Well it’s been quite a season of news making from the office of the President of the United States. These past two weeks have been more heightened on that front, if that were possible. It’s hard sometimes to fathom that this stuff is even real and not fiction. If it weren’t so painful to watch unfold, it would be kind of comical.
But alas, it is painful.
It’s mostly agonizing due to the divisiveness of it all.
Those on the political left are name-calling and stone throwing. And so are those on the right. The sad part is that whichever ‘side’ one is on, left or right, both are wrong. Both are allowing themselves to get caught up in the vortex of divisiveness that is being churned up from all kinds of different places.
The Jesus Way seems so very different than any of this.
It is one of peace, not war.
It is one of grace, not hate.
It is one of forgiveness, not resentment.
It is one of seeing people as created in the image of God and not with labels that they’ve been given.
Those on ‘the right’ as well as ‘the left’ have bought into the lies and are therefore using some funky, hurtful, hateful labels for those on ‘the other side’. Perhaps even sadder is seeing those who identify as Christians hurling these labels around too.
It’s hard to watch.
Now I’m not saying we stop sharing our political beliefs. I’ve made it no secret as to which way I lean. It’s just that I’ve tried to stop sharing my political ideology on social media. It only leads to more name-calling.
And I am just as guilty as many others of getting sucked into that world of lies, defensiveness, and divisiveness. I’ll share with anyone how I feel. But now it just needs to be over a mutually agreed upon beverage, and end in an embrace or at least a handshake; not a parting shot of name-calling and stone throwing.
During the month of May, we especially focus on our missional themes of dignity and respect. That means we treat all people like people, as equals, no matter what their political bent is, what they’ve done, where they’ve come from, how much money they make, how they smell, what religion they try to follow, what their sexual orientation may be, what gender they identify as, what colour their skin is, or how old they are.
By not judging folks, by not treating people based on the labels they may have inherited along the way, by taking The Jesus Way, we can continue to strive to be The Hand of God in the Heart of the City.
Creator and sustainer of life,
bless us with the courage to show dignity to everyone.
Bless us with the strength to respect all peoples from east to west, from north to south, so that we may truly follow the call of Jesus to love our neighbour.
We ask this in the name of Jesus,
(Adapted from Being Neighbor: The Catechism and Social Justice, USCCB, April 1998)