I've had some correspondence lately with friends that has inspired me to examine the clash of attitudes that is currently afflicting our nation. I'm speaking, of course, about the toxic climate that characterizes our debates on politics, health care reform, race relations, and so much else.
I try, I really try, but I can’t avoid seeing the news, and the kind of hate that spews forth from the mouths of people like Rush Limbaugh, or the absolute terror sometimes visible in the weepy eyes of Glenn Beck. No, I can’t avoid this nauseating mess--it’s displayed, repeatedly, for all to see by Left-leaning people who are making a point about all the bile from the Screaming Right. The Left is saying it’s all racist hatred. I think it’s actually more than that, although the race of our President undoubtedly plays into this.
What I think we’re seeing is exactly the kind of reaction one should expect from people who don’t want to change. Even if the change will make things better for them, when change is being forced upon them, they'll resist it for all they're worth. President Obama’s campaign slogan was “Change we can believe in.” These people don’t want to change--it’s inevitable that they’d be hostile to anything this President does or stands for, and that’s not limited just to his politics, but also to him personally.
It interesting to me that there are people in this country who, at one and the same time, welcome the newest technological gadgets and services, and yet cling to old notions of what America really is. Somewhere in the middle of a spectrum of attitudes, these people are in a conflicted state that will find no peace of mind. At the one extreme, there are those who welcome change of all kinds, people who wrap their arms around novelty and new realities and find something thrilling about living with one foot in the future. At the other extreme are those who don't welcome any change, who can't abide that "internet thing," who find any change frightening and a threat to be fought. I'm probably a little closer to the "future huggers," while some of my friends are probably closer to the other end of that range.
I keep hearing the phrase “Obama’s America,” as if that were somehow different from the America that the rest of us live in. “Obama’s America,” as though the President is trying to separate and align us along racial lines. This is in spite of the fact that the White House has been trying to get bi-partisan movement going on a number of different fronts, despite the fact that in this whole “He Lies!” business, the President hasn’t responded in the way that partisans on the Left want him to respond, by playing the victim.
As a believer in Jesus the Anointed One, I find neither side in this struggle worth following. I know one thing, though--Jesus would never have condoned the kind of hate I see in such attitudes, and one day, there will be an accounting. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” The people on the Right and the Left who fan the flames of our strife are far from being a blessing to anyone at this time of national division. No, they’re in a hell of their own making, and only they have the key to finding their way out. It's just a sad fact that they're dragging the rest of us down with them. May God help us all!