Why is it that, if I disagree with someone, I "hate," but if they disagree with me, they are "open-minded?" When did this happen? Why did it happen? When did it become the norm for people to judge others by their own set of standards? And more to the point: what are we going to do next?
We are a nation in turmoil and we have no real voice of reason ringing through the wind. No one to calm us reassure us, and even discipline us when we are out of line. But wait, we do.
We ALL need to take a step back and evaluate the way we are treating each other. As a Christian, my example is Jesus. How would He respond? Many are quick to jump to the example of righteous anger (Matthew 21:12) when Jesus cleansed the temple. But wait, there's more! Jesus also called out the men condemning the adulterous woman (John 8:6), warned us about where our true treasures are (Luke 12:34), and scolded Peter when he took up a sword defending Jesus and His captors (John 18:10). Just a few surprising examples of God in flesh making radical decisions that affected the world and the way we are supposed to treat each other.
Are these statues worth discussing? Yes. Are they worth fighting over, I don't think so. Are they worth dying for? Never. Too many people died when we fought each other the first time. As much as I love history, especially American history, I love people more. I want to see the best in each of us- I want us to be at home with each other in our skin and in our community. So here's what I think:
- I think Jesus is the most important belief/issue/thing/person we should ever be concerned about.
- I think we should be considerate of our families next, and then everyone else.
- I think, if you have a problem with some statues, you should speak up.
- I think if you don't have a problem with them, you should speak up.
- I think all forms of extreme, violent hate groups are wrong.
- I think you should both be mature enough to address the issues calmly.
- I think violence is not the answer.
- I think the police need to prevent us from harming each other and from defacing property.
- I think city/state leaders should consider the issues on an individual basis.
- I think if the decision is in favor of the people with the problem with the statues, by all means relocate them to the nearest Civil War battlefield or cemetery.
- I think they are a part of history and we should not demolish them. Instead, add a plaque or an info board that will aid in educating the public about the facts surrounding our nation's greatest mistake.
- I think considering any kind of action (other than protection) regarding the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, and any other battlefields and parks is absolutely ludicrous.
- I think we need to remember where we are: this is the South. If someone were to erect a Lee statue in Kansas tomorrow, that would be weird. Some of these statues remind us of various campaigns and skirmishes that were fought nearby. You may walk or drive on ground that was once soaked in blood. These people- all of them- had families. They all had souls. They all bled the same. ALL of them.
- I think erasing history is never the answer.
I know I have readers who will be on either side of my opinions. I pray that those who know me will reach out if they disagree and our friendships will not be in jeopardy. But I can no longer remain silent, because I am tired of going to bed and becoming totally overwhelmed by the thought of future generations being silenced for fear of offending someone. I don't want to offend anyone, but I have a right to my opinion as much as anyone else.