Philippians 4:8King James Version (KJV)
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
America is in trouble. Not only is there the usual rise of prejudice that comes when people feel insecure, the flames of hate are being fanned by the likes of Donald Trump for political ends.
In the USA Move On have taken out a full page ad today in the NY Times (Which is read all over America). It says:
Is this America?
We grieve the many lives that have been lost or painfully transformed in recent weeks through extreme acts of violence. And we are appalled by the surge of divisive rhetoric that sows the seeds of more violence to come. A dangerous tide of hatred, violence, and suspicion is rising in America — whether aimed at Arab and Muslim Americans, women and the places we seek health care, Black people, immigrants and refugees, or people just going about their daily lives. This tide is made more dangerous by easy access to guns.
When has hate ever led to progress? Is this really what we want America to be?
We Are Better Than This.
We call upon our politicians, leaders and the media to stop the spread of hate and division. And we pledge to stand with any community that is targeted by hateful rhetoric and violence.
It’s a good response to what is, at the very least, an incitement to prejudice by Mr. Trump. For many it will be the excuse needed to use violence.
In Men in Black, Edwards, played by Will Smith, confronts Kay, played by Tommy Lee Jones. He’s just found out that aliens live on earth and he asks Kay why it’s kept secret from the public:
Edwards: Why the big secret? People are smart. They can handle it.
Kay: A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.
I think that it’s a lot easier to manipulate a crowd than it is a single person. Shared emotion, similar world view, aggregate fears, all create a situation where people can be led. To Love. Or to hate. Leading to love helps to change the world for the better and decentralises power, leading to hate damages the world and centralises power – which is why people who want power for themselves do it.
Jesus led to love, always. Christmas is the story of how this begins, how God’s love enters the world and becomes human. The power of Christ is in the cross, not the gun; in love, not hate.
I hope we choose to think for ourselves and not be swept up in the rhetoric of prejudice. I hope that America does too. If we truly want peace it is the only way.