I grew up in the 80's...it was a great decade. In my estimation, nobody really thought about anything, we just went along with our Flock of Seagulls hairdos, and our heavy eyeliner, and everything was just fine, because we had the Safety Dance and all.
I'm pretty sure no one argued about politics or religion because we were all just a happy bunch.
Today, I am nearing...an age that I don't like to talk about, so we'll just call it kind of old...but not REALLY old.
There are polarizing arguments that go on today. They have gone beyond whether or not Cindy Lauper or Madonna is more talented.
They are competing ideologies that are heading in very different directions.
They are left, right, atheistic, moral, political and fierce.
I have been called to the table for my views, I have been called stupid, I have been ignored, I have had a person simply refuse to speak to me because I made it known that I was a follower of Christ.
In the world of ideas we must be able to debate our views without personal attack. We must have logical reasons for believing what we believe, and we must discuss these ideas with a mind that is willing to think through others ideas, as well as our own.
I am afraid our differences have demonized those who oppose us, and this must stop. Just recently a disabled white man was brutalized for near 48 hours by four black young people. Not more than a year ago a white man shot nine black Christians while the were at a bible study. What have we lost that these things can happen?
It is my thinking that we have lost the idea that humans are intrinsically valuable. That is, the value they hold within themselves cannot be taken away by our human estimation of them.
Where does this value come from? As a follower of Jesus, I have to point to a loving creator who assigns to each of us an infinite value. A value that is so enormous that God himself laid his own life down for give us access to his kingdom. That is the value he has placed on us.
We are worth the life of God.
That humbles me, and forces me to think that he did not lay his life down only for me, and those that are of the same belief as I am, but for every human being whether or not they ever move towards this God who stepped out of his powerful place to reach us.
All people have worth to God, and so they therefore have worth to me, because I love God's ways. This thought therefore leads to value their thoughts, even when I disagree with them.
I don't know if you know the God that I know. But, if you are disturbed by the anger that is exploding in our world, think about where the worth of people might come from. Perhaps it will lead you to this God of love, perhaps it will not, but either way, we might be able to get along better.