Can we please call for a cease-fire? Can we as citizens declare a truce on the war of words?
I would like to appeal for a cease-fire, beginning with the presidential candidates. A cease-fire of mean-spirited words. The volley of launching insults at each another’s character, and attacking and denigrating one another’s personal history to see who can dig up the most dirt makes it feel like we are observing parents who are splitting up their marriage, and we are children forced to look on. Consequently, it ends up splitting up the whole family, leaving open wounds and life-long scars – not to mention the poor example of how NOT to relate to others. “He who is without sin, let him/her cast the first stone. Seriously, how can we look to you as leaders and examples for the highest position in our country? Are you honestly prepared as those who honor others’ cultures and perspectives on a global basis, using discernment, discretion and diplomacy? You speak of gun control; I speak of word control. Words shot out like bullets can kill someone’s dreams, soul, reputation and future opportunities.
This spoken by one who held that office – “You do not lead by hitting people over the head — that’s assault, not leadership.” Dwight D. Eisenhower
We need to see the dialogue of personal criticisms off the table and discussing issues and convictions onto the table in the public forum. We need to hear how you as leaders will bring solidarity, patriotism and unity to our splintered country, solidness in our economy so that we are once again lenders and not borrowers; show us how you’ll bolster our education so that our children can carry on the elemental principles of decency and foundational principles of our Constitution into their generation. We have been entrusted with the privilege of living in this country so we can rise above and lead other nations – not to follow any other constitutions or revise our own. We need to see the qualities of graciousness, kindness, peacemaking and hope, of leadership strength through humility in those who would seek to lead us. We need to see public acts of forgiveness for some of the wrongs in our history and move on together, rather than re-visiting it time and again.
A house divided against itself cannot stand. United we stand, divided we fall.
We are better than this.
I also appeal for a cease-fire from the media, a once trusted profession, which now is reduced to the lowest levels of tabloids and sensationalism. We need a cease-fire of casting blame and spoon feeding us your ‘take’ on the news. Trust us, journalists, that we can make decisions for ourselves based on accurate and unbiased reporting, not based on mudslinging or what has been predigested through subjective filters, but based on a positive message of hope. Use the power of your influence honorably.
Blessed are the peacemakers…
While we are at it, can we call for a cease-fire between ‘black and blue’? Between straight and gay? Between liberals and conservatives? Do we really think we can gain respect and honor for ourselves by seeking to take it from others? When I hear about American citizens not being permitted to fly an American flag, or Christians not permitted to have their Bible at work or school lest others be offended, I wonder – is it only wishful thinking to want to see our foundational constitutional rights respected – no matter what culture or belief? Because of unresolved wounds, labels like sexist, misogynist, and racist are opinions’fired’ out like poison arrows without respect for context and truth. Let’s call for a cease-fire of labeling. Not to say there aren’t true cases, but when the slightest offense is taken and the label slung, it becomes a distraction from the true cases.
The time is now to rise above the emotionally charged misinformation and judgments that bring out the worst in each of us. If not now, when? We are losing more than we can imagine – what was once considered common sense and common courtesy is becoming uncommon. I implore all of us to seek to be an example of how to bring out the best in ourselves and others; to daily employ acts of loving one another by simply treating one another as we would like to be treated. It’s actually that simple. Can we seek God for the love that is patient, kind, love that looks out for the protection and benefit others, and is unoffendable, rather than reading into things and looking down loaded barrels for offenses and slights?
Let us have a cease fire even among Christians, each feeling like they follow their convictions but have become subject to the judgment of those who disagree on politics (or anything else). (Unfortunately, the world has taken the twisted idea that disagreeing equals ‘hate speech.’ I disagree with my husband on things, but I love him very much and give him the respect of listening to his points. Disagreeing with one another respectfully has a place and can broaden our thinking. I was taught to honor all, whether I agree with them or not.) Especially with brothers and sisters we can agree to disagree and know God is bigger than all of this and is not distraught over this election. He calls us to faith in Him and faithfulness to His principles and towards one another. This is what we are called to do. Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with God
Let us be the leaders in love and honor; to walk in love and truth, side by side. We are not at war with one another, Christian or non-believer. “So far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” Romans 12:18. This is what we teach and preach. May it be how we live and lead.
And let this be what the world takes notice of. In a culture where words are being used as weapons that divide, let us use words of faith, of hope and encouragement, of love to bring forth healing and be life-giving.
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. Abraham Lincoln