We are approaching The Great Divide in the U.S. We are steadily marching toward a time of a dialogical quagmire – a time when the heated, yet rational debates of our founding Fathers are relegated to historical hooey because we see them as naïve and clearly uncommitted because they weren't willing to besmirch their opponent to the point of devastation.
We are gazing into a gaping chasm of malcontent when the either/or diatribe of “you are either with us or you are against us” will not only define the prevailing zeitgeist of our nation but will divide us to such a degree that we will reach impasses of the likes few have ever imagined. It has the potential to put a strangle hold on an already far too ineffectual congress; the results of which will be to deepen the recession, increase the gap between the haves and have nots, and continue to lessen the influence of the United States throughout the world. That doesn't even begin to touch on other areas that will be impacted such as education, scientific advancement and civil rights (and many, many others).
Those who fan the flames of division all too frequently claim to do it from a Christian perspective. People who promote hate and division are not practicing the core value of Christianity – love. It is time for those of us who take the teachings of Jesus seriously to stand up, to be a light on the hill of rationality, tolerance and unity. We must take back the prevailing Christian dialog of this nation. We must wrestle it away from those who choose to use it to attain power and money. We must claim our voice as Christians and say, “No, I do not hate my enemy – I love them. I do not hate you – I love you. I refuse to be divided from any of those created in God's image simply because they disagree with me, attack me, or call me names.”
It is time to replace the drive to division with a call to love. With love, we do not have to agree, but we do have to be civil. We do have to be respectful. We do have to practice tolerance. We can stand divided, but it will take a deeper understanding of what it means to love your neighbor to do it.