But they also gave all to defend some freedoms we have already lost - or so it seems. "Freedom isn't free!" they chant. I agree. But you don't want my opinion. It's just one in a sea of opinions.
But is that true? Is it true that anyone's opinion is just one in a sea of opinions? Or does one have to be popular, famous, or rich to have their voices heard?
With the rise of Social Media (our baneful blessing, really), we have become a deaf sea, really. We hear only what we want to hear, while we tune out all other voices. Civil discourse seems to be dying. The harsher our comments, the more "likes" we get. The viler our posts, the more likely to go "viral."
But we're learning to be one-sided through our education system. College campuses are growing famous for their refusal to allow civil discourse of ideas - and there's little backlash about it when they do. They cancel speakers at faculty request OR student requests. They interrupt, argue, and demonstrate in order to avoid hearing anything that might differ make them reconsider their position. And when speech is silenced, we are deaf to the story. Our attention span only lasts long enough to enable school name-recognition before we've moved on to something else. The discussion is gone along with anything more than a soundbite.
But it's not just the voices or the sounds of the story. We have grown judgmental even of the images we see. While the old cliche, "a picture is worth a thousand words," sometimes a few more words are needed for explanation. Yet, we don't have time or patience to hear them. We've drawn our conclusions solely based on the snapshot in time. We determine innocence or guilt based on a photo. We determine character quality and circumstances by the scene on the screen. And too often, we are either fooled, or disillusioned by it.
All of this humbles me. And it should every honest, red-blooded American. It's tough to admit one is wrong, but we all are guilty of liking our opinions and those who hold them. We are all guilty of judging based on a picture or video clip. It takes a big person to admit that they were fooled. It's hard to acknowledge that one was disillusioned. And to admit it publicly is even harder. And so, I am ashamed by my foolishness, and humbled to acknowledge that all too often I'm prideful and arrogant for thinking I am absolutely right in anything. Only God can make that claim. For that reason, when He speaks, we should all listen.
But when we don't listen to others, it means that the masters are the propagandists, and the masses are the deaf masses who neither allow themselves to hear another side (because they can't be civil in their discourse), nor pause long enough to let the truth matter. We grow increasingly angry and resistant to one another. It has stirred up the nation into a growing violence that celebrates evil and abhors good. This is a very dangerous trend, indeed.
How can one nation survive with nearly half of its citizens refusing to hear the other half, while they pass their judgment with flamboyant and outlandish claims and insults toward the other half? (And neither half will admit their own involvement in these things.) How can one be so proud as to think his opinion is more noble even than truth? How can we continue to carry on toward one another this way? Civil discourse is dying and we are all taking up sides against one another. Much as in the days of the Civil War, we will come to blows eventually. A nation so divided cannot stand.
While I admire one of the greatest of American Generals, George S. Patton, he is famous for describing the outcome of war and who makes a winner. I'll quote it so that I take out the inflammatory rhetoric and get to the point. "No man ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other man die for his." In some cases, indeed in a growing number of cases, people are trying to win the argument by making the opponent die for his rather than working it out in civil discourse.
I say all that to get to my bottom line: Truth matters and God is Truth. Even if you don't believe it, that doesn't change it. So lets all humble ourselves and turn to the Lord and be reconciled to Him and to one another. Those who do will be willing to be settled down and enjoy CIVIL DISCOURSE instead of anger, arrogance, and animosity. This will heal our land and reunite us with our neighbors.
Here's the first test. Will you share this post with others? And the second test: will you comment your disagreements below?