We all watched in horror as an angry mob attempted to overthrow our sacred democracy, storming our Capitol claiming to be “patriots.” Bearing nooses, Confederate flags, weapons, and chanting “Kill Mike Pence” and “Where’s Nancy?” Five died while some beat an officer with an American flag and another crushed a peace keeper in a doorway. All this while flying flags proclaiming “God and Country,” “ Law and Order,” “Auschwitz,” and “Stop the Steal”, and many sporting Swastikas.
I was particularly seared when I saw a flag proclaiming “Jesus Saves” and another mobster dressed as the Grim Reaper clutching a Bible in his claws.
My siblings and I were raised in a tiny burl of a town in upstate New York in a solid Eisenhower Republican household. We attended a one room schoolhouse, starting our academic day with the pledge followed by the Lord’s Prayer or the 23rd Psalm. We not only learned the 3 Rs and our nation’s history, we were taught to shape our lives in the form and fashion of righteousness, taught to ask “what would Jesus do and what would Jesus say” before acting. Mom was a Sunday School teacher and Deacon, solidly woven into the fabric of our true, compassionate, and loving holy word and we followed her footsteps.
We learned our work ethic from Proverbs 24:33; our moral guardrails from Matthew 19:18; our respect for law from Jeremiah 22:3; not to call people names from Matthew 5:21; our love for all living beings under God from John 13:34; and, love for immigrants from Exodus 22:21. We were warned about false prophets who preach hatred and divisiveness from Matthew 7:15 and hypocrisy from Matthew 23:23.
With that spiritual tap root we hold that partisan politics are nothing more than the shirt on your back or the shoes you wear. They mean nothing in the context that we are all children of God, and when we call each other names or condemn our partisan leanings, we are disrespecting our creator and only hurt ourselves when we spew such vitriolic judgment. Those acts and words are between us and our God, and they have nothing to do with the fact that we need to love each other … unconditionally.
Ken Dufty, Exmore