The neighbor or the enemy? Love them both (Jesus)

Disclaimer: I’m a Canadian, with tons of American friends whose social media I read daily)

I’ve done a lot of thinking lately. It felt like I was reliving 2016, but from another viewpoint. And I thought… It could get worse before it gets better. And looking for voices of reason, I hear a lot of mixture, not all of it good. Not even a little bit. Hearts and minds are sent to different rooms to write their essays.

Instead of ramming Republicans still holding to their hope for a “proper count,” (independently from the partly frivolous claims – that’s on them, they’ll have to live with what they support or not), they defend their candidate for reasons you may disagree with (and often lack real understanding about in their context), do you ever stop to realize that they are part of the same body as you?

When you hurt them, you hurt yourself, and tens of millions with whom you share humanity and space, you trample their dignity and sacredness, you declare them unfit for life in society except parked in the boxes you design for them, hands bound so they don’t touch anything that would disrupt your illusory utopia.

But it is not only YOUR society. It is not only YOUR country. It is YOURS (collectively, and as a matter of stewardship and continuity).

So when you vilify their faith, their hopes, their reasons for voting red, you by the same token discredit the reasons why *you vote blue – you make it about you being better than them. You assign yourself a higher value, a superiority of mind and soul, you discriminate, and isolate.

This isn’t about clever analysis of someone’s mental health or fitness for office: I’d like to see any of us be president for a week… No, this is about paying attention at how far we go to justify the inner darkness that is being triggered from inside of us because WE may be denied what WE believe SHOULD be.

So who’s having a tantrum now? When you spend hours and hours, days and months banging that same nail, you do. When you fill the air with that darkness, while advocating for what you claim YOUR earthly kingdom would reflect of the heavenly king, believing YOUR perspective should be mandatory for all to follow your path, or else they will be stoned with public disgrace and stigmatized as Dalit – you do.

And the message goes to Republicans too. When you hurt Democrats (or Socialists), you hurt yourself. Some of you have been doing this to Obama voters for 8 years, and beyond. And now to Biden voters, and to those you have been told threaten the earthly republic you believe should be reflecting your view of a Christian country.

I’ve done that too. I’ve joined one side or the other in their criticisms, political humor, trying to get understanding and focus, yet falling for the comic relief at the cost of the humanity.

As long as we play these games of scapegoating, we feed these inner demons in us and others,  and we can’t hide them behind virtue signaling cleverness we practice in front of our inner mirror – they laugh at us when we do and call us “damn bloody blind fools, you are mine!”

Yes, we only fool ourselves when we add wood to the fires of fellowship of hatred, with sly and clever worldly humor. It’s a secret handshake, an admission password to the tribes of acceptance we created around the indulgence to an inner violence we justify by pointing fingers.

People without spiritual lives may have an excuse, temporarily, but we who claim to have spirituality and yet engage in these daily, hourly rituals, enabled by and empowered by the shotguns of social media, we’re revealing that we’re just the same as those we loathe: petty, short-sighted, mean.

Except that for us, “spiritually enhanced” human specimens, it is a choice.

Ponder that.

You have heard it said:
Hate your enemy, love your neighbor.
Repay an eye for an eye.

But your enemy is besides AND inside you…
The one accusing, is the one in need.
“Love your enemy, forgive, do good to him/her…
and you will be sons and daughters
of your heavenly Father.”
– Jesus

We can do better, but we need each other to clear up this mess we’ve made of heavenly things.
Peace and love,