It’s no longer okay to disagree with someone. The moment you disagree with someone, they label you. It is apparent in our colleges where students, when confronted with a different viewpoint, feel physically threatened and unsafe by words. Or in the case of Chick-Fil-A, when the owners disagree with gay marriage and, thus, the whole chain is labeled Chick-Fil-Hate. Instead of grieving over tragedies, we use them to argue over legislation.
The fast food chain, at least, has done something to fight against the tide of accusations of bigotry and done something no one ever thought they’d do. They opened on a Sunday. The day after the tragedy in Orlando, the local Chick-Fil-A opened and gave away food to all those standing in line to donate blood in the aftermath of the Pulse Club tragedy.
They, at least, heeded our Christian calling to love the sinner but hate the sin. Regardless of your stance on same-sex marriage, the owners of Chick-Fil-A disagree with it, yet that didn’t stop them from reaching out in love to a hurting community.
When did out society start dealing in absolutes?
Our society is too polarized.
If I say I am against same-sex marriage, I’m immediately considered homophobic. If I disparage the Orlando shooter and radical Islam, it’s assumed I hate all Muslims. If I say that I disagree with the death penalty, I don’t understand the financial burden that prison inmates cause on tax payer dollars. If I’m pro-life, immediately, I am a misogynist who would set women’s rights back decades. If I’m against illegal immigrants, I must be a racist who wants nothing to do with foreigners.
However, it seems to be a double standard. I can dislike extreme/radical elements in Christianity, but no one assumes I hate all Christians.
If I say I’m pro-choice, do I hate all babies? If I want stricter gun control, am I against owning any type of gun?
I just feel that there’s a disconnect somewhere. Why can’t we just agree to disagree, yet still get along?
In our culture, if I disagree, I obviously don’t understand the issue. I’m obviously uninformed because who would ever disagree with ____. It isn’t that I need to be told anything. It isn’t that I’m a bigot. It’s just that we have different opinions on certain things.
If I disagree with someone, I don’t hate them. If I want to have a rational discussion about what you think and what I think, it’s not because I want to convert you to my side (though too often that seems the only reason anyone argues anymore). Better understanding is fostered through knowledge. Without striving to learn why someone does something, we cannot understand who they truly are.
However, we need to be aware of ourselves and what is at the root of our disagreement. Disagreeing with someone is not an excuse to harbor hate. As Christians, we must root out hate–a foothold of the Devil–and foster love. It begins in our hearts. It begins by showing love. We sow love by actions and words, by what we do and what we don’t do.
We are so quick to put people into boxes. We label them and leave them. We want to categorize them only by their faults or vices. I’m more of a “look at the plank in my own eye” type of man (Matt 7:5).
We have terms and labels for everything these days. We think it makes us more inclusive to use terms specific to individuals. But, I wonder if it doesn’t just separate us farther and increase the divide growing within the human race.
Feel free to disagree with me.
If I disagree with you, I won’t “unfriend” you. I may not press “like” on everything you post. Why fear who I really am? Why should I hide myself? If we can’t love each other, if we don’t take the time to get to know the real person sitting beside us, the journey of life will be bland and boring, colorless and dull.
I won’t judge you. You can judge me all you want, I honestly don’t care. There’s only one that I need to answer to (…and, some days, there’s a lot to answer for). Thankfully, He has shown me mercy and grace and longs to show it to you as well. I simply pray that I show that same grace and love to others.