“Do all things without murmuring and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world.”

Philippians 2:14-15

POLITICAL DISCORD IN AMERICA

During most of my radio interviews these days, I am asked by the host, “What can we do about the discord in American politics.” A frequent and simple question that only requires a simple answer, Love thy Neighbor. But this might be the hardest attitude to have in the face of unrelenting acrimony. Sure we all get hurt when someone violently disagrees with us and sure it is uncomfortable to have name calling directed at both yourself and what you believe. For me personally this is the hardest and most difficult attitude to maintain when being attacked. But we and myself must always remember that gasoline never put out a fire.

“Politics in America has settled into a state of angry discourse.”

We all want civility and our voice to be heard. We all want respectful debate. But that will not always happen. Politics in America has settled into a state of angry discourse. My publicist A.J. Rice recently sent me an article from the Washington Post that shows how deep this divide has become.

“What both sides are engaging in is repeating long standing pre-recorded narratives that doesn’t consider the act of listening to learn.”

In summary the article contains beliefs by both sides that the other side is in some way nefarious and full of misdeeds. But both sides feel they are right and have cornered the truth. In reality, neither side is close to the truth. What both sides are engaging in is repeating long standing pre-recorded narratives that doesn’t consider the act of listening to learn.

The Democratic party has long stood for helping the common person and those in need. They created the New Deal at a time it was desperately needed to shake off the debilitating societal effect of the Great Depression. The everyday person could look for the Democrats to patriotically stand up for them in the halls of our nations legislatures.

The Republican party has long stood for fighting back against government excess. For a long time questioning the spending of tax payers’ dollars on excess. They are the party that ended the abhorrent practice of slavery.

Both parties have in their history, acts of doing good. Both parties have a history of being in the right place at the right time. Both parties have produced great Americans that have served their country patriotically. Both parties have items in their platform that help America.

But today, it seems like both parties have forgotten their history of being leaders of this great country, mired in an unwinnable game mudslinging.

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians he provides the answer to how to unravel this mess. He says “Do all things without murmuring and arguing.” When we combine this with Jesus’ second commandment of Love thy Neighbor, we receive lessons from the Bible on how to proceed and end our country’s angry discourse.

I don’t believe Republicans as a group are racist any more than I believe that the Democrats are evil. What I do believe is neither side is listening to the other warmly, honestly and fairly. I also believe that if both sides approach each issue with love for their compatriots of the other party, a lot more would get done.

“I am sure Jesus would walk into this temple of discord and turn over all the tables.”

Our politicians have sunk into a morass of self-agenda and petty debate. No longer do the voices of reason patrol the great halls of freedom in our country. Talking over other people has become an accepted norm. Rancor has replaced cordiality as a accepted way of communicating. I am sure Jesus would walk into this temple of discord and turn over all the tables. Replacing the discourse with warm and loving patriots.

“Gasoline never puts out a fire and arguing robotically never helps.”

It is hard when we hear unfair things said about ourselves or our beliefs. It will keep us at night, questioning our own humanity. Life shouldn’t be this way, but sometimes it is. The solution is how we respond, we should not meet fire with fire. We should change the perspective to civility. Our civility and behavior should not be based on how we are treated, but based on our Christian attitude of civility. Gasoline never puts out a fire and arguing robotically never helps.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

Photo by Mitchell McCleary

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