If you are like me, today (and most days lately) it is difficult to be positive in a world that seems so full of hate. In fact, I struggled with a topic to write about because, in all honesty, it is hard to see the greener grass from where I sit – with all of the hatred spilling out in neighborhoods, churches, schools, and college campuses – even between family and friends. As I scrolled through Facebook, I came across a video and was struck by its message – we must be relentless in our kindness otherwise evil will win.
“Relentless” is a word that currently echoes through the United States –on both sides of the aisle. We have been relentless in raising our voice – writing, calling, e-mailing, visiting, marching – expressing our unhappiness with the current President and all that is happening in the White House.
Instead of struggling to find the words, I share the video and offer a transcript.
In times of chaos and crisis, what we all tend to do is start pointing fingers at where we think the bad guys are – where the evil is.
We all start arguing and everyone has a different opinion about that.
Please do not forget that hatred or evil, whatever you call it, it’s intelligent.
- It’s smart and it’s invisible.
- It doesn’t have a color.
- It doesn’t have a race.
- It doesn’t have a religion.
- It has no politics.
- It is an invisible snake.
That while it is planning to make its attack, it’s thinking to itself – I am going to divide my enemy into smaller less strong groups and then I’m going to make them hate each other so that it is easier to take them down and while they are yelling at each other, trying to figure out which group is causing the problem – Evil is winning – all around us.
So we have to get rid of these labels; these different factions:
- mentally-ill – not mentally-ill,
- gun-owner – not gun-owner,
none of this can matter anymore.
We are unified in our humanity and the only thing we can know andwe all appreciate is kindness.
This has to come before all things and you must operate relentlessly against this with everything you have.
We are a divided nation; however, there is a group standing up saying that we are “Indivisible” and fighting against these divisions.
Bottom line, for those that live in the United States, beyond any party, beyond any socio-economic status, beyond any gender, beyond any race – we are Americans – that, if nothing else, should bind us together and yes, we should be “indivisible” despite our politics. If you recall my last post, I provided a quote from Mark 3:25 -“and if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” We must always look beyond party politics – and look for what is good for the people. We are missing that piece – we need to focus on the people and come together. Hatred should not be on a rise – infiltrating college campuses, schools, city streets.
Yes, I am dismayed and yes, I struggle with my own reflection, often becoming angry and caught up in the despair of what I cannot control in these uncertain times. My heart breaks for a nation of people who, at one time, despite ideological differences, could still break bread together, work together, and simply get along with each other. We were and are a great nation – but we also are supposed to be a United States of America . We are stronger together and together, we cannot – I mean will not let evil win.
Michele Stopera Freyhauf is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and a Member of the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University as well as an Instructor at John Carroll University’s Department of Theology and Religious Studies. Her research and areas of focus for the classroom, lecture, and publication are Religion, Cultural Identity and Memory Studies, Forced Migration and Exile, Cultural Heritage and Human Rights, Biblical Archaeology, Provenance of Antiquities and Art (including Nazi-Era Looting) and international dialogue surrounding the protection, conservation, and education of cultural heritage. Michele has an M. A. in Theology and Religious Studies from John Carroll University and did post-graduate work at the University of Akron in the area of History of Religion, Gender, and Sexuality. She is also the student representative on the Board for Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society (EGLBS). Michele is the 2015 recipient of the P. E. MacAllister Excavation Fellowship where she participated in the Bethsaida Archaeology Project. Michele is a feminist scholar, activist, and author of several articles including “Hagia Sophia: Political and Religious Symbolism in Stones and Spolia” and lectured during the Commission for the Status of Women at the United Nations (2013 and 2014). She also wrote, “The Catholic Church and Social Media: Embracing [Fighting] a Feminist Ideological Theo-Ethical Discourse and Discursive Activism” that appears in Feminism and Religion in the 21st Century: Technology, Dialogue, and Expanding Borders, edited by Gina Messina-Dysert and Rosemary Radford Ruether. Michele can be followed on Twitter @msfreyhauf and @biblicalfem. Her website can be accessed here and is visible on other social media sites like LinkedIn and Google+.