Are We In Distress?

As I drove out of our neighborhood yesterday, I noticed a couple homes that were flying upside-down American flags.  I asked my husband why these flags were that way, and he replied that it is a sign of great distress.

Hmm, I needed to research that.  I read that many people are hanging their flags upside down by both sides of the aisle—that means in political terms, both the Democrats and Republicans.  It just makes me sad to see that there is such division in this country.  It makes my heart turn upside-down.  

I am not a Democrat or a Republican.  I am an independent voter.  I vote for the person who I believe will stand up for my values.  They don’t have to align completely with my values, but ideally, they have to fight for my values.  

I was reading an article today about a state senator in North Carolina who just left the Democratic Party for the Republican Party.  She commented that her original party was not the party she knew, that it had become radicalized.  She had posted a comment on social media and used the emojis of praying hands and the American flag.  She was criticized by her party for such a posting.  This is really sad.  Don’t get me wrong.  I know Democrats who pray and who are also proud of their country.  Why would a political party criticize one of their own for their beliefs?  I don’t recall seeing in the Democratic platform that they do not believe in prayer or the symbol of our country.  So weird.

For me, this is not about Republicans and Democrats.  This is about freedom of speech.  This particular politician was posting that she is a person of faith and loves her country.  That is what her emojis tell me.  To be criticized for this is appalling.

I am very careful of what I say out loud in public and what I say in my blogs.  I have no animosity toward anyone, but to state my beliefs out loud can put me on shaky ground.  On the other hand, I believe I must be bold in what I believe.  I have a right to believe what I believe.  I also have a right, by the 1st amendment of our constitution to say what I believe.  Granted there is a difference between saying I don’t like or believe something than saying those who don’t believe what I do have no right to express or exist.  The latter is wrong.  Unfortunately, though, there are those who would say if I said the former (that I don’t believe or like something), that means the latter (that those different than me have no right to express or exist).  That is such faulty logic that so many people are falling into.  It’s an emotional statement, and not a logical statement.

How did our society fall into such a dichotomy?  I am sure this has been brewing for a long time, and something made it tip over the edge.  I also believe there are organizations that make it tip over the edge.  We need to be careful of who we are listening to and what words that have changed in meaning.  One example I can give is on the abortion issue.  Years ago, before 1972, if a woman was pregnant, the practitioners would call it a baby in the womb.  Changing the term to fetus takes away the feeling of a human growing inside someone.  Making words impersonal helps people think differently about it.  But what is the difference between a baby with a heart beat prematurely delivered at 6 months, and a fetus (baby) with a heartbeat aborted at 6 months?  How can one be a baby and one be just a cluster of cells?

These are just things to think about.  Does what we believe make logical sense?  Do we have opinions just because they feel good?  What is the thing we stand on to define truth?  I personally have a problem with someone saying “my truth.”  Why?  Because “my truth” usually means what I think it should be—what I like.  The problem with that is that there could be many, many truths out there.  I believe we need something higher than ourselves to be truth.  If we use only “our truth,” we become our own god.  Something bigger than ourselves needs to be our truth. 

For me it is Jesus and his word (the scriptures).  It is not my church; it is not my pastor; it is not my mind.  I am a sinner saved by grace.  The church is filled with sinners saved by grace.  Some people say that they won’t go to church because it is filled with hypocrites.  Yes, it is, and so is every place else.  You cannot judge a church on the people, but on God’s word.  Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” ~John 14:6

When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment (Matthew 22:37-38). Jesus is actually quoting from Deuteronomy 6:5. Then he went on to say, “And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39). He continued, “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:40).

If we, yes, all of us, could just follow these two commandments, I think we would see all American flags upright and proud.

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