Yesterday as news of the horrific events in Orlando soaked into our psyche, I watched Facebook erupt into what has now become another national hissy fit.
Please note: I’m not minimizing the outrage at deaths of so many innocent people. That deserves our outrage and grief, most assuredly.
What absolutely blows me away is our willingness to take any tragedy, no matter how grievous, and immediately turn it into nothing more than fodder for our particular political position.
The names and faces of the recently deceased now have no more value to many of us than to be cynically used as poster children for either side’s political sacraments.
– We take someone’s son or daughter, now suddenly lost to them for the rest of their lives, and use them as fodder for our political talking points.
– Who they really were matters nothing to us. Nor do the wishes of their family members, who may not want the main thing they’re remembered for to be a campaign platform.
– Their lives are watered down into nothing more than points scored in whatever current “cause de jour” is headlining the news.
Have no illusions – the names of these poor victims and their families will sadly be forgotten as soon as this news cycle is over. The “cause” seeking to exploit them will move onto more fresh meat when our horror at this terrible event has unfortunately subsided.
When did our nation’s political leaders…on both sides…lose the basic human respect for the dead and their grieving loved ones? What “in hell” (literally) have we become?
Tragedy has now become a time for self-righteous pronouncements on Facebook and awards shows, where we grandstand to show everyone how enlightened we are. We make lofty, naive statements about “when will people learn to love each other” when surely we know that some people don’t want to and never will.
The enlightened say the problem is a lack of education and understanding.
The Bible says the problem is that people, no matter how educated or enlightened, can still choose to do evil. It’s called sin, and it’s not something you ever have to teach. It’s something that comes all too naturally to the human heart.
We are willfully blind to the obvious fact there’s something sick within human nature which causes some people to wish to destroy others. It’s something that despite years of education we cannot educate out of people. But instead of embracing that concept, we persist in thinking the solution is something we can pull out of our hats…or out of other parts of our anatomy.
So…we politic. And in case you haven’t caught on yet, here is how you politic well…
– First, we pound our fists on every social media platform we can find that our particular political solution will solve the problem at hand. Each side, both conservative and progressive, pontificates about how enlightened they are and what philistines the other side is for not agreeing with them.
– Second, we ignore cogent points the other side may bring up about how our proposed solution may not rule fix the problem completely. Of course, only OUR SIDE has the full solution. Because if we actually listened to the other side, we might see their wisdom…which would make it impossible for our side to truly WIN THE ARGUMENT. And WINNING is all that matters, right?
– Lastly…and this is the most effective tactic of all, we take the other side’s position and outrageously misrepresent it. When doing this, it helps if you throw in some incendiary name-calling. For example (stay tuned for quick and easy pointers):
***If you’re conservative, use words against progressives like “communists” when they call for any social programs or regulation whatsoever. Question their “patriotism” and “faith in God” as well.
***If you’re a progressive, call anyone for regulation on immigration “racist”, and anyone who disagrees an “extremist”. When in doubt, throw in “Hitler” and “nazis” for extra punch.
Add these elements, stir vigorously and watch the end of Western Civilization before your eyes. Don’t worry, you won’t have to stir much longer before the whirlpool takes us all together down the societal toilet.
But if like me you are beginning to tire of all the name-calling and political games, there’s one other option which I would highly recommend…
There’s this thing that happens when you realize one person sees the obvious solution to a problem while another sees that same solution’s obvious flaws. It happens when you in honesty stop trying to push your own agenda and actually listen to other people who speak honestly without just pushing their own agendas either.
When you can realize both are sincerely trying to solve the problem but are simply coming from different perspectives and life experiences. Then, something amazing happens: you resist the urge to demonized the one with whom you disagree, Instead, you acknowledge your areas of disagreement and seek to move toward a solution while considering all that has been said.
Yes, that point when you realize your solution may not be the only solution, and that others may want the same resolution you seek but are only coming at it from another direction.
There’s a name for this wonderful, transcendent experience. The book of Proverbs in chapter four called her a lady, and promised that if you do not to forsake her, “she will preserve you”.
She’s called “wisdom”, and she’s a lady whose company I highly recommend.