Realization: We've given the power of public office and armed force to people who believe they're carrying out God's will when they terrorize their neighbors. It seems they don't actually think of us as their neighbors. Unless I’m missing something, many of them think of us as their enemies and God's. They think we're killing babies and should stop. They think we're gay and should stop. They think we're “woke” and should stop.
In my public and private communications with many of the people I came to know when I taught—or tried to teach—at Christ Presbyterian Academy (I refer here to Bill Lee and his family, Marsha Blackburn and her family, and the ostensible friends and family of both families) and when I attended Franklin Road Academy as a student, I’ve mostly operated under the assumption that the people I’m talking to understand that I am not their enemy. In recent exchanges with some of them, I’ve begun to suspect this was a mistake.
My fellow Tennesseans, we are responsible for the behavior of elected officials who abuse people on our dime and our time. Just because you didn’t vote for Republicans (or vote at all) doesn’t mean you don’t share custody (as I do) of the terror they carry out on our presumed behalf.
Stay safe, Tennessee.
Keep showing up. Keep showing up at Bongo Java, Petco, Kroger, Lowe's; at Jamba Juice, Two Boots Pizza, J Alexander's; at community meetings, on social media; and even at church. Continue to speak truth and in love. They can label us, but our presence can't be ignored. In my neighborhood I've gone from the crazy democrat (I'm not) who won't carry firearms when I take walks on the street (I won't), to the guy whose prayers are coveted when same neighbor is sick and whose help is requested when a house burns or a roof is torn off by winds. Be the "enemy" that is in the middle of the struggle that the combatant turns to when things go off the rails. NOTE: Things always go off the rails.
Thank you, David! I share these sentiments. This is no time for apathy, which seems to be in abundance right now.