We, the citizens of the United States of America, are a divided nation, and in less than 3 years we will celebrate our 250th birthday.
Is it going to take a mega party to bring us all back together?
During a recent fire pit gathering, a friend mentioned that social media is the problem with our division. I’ve been saying this for a while, but I’d add the news media to social media, because who knows what to believe anymore? I used to work for a major daily newspaper when everyone read newspapers, and I can say without question that back then no one was out out to “get” anyone. I do believe, though, that on whatever side of the aisle we park ourselves, we tend to gravitate towards those news outlets that support our beliefs.
While certain leaders may have been catalysts for a divided nation, who are the perpetuators?
We are contributing to the great divide if we do any of the following:
- Pluck scriptures to support endorsing certain political candidates. If you uphold the Constitution–which so many use when it comes to gun rights–then respect the separation of church and state our Founding Fathers desired. Not all of those Founding Fathers were Christians (Jefferson was a Deist), and today we’d have black, Jewish, and other diverse groups represented if we were doing it all over again.
- Don’t bother to fact check what you read on others’ social media before sharing.
- Listen to pastors who are outspoken about certain candidates. My own Catholic Church is pro-life across the board, which extends to the death penalty, but you will never hear a priest or church endorsing a certain candidate. At least I haven’t heard that.
- Refuse to respectfully listen to why other Christians may not share your viewpoint. We can blast out our own thoughts, but heaven forbid we hold space to hear why someone else’s beliefs are different.
- Continue to call Democrats the “evil left” or Republicans the “whacked out right.” I’ve been guilty of the latter (and I am a registered Republican) because there are such extremes.
- Continue to tie certain candidates and parties to one’s faith.
- Refuse to pray for leaders with whom you do not agree or whom you don’t like.
Let this sink in: We are a nation of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, agnostics, Deists, and athiests. We are a big melting pot of immigrants, except for 100% indigenous people. The prosperous megachurch on a busy road is no more sacred than the little struggling church in a rural area, and BOTH major political parties have good, sensible leaders and people as well as extremists.
Can we PLEASE stop adding to the divide by leaving politics and religion OUT of social media?
During the 2016 presidential election I unfriended more than a few folks because they posted such awful things, such as implying they wished certain leaders/candidates would die.
Is this what we–the United States of America–have become?
WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS!
When asked what the greatest commandment is, Jesus told His disciples that it is to love God with all one’s being, but he added a second great commandment–to love one’s neighbor as oneself.
Allow me to break this down for you:
Love President Biden.
Love Vice-President Harris.
Love former President Trump.
We can add to this list many names.
If you love your country, then PRAY for our leaders, and stop posting against them!
I love (being sarcastic here) how some people can twist religion to support certain candidates but they won’t pray for others.
Maybe we can kick off 2024 by resolving to shut our mouths when it comes to politics, committing to pray for our leaders, and seeking to restore unity.
And I pray the birthday party in 2026 celebrates true UNITY!
It starts with you.
Amy Walton is a certified Christian life and grief coach, author, and yogini who grew up in a staunchly Republican family but who considers herself bipartisan and votes her mind and issues rather than along party lines. She’s pretty sure that she won’t melt like the Wicked Witch of the West if she goes agains the grain here and there. Connect with her at email@example.com.