I’m sure you’ve seen similar meme’s throughout the online world. Most of the time, they make me want to puke. Maybe I’m just different, maybe on some level I’m wrong. I can accept differences in opinions, which is why I’m still friends with people who post some of this; however, when the posts, the rants, and the memes go to a different level – one that dehumanizes others, one that uses vulgarity, one that pays no respect towards others I have issues.
But before I continue, let me preface by saying that I don’t have the answers, and all of these issues are more complicated than we often give them credit for. But here’s a few things I notice:
In the case of the first meme above, I notice that the victims of this atrocity haven’t even been laid to rest yet. Still, some would want to use the tragedy to further a political view. Often times, by people proclaiming to be Christians.
I read that Jerry Fawlwell Jr wanted all of his students to carry concealed carry permits because if more good people were carrying weapons then they could kill the Muslims. Really? Which ones? Did you know that after 911, hundreds of Sikhs were assaulted in the Northeast because they look like Muslims (BTW, most Muslims live in Asia)? Talk about prejudice and racism – Sikhs are NOT Muslims.
I read reports a while back of people carrying their AR15’s in public, strapped behind their backs, walking into fast-food restaurants and other stores all because it’s their “right”. After all, who is going to kill the bad guys?
What’s interesting is that less than .05% of America will serve in one of the military branches. Less than .05%. I mean, if your intent is to protect and carry a weapon, join the service. I served eight years in the Marine Corps, and currently serve in the Army but just to be clear – I don’t believe in violence as the singular answer. I support the 2nd amendment; however, I don’t think it’s all bout the individual.
I read a post by a friend that proposed that prayer is the singular answer. Just pray and somehow God will make it all better. I affirm my faith in Christ and truly believe that God alone can change the heart of us; however, I also believe that God calls us to action by virtue of our hearts being changed. In other words I feel we should live our faith.
Prayer without action can be void and empty – it can be self-serving. Jesus calls us to help, to serve, to interact those in need, even as we understand that we too are still in need.
What kind of action? Certainly not one that dehumanizes others. Certainly not action that would take the life of another. We must find a way to incarnate our faith, a way that demonstrates we love the other, the outcast….the “enemy”. Killing, calling others to kill, believing those who believe different than you are just a bunch of “liberal idiots” isn’t the way.
I’ve heard and seen too many times that the problem with America is that we have pushed God out. Out of schools, out of our government – out of our lives. School shootings happen in schools because God isn’t there. Really? God is omnipresent but somehow we believe that we can legislate God out? Are we somehow superior to God? Rather, I would propose that God is right there in the midst of the most broken and failing moments – even in what seems as the deepest and darkest times.
What’s fascinating is that many believe we should have prayer in school, and stop abortions, and the like. I hear it said that it’s the governments job to mandate our preconceived notion of “christian morals” but not the governments job to help those in need, that this is the “churches job” (the Church sucks at this btw). And somehow it’s a “christian moral” to arm ourselves and kill all those who are different than us.
Who are “they”?
If history has shown us anything, it’s that we look to those we deem are evil and dehumanize them. We allow ourselves to believe they are the problem, and the answer of course is to get rid of them so that we can live in peace. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, americans looked at anyone who appeared Japanese and put them in camps. We have looked at black americans as the problem. We’ve demanded that illegal immigrants are the problem. It’s the homosexual that’s at cause. It’s the heavy metal musical, dungeons and dragons, and video games that are to blame. It’s the middle-easterner who is the root of all evil. It’s the native american that must go. It’s the communist, the liberal, the ultra-conservative.
It’s always “them”. And they can never be a good american. I read a long rant about how a muslim cannot be a “good american” by virtue of being a muslim and not a christian and I thought really? Christians can’t even agree on anything.
Which brings me to closing this – remember that on any particular topic, at any moment in time at least 50% of your neighbors disagree with you about something. And that’s okay. Actually it’s a good thing. We don’t need to live in a Stepford wife type of society where everyone is exactly the same, and exactly how we want them to be, doing exactly what we want them to do in the exact manner that we deem it needs to be done, dressing how we want them to dress, talking how we want them to talk, listening to our kind of music, voting how we vote……all seems kind of self-centered, doesn’t it?
You probably don’t agree with me on any of this, and that’s okay. Just please don’t call me a liberal idiot, please don’t say I need to be saved; please don’t suggest I’m somehow less of an american and I’ll do my best to do, say, and believe the same about you.