Letter to the Editor

Help heal this divided country by loving your neighbor as yourself

As religion and politics have become more entwined in recent years, our country has become more divided.  Since the debate debacle on Tuesday evening, I think that’s something we can all agree on.  I have been doing a good deal of thinking how we as a nation arrived at this juncture.  One group of evangelicals says the Democratic Party has become a party of non-Christians, and another group says they do not understand how a Christian can support a man like Donald Trump for president.  I am not writing this to convey my beliefs to anyone but to hopefully invoke folks to reflect on their own beliefs and to ponder the beliefs of others, bringing more civility to our country.  The term evangelical can be traced back to the 18th century; evangelicals today can be found throughout many different church denominations.  In 1976, with the election of Jimmy Carter, the term evangelical rose to prominence in the United States.  For the first time, a self-professed evangelical Christian was elected president. In 1979, Jerry Falwell Sr. started the Moral Majority and engaged in a variety of political activities--their initial action was to support Jesse Helms legislation on school prayer.  In 1980, the Moral Majority endorsed Ronald Reagan and thus began the convergence of religion and politics in the United States.  The United States has since become a more divided nation year after year, election after election with critics saying the Moral Majority was neither moral nor a majority. 1988 brought on serious cash flow problems for the Moral Majority.  Jerry Falwell dismantled the organization, but other religious organizations rose up, i.e. Christian Coalition, Faith and Freedom Coalition, etc.  We will never all agree on everything, however, we have to have more in common than not, but when we get caught up in rhetoric on Facebook we say things to and about our friends that we wouldn’t dream of saying in person.  We denigrate our friends’ beliefs and try to force our own opinion on them, we post lies in social media without checking for facts, we think that our friends’ political views are because that’s the way they were raised, insulting their intelligence.  So how do we start to heal as a nation? We have it right in front of us. The answer is on our coins, the seal of the United States, the presidential seal and numerous other places, it is E Pluribus Unum -- From Many, One.  I’m sure everyone is familiar with that term, but do you know its origin? The phrase refers to Cicero’s discussion of basic family and social bonds as the origin of societies and states and means -- when each person loves the other as much as himself, it makes one out of many. 
Stephen Losh, Springfield

Howell County News

110 W. Main St.,
Willow Springs, MO 65793

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