I wish to begin by saying that your views matter.
At a time when our nation is far more divided than united, your views still matter.
Many will disagree with me, but I believe when our “Founding Fathers” established the governing bodies, they envisioned (or at least imagined) a future where people had a voice in the political system, this representative democracy would be for everyone, not just like minds, but the obscure and unique minds alike. This tradition has long existed in not just American thought, but Greek, Roman, and Western cultural philosophy. It has always existed, I think, but it has been better practiced some times better than others.
The violent July embittered the discourse, cluttered it up with starkly opposing sides. “Black Lives Matter,” “All Lives Matter,” “Blue Lives Matter,” are a mere few of the rallying cries of the ranks lined up for battle. This discussion has been far from productive.
However, how can two opposing sides reconcile that they are both necessary, while holding dear to their respective convictions and not shout down the other?
There are no easy answers, I am sure, but that’s not why I’m writing.
I am writing to you, dear reader, because your thoughts, opinions, beliefs matter.
I recently had a discussion with a good friend of mine about religion, and we had a brilliant back-and-forth about each other’s views. I still ultimately hope they saw my side and understood the love I have for them, the love Jesus has for them. It is these conversations about polar opposite perspectives that is so necessary. While, “religiously” (Or whatever that means), I believe Jesus is the way, truth and life, and that no one gets a positive eternal life without His ruling over their lives, these talks are so necessary, because every person on the spectrum has a place.
In my “religion,” God makes a place for everyone in His Church, because He made each person unique, with unique skills, talents, abilities, and put before each of them different circumstances through which to walk. He has done that for you too, nothing is outside of His ability and oversight. In our world, and especially now, whatever you believe is necessary, but it is in peaceable conversation that we must rest and solve problems.
The time for shouting down opposition has never been opportune, nor has there ever been a place for it. Liberal, Conservative, or somewhere in the middle, you are needed and your views have value.
There has never been a better time for you to share that with the world.
There has never been a better time to stand up for that which you believe.
But – you must do it peacefully – there has been too much shed blood for senseless causes.
It is fear we must reject, for perfect love casts out all fear. When we love one another enough to give each other opportunity to speak our peace and come to mutual understanding, even when we disagree, we will find the peace we so direly need.
If you do this, you are saving lives.
The person who believes differently than you is making you stronger, making you shore up your convictions, protecting them against storms and doubt. Open-mindedness and standing for what you believe need not contradict one another, for they have for far too long.
Stop throwing stones long enough to hear out those who speak a different word than you, listen, hear, understand.
You will not regret it.
The Bearded Travis