Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. James 1:19
I am proud to be an American, not because of the ugly events in our history, but for the people who used those events to fight against tyranny. Blood was shed and lives ended in the pursuit of freedom. We must never forget the cost it took to gain our independence. After the American Revolution, more wars followed. We need to be aware of those bits of history, because we can learn from them.
When we enter the world today, that is leaving the safety of our own little world, we’re exposed to so many ideals, philosophies, lifestyles, cultures, fashion, religions and more. Some we find offensive. Some we learn to adopt. Some we ignore. If we are easily offended by things, we may have to take a look inside to see why.
In the past few years there has been a loud protest rising by various groups of people. They claim offense at just about everything outside their own realm and expect others to change because of it. Part of our freedom includes the right to express ourselves without fear of recrimination. Part of our freedom also allows us to solve differences of opinion sensibly, rather than simply voicing our offenses. Everyone walking the streets today will tell you they are offended by something. That doesn’t mean they are right.
America, the welcoming country, is now filled with people from all corners of the world. They came here through a legal process or as refugees fleeing dictatorships or unbelievable living conditions and oppression. They came to America for a reason – to escape their former lives and start anew in the land of opportunity.
We have had open arms, accepting the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to be free. Yet so many are still living as they did in their past worlds. They express offense with our history, our patriotism, the blood shed to obtain our freedom, the things that happened so long ago that we have no longer have control over.
We all have the freedom to be offended, but there has to be a way to work through that offense in a peaceful way rather than stirring up the masses and creating hate and anger amongst them.
Taking offense at our flag, the symbol of all the blood shed for our independence, is offensive to me. Taking offense at my religion, my lifestyle, my beliefs is not my problem, but it offends me. Still the offense belongs to someone who is still trying to work through their own life issues. We’ve become a nation that has to walk on eggs every time they open their mouths. We must be so careful not to offend. Maybe if we all treated each other as we would like to be treated, the whole world would work a lot better. Hmm – interesting concept.
The offenses that fill the news feeds and go viral are merely adding to the fires and driving people further and further apart. We are the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – indivisible. We seem to have forgotten that.
As we approach the celebration of our independence from England, let’s look at each other not with judgmental minds, but with a spirit of fellowship and patriotism.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!