Don’t Dispose of What You Oppose…Why Our Fear and Failure to Engage is Driving Us Apart

Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, but what about gray matter? 

A colloquialism I heard growing up says: “conversation rules the nation”. If that’s true, we’re a nation without rule and to our own demise!  The United States of America is a peculiar place to be right now. Still boasting as a super power, the nation’s reputation is withering away with each moment of debate. Gun control, police brutality, building a wall, human rights and much more malign interpersonal relationships across the country. Many are forged and ended without even leaving home and at the hands of a mobile device. What I have noticed is that increasingly, Americans are turning away from intelligent debate in favor of the repetition of rhetoric heard on their favorite news outlet.

As a journalist, it’s my job to be objective. It’s a hard job but I do my best. When citizens are killed, I have to ask readers to be sensible in their evaluation of the news of the death at the hands of a police officer. When mass shootings happen, I have to ask readers to ask themselves if gun access is the problem or whether people and their evil thoughts are the problem.

Last week when Aaron Schlossberg was filmed berating spanish speaking New Yorkers in a deli, he became an instant viral sensation. Amidst the furor, was a call to evict him from his office and even disbar him. This seems to be the new norm. Insult a group of people and expect to lose it all! We removed Confederate monuments this year and no monument or confederate sentiment was safe. The danger in this mass removal of opposition en masse is the unintended result of creating a harbor for the offenders.

Watch how one conversation changed lives for two people

While I will never condone hate-speech, I want to remind you that even scripture has been defined as hate-speech to those offended by the holy scriptures. In California, it could soon be illegal to use the bible in gay conversion therapy. In a sketchy piece of legislation, the bible has come under fire as used by Christians in the practice of conversion therapy for homosexuals. It seems implausible now, but what if someone thought the bible was offensive and moved to further legislation and attempt to ban the bible as an article of hate speech? Gay conversion therapy is akin to rehabilitation for drug users. Despite increasing efforts globally to accept the homosexual lifestyle, many are making attempts to no longer be a part of that lifestyle, some are making the choice for them in the form of gay conversion therapy. The practice is good-hearted but like many other issues plaguing our neighbors, they’re fruitless without relation rapport and devolves instead into a war of hurtful words that crush the soul Jesus cares so much for!

Hate speech should be done away with, but how? I still have hope that intellectual debate can and will change the minds of those with hatred in their hearts. Dr. King in all his eloquence was hated even more when he presented irrefutable evidence to bolster his principles and leadership. What I believe is most important in these tense moments of disagreement that drives a deeper wedge between Americans, is that we think as much as we speak! Many times, we’re a simple conversation away from gaining the perspective and understanding we need to truly embrace our differences.

I implore you to not be so quick to dispose of what you oppose or who/what opposes you and instead think as much as you speak! The only “Matter” that matters is gray…think about it!

‘Fred

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