Throughout the past several months what I have seen that is breaking God’s heart is the political divide between liberals and conservatives because it is coming between people and the teachings Jesus Christ gave us to bring the kingdom of God and live according to His will.
In the wake of the political divide, there have violent protests and other forms of confrontation that have driven both sides of the political spectrum to push further apart from each other rather than bringing communities together.
From the protests at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington to the violent ones in Berkeley, California this year, the lack of unity and cooperation between left-wing and right-wing citizens goes against what has been taught by prominent figures throughout history and sacred texts to make society be one community under God.
According to Vice News, the protests in Olympia started after Bret Weinstein, a professor at The Evergreen State College, objected to a change in the Day of Absence where white students and faculty, a majority of the campus, were asked to voluntarily leave campus instead of minority ethnic groups, resulting in student protests who called for Weinstein’s resignation.
As for the protests in Berkeley, the New York Times said they began when right-wing writer, Milo Yiannopoulos, was invited to speak at the University of California, Berkeley, resulting in violent protests that included vandalism and rocks being thrown at police.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, which shows that amidst political divide, a mutual animosity towards each other will not hold the United States together as one community.
By using hatred in an attempt drive out hate, hatred is all that will remain unless both sides are willing to cooperate and meet on common ground that satisfies both left and right views.
In the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus says “But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” He later adds that people should “Do to others as you would have them do to you. . .love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as (also) your Father is merciful.”
By not treating those who have different opinions from us with the respect we would expect others to give us, we are not fulfilling what Jesus taught, nor are we showing that differing views can be respectfully debated without having to resort to hateful actions.
Also, in the 17th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is asked when the kingdom of God would come and to which he replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the kingdom of God is among you.”
When Jesus says this the foundation of the kingdom of God already exists in the mortal world. But by not staying true to the values he taught people to have towards those we have hatred for the kingdom of God cannot be fully realized; not until both sides are willing to make peace and develop mutual respect towards each other.
Other figures throughout history have said similar things including Pope Francis who said, “Peace is a precious gift, which must be promoted and protected…Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence.”
Another is former president Abraham Lincoln who said, “The best way to destroy an enemy is make him a friend.”
These people have taught others to create peace rather than war; friends instead of enemies, and if the United States seeks to bring an end to these incidents of violence and hatred as well as create solutions and reforms to improve the country, its people must learn to settle differences and live by the lessons taught in the Gospels through a mutual respect and polite disagreement.
By accomplishing this, God’s heart will mend and the relationships between the people of the country will improve over time.
Matthew Kincanon is a former Digital Content Producer with a journalism and political science degree from Gonzaga University. His journalism experience includes the Gonzaga Bulletin, The Spokesman-Review, and now SpokaneFāVS. He said he is excited to be a freelancer at SpokaneFāVS because, as a Spokane native, he wants to learn more about the various religious communities and cultures in his hometown.
Why only cite examples of liberal violence?
Great question, Neal, especially when the actual story of the Evergreen protest is considerably more complicated, and quite frankly the liberals weren’t actually violent.