Okay, y’all, this flag debate has gotten past a momentary foolish distraction from a very real tragedy to dangerous levels of cultural cleansing of an entire people. Apple, Sears, Wal-mart…the rebel flag is even being removed from the car made famous in “Dukes of Hazzard”, the General Lee!
Is anybody else feeling as scared and undone and confused and exhausted as I am? Anybody spending way too much time in mental debate about whether to post something on FB or just let it go?
Ignorance is ruling the day because, in our media-obsessed culture, the loudest voice is granted “truth” status. Bandwagons increase exponentially when just enough lemmings hop on. Tipping points come early if the speaker knows algorithm tricks. The illusion of “rightness” is granted when the “views” or “comments” or “likes” numbers go up … which creates truth by perceived public opinion.
Seriously. Think about that. We’re determining truth about history – hard facts – by how many people agree with them.
We’re determining truth by people.
People who we truly love, but who don’t believe this if we disagree with them. On anything. Agh! So frustrating!
Consider yourself for just a second. Do you know everything about everything? (Me, neither.) Have an eternal view of existence so that all your judgment calls have proper perspective? (Don’t I wish.) Know what’s coming tomorrow, next week, next year, two generations from now? (If I did, this blog would be $2.99/minute to read.)
And yet we’re relying on each other to decide who gets a presence in the public square and who doesn’t? To “officially” determine what happened in history and why? We’re okay that opinions, screamed and repeated enough, become the “true” story of an entire people?
Are you kidding me?!
We don’t do this here. This is America, where we lay down our lives for the right of our fellow citizen to voice an opinion we do not agree with. An opinion we may even hate. Here, the standard is to talk and listen. We are not a country that silences with force those with whom we disagree.
Or, we weren’t a few days ago.
But there is comfort and it is this: Real Truth, lived one life at a time, one day at a time, one relationship at a time, speaks for itself. It cannot be silenced.
Truth, lived, cannot be silenced.
I’m not a consistent living example of it – only Jesus can claim that – but I am a consistent believer in it and a consistent get-back-up-and-try-again walker in it. And I truly believe that this is more powerful than screaming back at an angry mob.
So, I’m going to follow a quote I put on Facebook just a couple of weeks ago before the current cultural chaos began:
“There’s no spirituality in opposing a fool. We need only spend enough time on the matter to discern that [the individual]…is a fool and then get on with what God is doing.” (Eugene Peterson, Leap Over A Wall)
I’m putting the screamers in my rearview and continuing to be about what I’m about.
And doing my dead-level best to walk humbly with my God.
I’m supposed to ask you at this point to “share” this or comment on it or link back to it on your own blog if you agree or have a reaction. That’s what I teach to writers, so they can amass a tribe and be able to get their viewpoint into the world. Put an ask at the end of your post. Because that’s the way of the world in which you’ve been placed. It’s being wise as a serpent yet innocent as a dove.
But I don’t want you to share or like or comment or link this post to get people to agree with me or you so that it’ll appear we have the loudest voice.
I only write this today because I needed to give myself permission to let the swirling arguments alone in favor of living in the real world. I needed to say out loud that my silence online isn’t a reflection that I don’t care about what happened to my believing brothers and sisters in Charleston.
I care too much to do anything but keep living.
And I thought maybe somebody else might need permission, too.