Agree to Disagree

“Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much good”.  Ecc 9:18

There is a noticeable increase of hostility in our nation. I remember not too long ago people could agree to disagree and still be kind to each other. That has dramatically changed in the past few years. We have freedom of speech, assembly, religion, freedom to choose where we want to live, freedom to choose what job we do, freedom to make money and spend it as we choose. But one thing freedom does not mean is that anything goes; not when it becomes physical or frightens others or is outside the laws of this great country. People are being so hateful in their words and sometimes inciting violence. It seems those with different opinions about religion, political party, lifestyle, culture or beliefs are accused of being intolerant, a racist, hateful, bigoted or worse. We are all free to make up our own minds regarding our beliefs and just because someone doesn’t agree with your beliefs it doesn’t give us the authority to be vulgar or violent against them. This is happening far too much from all sides in the political realm. The hateful, negative comments and violence only incites even more hateful, negative comments and violence.

Much of this hate and violence has been initiated from  this country’s “leaders” who have blatantly encouraged and incited violence and hateful actions. It’s like they’ve lit a match and then stepped back and just watched to see what or who the flames destroy. As I watched a live broadcast from Portland, I saw some peaceful protesters and many not-so-peaceful protestors like Antifa. There were so many hateful words and things being throw at people. Nothing gets solved with this type of behavior. Nothing. Violence begets violence. It’s like watching a spoiled kid when they don’t get their way having temper tantrums. When will these spoiled adults be disciplined for their bad behavior?

Independence Day is coming upon us. The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1776, composed by Thomas Jefferson. He, as well as the other signers of that document, knew that the Declaration of Independence was independence from the dictatorial rule of Great Britain and the birth of the United States of America. People living in those colonies were tired of the British domination and they wanted to be free to make their own decisions and to govern themselves. Throughout history, so many have given their lives to help achieve the freedoms we now have and sadly take for granted.

I wonder if people truly realize all the freedoms they do have here in the United States. With all the recent behavior of hate and violence, I think not.

Independence means freedom from control or influence of another or others. Freedom is being able to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints. Voting gives citizens a way to express their opinion and exercise a right to elect citizens to work on their behalf to uphold our freedoms. Elections result in the voice of the people. In the past, I have seen protesting of elected officials, but never with the hatred, anger and violence that has been prevalent of late.  Whether you voted for President Trump or not, being hateful and disobedient to the laws of this great country will not bring us closer as a nation. We need to grow up and work TOGETHER.

It’s true that “wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much good”.  And it would be wise for us all to remember something that the late Ronald Reagan said,  “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

I pray that God would continue raising up leaders that are faithful to Him and not this world, to remind us all how blessed we are to live in a country that still allows personal freedoms, and that He will forgive us when we forget.

May you all have a blessed and peaceful July 4th.