That moment taught me diplomacy.
That is what we are lacking here in our own country. Pompeo has done a great job with diplomacy in other countries in his term as Secretary of State, especially the Middle East Peace Accords. We need a diplomat to bring together our parties and make them see their similarities and shared concerns and tone down the rhetoric which is destroying us. Each side has deemed the other to be so evil there can be no diplomacy, but I believe the divide can be overcome enough to return some semblance of leadership amid division. The leaders at the moment are not practicing what they are preaching about unity.
The days ahead will not be easy. The infighting will not disappear overnight. But one thing is for sure, we don’t worship our government as our God. When the actions of Congress make our nation weaker we rebuild. The Constitution still stands and I believe there are still enough moderate in Congress to stand up to those who have walked out on a limb with promises they cannot keep, and the people expect promises to be kept. Personal attacks and emotional outbursts on BOTH sides will have to subside. Dignity in some form must return. Sometimes we think this is the only time in history civil discourse has been lacking on Capitol Hill, but that’s hardly the case.
The tensions of the election are still the prevailing force which intensifies distrust and anger. But the truth is a stubborn thing. Whether you believe the election was stolen or not, time will definitely give us the true answer. Time and prayer are most import.
Phyllis Weeks Rogers 1/17/2021
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