When very young in high school some of my buddies and I would daily hit each other about as hard as we could in the shoulder, without a flinch. We only quit when the bruises became intolerable and unsightly. We never angered, and ended pretty sure of each other’s loyalty, and well prepared for the future. Now, more than fifty-five years later, we remain good friends, though often quite far apart on matters political, religious, and philosophical. And we continue striking in full force in debate over our conflicting views, and enduring insults with grace and some humor -never doubting loyalty or love.
But that describes a disappearing breed, I fear, replaced now by those who know not the wise Jefferson’s statement, “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” Instead, peace and love is like a mirage, a mile-wide lake only an inch deep, evaporating at the first discomfiture of heat. Now, offence is taken at any disagreement, is unforgiven and leading to acrimony and revenge, inquisition, division and un-friending even family members, threats and even violence. Fear of retribution now ties the tongue of free speech and chokes off communication, or to fury unleashed in slander bursting the bounds of all decency.
Can we possibly return from sliding toward this precipice of danger and dissolution? Will wisdom rebound and prevail in the state of the union of America to remain that blessed ‘One Nation Under God’, and Israel the Chosen? Only Time will tell.