Thursday, June 15, 2017

Let the Virginia Shooting Be a Wake Up Call to Ratchet-Down the Hate and Start Seeing Each Other as Fellow Americans

"We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace, and that we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good." -President Donald Trump
Wednesday morning's news of 66-year-old James Hodgkinson opening fire on Republican members of Congress as they practiced on a local baseball field for an upcoming charity game, has undoubtedly shaken Americans—not only in DC, but across the country. (Photo: Democratic members of Congressional baseball team pray for Rep. Scalise who was shot Wednesday morning/Twitter, Public Domain/via Christian Post)
It's not yet been stated by police what Hodgkinson's motive was. However, through the large, angry 'social footprint' he's left, along with reports that he was likely the one who asked Rep. Ron DeSantis—who was leaving the field just prior to the shooting—whether the players were Republican or Democrat, the puzzle seems to be coming together.
Hodgkinson apparently was a 'Trump-hater' and had actually been a volunteer on Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign, a revelation that prompted Sanders to state:
"I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign. I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms."
Yes, last year's presidential campaign was extremely heated, and the results—for some—seem very difficult to digest.
The first six months of President Trump's time in office have been fraught with flying accusations and false news spewed from media to Hollywood to even members of government itself.
But this rhetoric becomes dangerous when it begins to resemble a grave warning given by Jesus: "...Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand." (Matt.12:25)
In this country we have always had differing views, some more important than others, some more passionate than others. The country has survived many things that threatened to tear it apart: the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, 9-11—and through all these things we have come back together even stronger, as a nation.
And with a country of some 326 million people, there are going to be opposing views, disagreements, protests and passionate arguments—it's a part of America's make up. All of us unique and different, but free citizens of ONE country. This is succinctly stated in our national motto: E Pluribus Unum (out of many, one).
I'm hoping that today, what was meant for evil will turn out for good, as each one of us remembers the vital importance of that simple Latin phrase.
During one of our most contentious times, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it well: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
I hope that today, those who have authored the most vial and destructive speech, actions and rhetoric against the one who was fairly elected as the leader of this great nation, will choose to just give him a chance.
I did not vote for Barack Obama in past election years, however, I chose to give him a chance. I prayed for wisdom for him and also his protection.
I knew we have a process in this country, for electing officials and for voting them out of office, and so I waited for a new opportunity to do just that. Now, those who did not vote for Trump have that same opportunity—to regroup and wait until it is again time to vote.
In the meantime, dare I ask one more time, let's just give President Trump a chance. Let him rise or fall on his own merits and see if he really can 'make America great again.'
Because, as we've seen during each Summer and Winter Olympics: America works best when we come together as many citizens, rooting for ONE nation. 
I close with part of the statement by President Trump on today's shooting—good words that bear repeating:
"We may have our differences, but we do well, in times like these, to remember that everyone who serves in our nation's capital is here because, above all, they love our country.
"We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace, and that we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good.
"Please take a moment today to cherish those you love, and always remember those who serve and keep us safe. God bless them all, God bless you, and God Bless America."
(This article first appeared on Breaking Christian News)