The United States of America is in a crisis, not the financial one facing the economy; it is a crisis of conscious. A crisis that I believe has been created by the media and the politicians to distract us from their lack of leadership. I also believe that it occurs on both sides of the political spectrum.
It didn’t start with the Muppet’s or with Chick-Fil-A. Both companies are exercising their rights. It has little to do with boycotts or Christianity. The only thing I will say on issue of Christianity is that Jesus spoke of love not hate and said to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. He didn’t say anything about hating our neighbors or legislating morality.
However, nothing sells papers or increases ratings like conflict. Attack people’s faith or religious beliefs, even allude to someone else doing it and they will shout to the heavens, not to mention post on Facebook. Words, we forget at times have power; more power than we want to admit. A blogger & author that I admire came out with a post against the boycott inferring that it was anti-Christian. I disagree with her, but I respect her opinion. Something I was raised to do. Something I believe in doing.
Somehow America has forgotten that basic ideal that disagreeing does not mean hating the opposition. It isn’t a us verses them. We are no longer in the Cold War. One of my best friends disagrees with me on the new healthcare law, another on conservatives issues and don’t get me started on the difference between me and my Papa’s political philosophies. Yet, none of these people have un-friended me or told me I am going to hell. They love me and I love them.
We are all Americans. We have the right to choose where and how we spend our money. I boycotted a locally owned business for the better part of ten years because of the insulting manner that two of my friends were treated at that store. These two people had actively support the company and were humiliated in front of friends and customers. I made the decision after a sermon at my church on economic power and faith.
I may be one person, but my money has power and where I choose to spend it has meaning. So I stopped shopping at the store until the owner changed how she treated her customers. I didn’t condemn anyone who chose to shop there. When asked I told people how I felt and didn’t worry about whether they agreed with me or not. Nor did I criticize them when they decided to shop there.
In harsh economic times likes these sometimes the only way to protest is to boycott. If you hit them in the wallet, it can sometimes cause them to rethink their decisions. I learned that lesson in history class after the lesson of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
I am not going to allow a politician or media personality to tell me what to believe or what attacks my faith. We need sound economic policy, an education systems that is supported by funded mandates and continuous improvements on infrastructure. As a teacher, I see the damage done to students when the system fails them. When people look the other way because it is just too hard to help them or worse they don’t believe they can learn. Some kids can survive it if they have the support of their families and faith in something more than themselves. Those two things can not be legislated or willed into existence they have to come from the home and the heart.
The wool has been pulled over many American’s eyes and it is time that we all take the blindfolds off and stand-up for what we want and need our government to do for us. Our nation was founded on many principles; the Separation of Church being one of them. A principle that I learned while attending Catholic school.
Listen to both sides, think, reflect, pray and then act.