Weeping Through the Night

On days like today, you’ll see the best of humanity– the image of a Muslim woman shading the bowed head of a veteran with an American flag while he prayed in Dallas– and you’ll see the worst of humanity. Much of the worst of humanity can be found in your Facebook newsfeed.

I see a lot of folks who consistently preach “personal responsibility” and rant continuously about how the country is “going to hell” because there’s always “somebody else to blame.” Now, they’ve turned around and found somebody else to blame yet again.

Don’t blame the violence in Dallas on a movement. Don’t blame it on a march. Don’t blame it on peaceful protestors. Don’t diminish the First Amendment of the Constitution by promulgating the bigoted belief that protestors have nothing better to do. Many of the most effective changes ever internally inflicted on the American conscience started with a protest.

That belief in personal responsibility goes both ways. If there are cases where police officers do bad things (and they do because they’re human), call it out. Call those specific officers out. Don’t blame authority. Don’t blame “the police.” Don’t blame “law enforcement.” Don’t undercut legitimate grievances by painting with an inaccurate and dangerously broad brush.

Rhetoric matters. Words matter. Culture matters.

At the end of the day, rhetoric, words, and culture can’t pull the trigger. Individuals do that. The responsibility falls on the person– no matter who’s holding the gun.

Excellent people participate in protests. Excellent people dedicate themselves to law enforcement. Too many folks blame the other side for painting with a broad brush while carelessly throwing cans of paint all over the canvas themselves.

We are currently a nation divided. We are divided by our beliefs, by our religion, by our classes, by our bank accounts, by our schools, by our cultures, and by our traditions. We are divided by our politics and by a system that thrives on being binary; two choices, one side or the other.

Not everything is binary. Not everything is me against you or you against me.

There are some values that run so deep in the fabric of the American soul. One such value should be a belief that all life is precious. Life is so precious. It was submitted by our Founders as one of our “unalienable rights” afforded to us by our Creator and intended to be protected by the government.

Our culture needs a revival course in the preciousness of life across the board.

We each play a part in the healing process. That is our cross to bear in a land of liberty. No one person can fix everything. I do, however, pray that a leader steps forward at some point to help heal this nation. We desperately need it.

The divisiveness we’re getting from the two people currently running to be the next leader of this great nation won’t cut it. One has never met a principle she wouldn’t sell, and the other has never met a principle he wouldn’t buy.

Cheap talking points won’t bring our cultures and our communities together to solve the problems of an immeasurably complicated future. We are better than this tragedy. We are better than our current powder-keg.

To paraphrase the Psalms: Hopefully, we are weeping through our night together, and our joy will come in the morning.

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