I just want to make it clear that this post has nothing to do with Chip and Joanna Gaines, so if you do not like them, then there's no need to say that here.
That would be missing the point, so just ignore the subject names, if you must. They simply happen to be the writers of a statement that I find very refreshing, considering the anger and vitriol that are roiling our country right now.
The article, published in late November of last year, attempted to paint Chip and Jo as people who harbor so much hate in their hearts, they refuse to let people on their show.
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Look at what they say about differences of opinion and how to handle them. Look at what they say about how to treat people who disagree with us. That, to me, is a very relevant consideration today.
If I post something about Obama, liberals frequently comment on my posts to insult conservatives. If I post something about Trump, conservatives--yes, we conservatives are every bit as bad--usually respond by denigrating and insulting the other side. So read this short statement of theirs, and while you do, consider whether this is how you treat people who disagree with you.
Do you stick to the facts, or do you simply look for information that supports your position? Are you willing to give the other side the benefit of the doubt? Do you treat both sides equally? If you're liberal, do you treat conservatives respectfully? Do you amicably agree to disagree? If you're conservative, do you treat liberals respectfully? Do you amicably agree to disagree?
I know that many of you are inclined to respond to this by comparing Trump and Obama or by simply saying that one side or the other is worse. Is that truly your standard--simply to not be as bad as someone else? If you respond this way, then that's what you're saying. Set a higher standard for yourself, for your parties, and for your leadership than that.
If you're a Christian or simply someone who believes in the merit of the Golden Rule, then before you respond telling me about the lies of the other side or how terrible you think the other side or another candidate is, why don't you first consider whether that is treating the other side as you yourself prefer to be treated? Why don't you first consider whether that qualifies as "turning the other cheek"?
Perhaps you're right: perhaps the other side doesn't treat your side fairly. So what. Why can't that change start with you? It is, after all, the height of hypocrisy to demand that the other side change its ways while you yourself are unwilling to take the first step.
Stop criticizing the merit of the other side. Instead, set an example yourself. Stop seeing your fellow Americans as the enemy simply because some of them disagree with your policy preferences.
Americans are on the same team, and sometimes teammates don't agree. That doesn't make them enemies though. If you want enemies, then look outside our nation's borders, and I assure you that you'll find plenty of enemies arrayed against your team. Like it or don't, but we are all in this together.
“This past year has been tough. In my lifetime, I can’t recall humanity being more divided. Plenty of folks are sad and scared and angry and there are sound bites being fed to us that seem fueled by judgement, fear and even hatred. Jo and I refuse to be baited into using our influence in a way that will further harm an already hurting world, this is our home. A house divided cannot stand.”
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