Not everything is political, so don’t make it that way
I say I’m a cynical person. A man who is not surprised by how ignorance and greed and the basest, most vile nature of man so often rises to the surface.
But that’s not entirely accurate.
I want to see the good in people, in humanity in general. My Christian beliefs tell me that we were created good by a good God, but we as the human race messed that up by disobeying the good God who created us. We brought sin and death and sickness and everything bad into this world by opening the door a crack … and the door became a floodgate.
So while we can be restored through the redemption of God through Jesus Christ — our nature changed — as a general rule, mankind is not nice.
We fight over the most popular toys at Christmas. We argue over deals during Black Friday sales. We struggle to stockpile essential supplies during a medical crisis, rather than making sure others also get what they need.
The worst acts of mankind are not committed by the majority. The best acts are not, either. Most of us fall in the middle — the unmoved, unconcerned, mediocre masses.
Most of us will never have our stories told because of the good things we have done, or the evil things we have perpetrated. And that’s sad. We should work to be the kind of people who would have tales told of our goodness toward others. And also be the kind of person who would rather no one knew it was us who was so kind to others, our acts unnoticed, unrewarded here on earth.
One of the things that still surprises me how far it can go is how some people can politicize anything.
Granted, a politician’s job entails doing that, to an extent. Party loyalty almost demands elevating the greatness of one’s own party and degrading that of the other.
But we don’t have to let politics define who we are, or how we act toward one another.
My wife and her best friend are just about polar opposites when it comes to politics. My ex-wife and one of her closest friends are the same way. One of my children and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to political views.
Yet my wife and her friend talk almost daily, laughing and sharing with one another. They only talk about politics when it’s necessary — like when her friend asks her to pray about her job because her boss, a supervisor in the county where she lives, is up for reelection.
My ex-wife and her friend simply don’t discuss politics at all. It avoids misunderstandings and tensions.
My son and I talk about it in general terms, but only bring it up if we think we can discuss ideas and issues rather than personalities and personal agendas.
For all of these, it’s not that we want to just avoid confrontation. We don’t want to get into arguments over things that don’t ultimately matter.
Some things are inherently political and personal. If Senator A is lobbying for the rights of women to abort their unborn children up through partial birth and Senator B is lobbying against it, that is a very specific issue that is at stake.
I won’t speak for anyone else, but my stance is that an unborn child is just that — a child, who is as of yet not born — and should be afforded the same protections as a baby lying in a crib.
It has nothing to do with me being a white male — what does someone else’s right to life have to do with my skin color and gender? It also has nothing to do with my political affiliation (I don’t align with any established party, by the way). It has everything to do with my worldview that all life is valuable.
If a man can be charged with murder or manslaughter because he caused a woman to miscarry in her third trimester of pregnancy, but that same woman could abort the same child during birth with no legal repercussions, something is very wrong with how we as a society in general view the value of that child.
There’s nothing political about that statement. It’s a view on life.
Neither the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party nor the Green Party nor any other political party caused the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. However it began, it spread through human contact. It has no political affiliation, and politicizing the virus is foolishness.
If a Republican disagrees with a Democrat over which deli sandwich is the greatest, it probably has nothing to do with politics. Unless they’re both candidates running for election based on a sandwich platform.
Can we please just get past politics as we work together, I hope, to get through this pandemic alive and healthy? No? I didn’t think so.
But I’ll still hope and work for it from my end.
Brett Campbell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.