I was thinking about political correctness today. The right scoff at the ‘snowflakes’ and the left rail at the ‘facists’, and in between it has become impossible to have a decent conversation.
The caravan of Central American refugees, that the Republicans have made such as election issue of, has dropped from public view. But the entire debate was framed as a ‘Be tough, show resolve, defend the borders, build the wall, send the army’ conversation. The rebuttal was non-existent. It was politically impossible for anyone to show the kind of traditionally conservative Christian values I grew up with, and that is heartbreaking. What have we become?
I don’t wear my religion on my sleeve. If anything, I would call myself a ‘closet’ Christian. And I feel too many people who call themselves Christian seem to live in the Old Testament, forgetting the messages from Jesus in the New Testament. I remember Sunday School lessons about compassion and empathy for our fellow men. The good Samaritan, the Seven virtues, Kindness, Charity, Compassion and Mercy.
When one side frames the debate about who can be the toughest, the other side commits political suicide by admitting any of these virtues. How did this happen? When did the voices of all the good people cower in fear?
This is not who we are. Sure, we all get angry sometimes. Life can be tough. But we have it good compared to those people in Central America who are fleeing totalitarian dictators, civil wars, corruption and abject poverty.
We need to show a little empathy. Recognize that these people are fleeing a humanitarian disaster. And since the Americans have told the rest of the world to stay out of the Western hemisphere, via the Munro Doctrine, Americans have a responsibility to address this disaster.
Bob Hope once said that ‘A man with no Charity in his heart, suffers from the worst kind of heart problem.’
As the bumper stickers say ‘What would Jesus do?’