Zero Tolerance Tragedies

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2016 by jcwill5

wordblock-3Isn’t it interesting how “zero tolerance zones” and “no tolerance policies” arose at the very same time tolerance became our most important public virtue?

The mandates “everyone must get along and must approve of everyone else!” and “we must protect everyone from everything!” are the new Two Commandments which have replaced the old Ten.

The problem is human beings, by their very nature, from all of history, everywhere in the world, don’t get along.

And the problem is nobody can protect everyone from everything–life is full of unstoppable dangers and unpreventable risks and unavoidable pain.

Anyone who has raised toddlers, or parented several small children, understands these realities.

But somehow our elites and social rule-makers haven’t gotten the message.

Natural Born Fighters

It is human nature to be in conflict with ourselves, with others, and with authority.

We want opposite things at the very same time.

We vacillate, change our mind, or suddenly change direction–and expect everyone to instantly and gracefully accept it.

We demand our own way by default, and throw temper tantrums and lash out at others who block our demands.

Compliance lasts only as long as it’s advantageous to comply or when authority figures are watching.

Parental Frustrations

From time immemorial, parents have cried out, “Stop fighting and get along!” to siblings fighting a low-grade war for attention or a high-grade war over colliding wills.

Every parent has heard the cry, “It’s not fair!” and “They started it!” and “It’s all their fault!”–usually by the actual aggressor.

Every parent has told a child, “Two wrongs don’t make a right!” and “Just because they pushed you, doesn’t mean you have to hit them!”

That’s why the mandate “Everyone must get along and approve of everyone else!” leads to such frustration, and actually causes more conflict than it resolves.

It eventually requires some kind of enforcement, some kind of arbitrary picking of winners and losers, and the losers seethe with resentment and bide their time.

Then the fight breaks out again.

Just ask any parent.

I wish the social engineers would listen to the prophet Jeremiah, who put it so well, “They cry, “Peace! Peace!” when there is no peace.”

Unpreventable Pain

Almost all parents, myself included, struggle with seeing their child be hurt by life.

Our natural urge is to protect them, to neutralize the threat, to keep it from every happening again.

But it’s simply not possible to do that.

For one thing, God made us to be intensely curious, inveterate risk-takers, and experimenters.

Every child, at one time or another, asks, “I wonder what would happen if I….?” and then goes ahead and does it.

It’s how we grow.

And growth involves mistakes, learning the hard way, and developing resilience in the face of worse and worse hardships.

Bigger Than a Banana

I remember crying in 1st grade when a classmate called me a monkey because I was eating a banana at lunch in the school cafeteria.

I begged my mother after school to never put a banana in my sack lunch ever again.

She actually laughed at me, told me I was being too sensitive, and kept right on putting them in there.

Obviously, I still enjoy bananas and don’t care if people want to call me a monkey and certainly wouldn’t cry about it if they did.

That “big issue” stopped being big–I grew up.

Just as resistance and tension is how muscles are grown, adversity and sorrow is how resilient character is grown.

Destructive Over-protectiveness

Ironically, “no tolerance zones” and “zero tolerance policies” cause as much pain for their absurdity, their arbitrary nature, as they prevent.

We are treated to the constant parade of silliness where boys eat sandwiches into the shape of a gun, point them at someone and say, “Bang! Bang!”, and are sent to the principal’s office for violating the policy.

Or the 18 year old Eagle Scout who drove to high school with a boxed, locked rifle in his car trunk for use after school at the rifle range, who was identified as a violator and kicked out of school and forbidden to graduate.

Of course, we are all aware of “safe zones” created by universities where “protected classes” of people can be shielded from all ideas and words that might “hurt them”.

The sad truth is over-protecting institutions and helicopter parenting creates a kind of highly dependent young adult who never had to learn social coping skills.

It’s called “learned helplessness”.

So it takes smaller and smaller adversities, tinier and tinier offenses and hurts, to knock them off their stride and keep them down.

Which, in turn, actually sets them up for greater and greater pain in life–making them more crippled and helpless and requiring even more protection.

The easy way of avoiding all pain thus gives pain all the power to define, to cripple, and to paralyze the overprotected person.

And then they have adult-sized meltdowns and require the whole world to protect them from everything.

And “nice” and “tolerant” institutions and authorities without a backbone supinely oblige them and then get blamed even more.

And so here we are….

Free Love Wins, Everyone Loses

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2016 by jcwill5

Bart-Simpson-final-660x350-1413961854There’s a slogan from the recent culture wars over gay marriage:   Love Wins.

What it seems to mean is “Free Love Wins”.

Unfettered, unrestricted expressions of sexuality and/or any kind of sexual relationship based on any kind of sexuality wins.

The autonomous individual is now sovereign.

Each self is now its own king, defines it’s own sexual identity, and demands all others conform and validate it…or else.

So, in a sense, it’s true.

This view has now prevailed in many legal cases on many issues.

But notice this is a very particular and narrow view of love.

Notice as well how this view has also become an ideology which aims to overcome and destroy all alternative views.

The worship of “equality” has become the State religion of the United States of America.

The faith of the church of absolute sexual-social-economic equality is now dominant.

Intolerant Tolerance

In other words, we are dealing with a very intolerant, very aggressive ideology that shrouds itself in tolerance and which actually brooks no dissent.

It’s like a new kind of Inquisition.

It gives no liberty to the views or the people who won’t give it unlimited liberty.

It is intolerant of the views and the people who don’t worship tolerance, or who won’t bow down and give away to its no boundaries agenda.

It won’t leave people alone, but insists on invading private businesses, personal artistic expressions, and overruling the consciences of anyone who dissents.

It’s adherents are functioning like the spies who inform on their fellow citizens for deviations from the reigning ideology.

It seeks to marshal the full force of the state to wage economic war through lawsuits and fines and shuttering businesses.

It seeks to use the full force of the media to wage an ostracizing, shaming war on dissenters–isolating them in social and regional ghettos or driving them underground.

It is seeking to create a society in which dissenters can hold no public roles in private or public sector positions, and say nothing public in disagreement.

Restless Aggressiveness

This dominant ideology of free love will not rest.

It was not long content with homosexual marriage.

Now it is pushing transgender “rights”.

When that goal is acheived, it will aggressively seek to champion yet another more exotic cause, for a still more perverse and deviant “oppressed” group.

It wants to live in a world where nothing sexual is forbidden, however monstrous and debauched.

It will never stop because it is compulsive, a kind of never-satisfied, codependency and approval addiction.

It will thus morphing into an all-dominating fascism of free love.

So, in a very real since, “true love wins” will not usher in an unrestricted sexual paradise on earth, but a living hell for everyone and anyone who disagrees–however small the disagreement.

And we will all lose in the end.

The Wiser Way

In fact, if the proponents were wise, they would grant very broad exemptions, very generous exceptions for reasons of conscience on sexual/gender issues to any and all in every area of life–even public areas.

They would leave well enough alone those in principled, unyielding disagreement, who hold to historic, biblical morality.

They would work out compromises in legislatures to check their overzealous impulses to enforce conformity to their will and to punish all dissent.

They would tell self-appointed social media activists to chill out, leave people alone who disagree with them, and call off the trolls.

They would stop turning dissenters in, outing them, suing them, and hounding them out of their professional lives or livelihoods or businesses.

They would recognize that disagreement is not discrimination, and that the State that violates the private conscience of its citizens does so at its peril.

They would understand that requiring everyone in society to validate or celebrate their sexual ideology/identity risks a terrible backlash–sooner or later the counterrevolution will begin.

But I seriously doubt they’ll listen.

Enjoyed and Enjoying

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2016 by jcwill5

I57OCcONH1657_P290721_500X500It may sound strange to say it, but God enjoys it when we fully enjoy Him.

He specializes in being His most awesome Self and thereby evoking delight in us.

He is thrilled when we discover our idols are pathetically insufficient and horrifically corrupting, and return to Him and find Him to be far better than we ever imagined.

It’s why Jesus told us there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 so-called righteous persons who need no repentance.

Let the party begin!

The Perfect Joy of God Himself

God’s royal court is marked by sheer, uninhibited, unsullied joy.

In His eternal self-celebration, out of His unlimited well of delighted delighfulness, He enjoys us and celebrates over us.

It makes perfect sense that an infinitely, ultimately beautiful Person will endlessly fascinate, never fail to evoke wonder, and produce unparalleled ecstasy in the hearts of those gazing upon Him.

Joy is the essence of heaven.

Perfect ecstasy is the fate of all who will be with Him forever.

Rejoicing will be our chief occupation.

Each crescendo of worship will serve as the prelude to the next movement in an eternal symphony of delight with Him as the star.

The Most Delightful Order Ever Given

He therefore does not think it unbecoming or strange that we would be riveted, lose ourselves in unabashed staring, and find our chief delight in delighting in His limitless excellence.

In fact, He commands us to rejoice in Him and delight ourselves in Him.

He designed to find our chief pleasure of all pleasures in worshiping Him.

As Larry Crabb observes, it’s like a command, “Have some vanilla ice cream with that apple pie!”

He is supremely pleased when we are pleased by Him, find our pleasure in Him, and discover that nothing and no one else can possibly satisfy our God-thirsty souls as only He can.

It’s where words fail us.

It’s where superlatives are insufficient to adequately capture Him.

It’s where each vista of His horizonless lovliness is topped by yet another mountain range of goodness.

It’s where each summit of awe turns out to be only a foothill of the next lofty peak of praise.

We were created, and then re-created in Christ, to find Him to be so.

 

The Call to Enjoy and Be Enjoyed

But there is another angle to it–one very much intended for here and now.

We ourselves are made in His image.

We are echoes of God Himself yet afflicted by the cacophony of sin.

So He endured greatest pain and ultimate sorrow to deliver us from evil and make us into a brand new, redeemed human race.

In Christ, He restores us in joy and makes it possible for us to grow in both giving joy and being rightfully and purely enjoyed by Himself and others.

Therefore, out of enjoying Him, we Christians can and ought to enjoy each other and be enjoyed by each other.

I don’t mean physically enjoyed (as in sex).

I’m talking about being enjoyed in and of ourselves as people and enjoying others as people that same way, being delighted in and delighting in others, being celebrated and celebrating others.

Repenting of Joylessness

Do we enjoy our fellow Christians?  

Or do we settle for enduring them?

Do any of them simply enjoy us with reckless abandon?

Or is more like putting up with us with grudging necessity?

Do we have a sense of God delighting in us, and find it thrilling that it’s possible for us to now delight Him in return?

Or do we have a nagging sense of God’s disapproval, live under His frown, and trudge wearily under a crushing burden of religiosity?

Are we in the business of celebrating even the smallest good things about our fellow believers?

Or are we experts at tearing down, at raining on parades, at fault-finding and complaining and judging the smallest, petty things we find in each other?

Are we known as a community for our celebrating of one another?  

Or are we known for our condemning words, our sour and dour expressions, and our toxic combativeness?

The Need of the Hour

In this nasty, complaining culture of perpetual dissatisfaction and outright rage, in these unhappy and most troubled times, what the fallen world most needs to see in us Christians is the inexplicable joy of salvation!

What they can never find outside of Christ is a community where we are truly enjoyed without being exploited or corrupted, where we are found delightful without being used or tricked, and where we are honestly celebrated without flattery or falsity.

Let us do so with a smile!

Reproach

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2016 by jcwill5

UnknownReproach is not a word we often use in everyday life.

But it’s a perfectly good word that captures a sub-set of shame in a way no other word can.

What is Reproach?

Reproach is a public kind of shaming.

It’s how a group responds to an individual’s reprehensible, foolish, and/or scandalous conduct or words.

It’s a form of vicious ridicule that gets under the skin.

It’s a never-forgotten pejorative label that marks us for a long time.

It can be a taunt, a mocking mimicry, or a disgracing slogan that’s repeated–accompanied by sneering, head-wagging, finger-pointing, and whispering behind our back.

Reproach can be richly deserved.

But it can also be completely undeserved–as in the taunting of Christ while He hung on His cross as an innocent man.

Reproach will frequently come from groups outside of us when we embarrass them or embarrass ourselves in front of them.

But it can also be totally private–as in self-reproach.

My Own Story

For years I have worked through issues stemming from a father’s use of shame as a child-control method.

I have also worked through the enormous sense of dirtiness from the filthiness of molestation, and found much freedom and joy despite it.

But six years ago, my financial, vocational and family world fell apart.

Not only was there unending, unrelenting conflict in the church, but, looking-back, I now realize my opponents were using reproach as their chief weapon to end my pastorate.

The goal of their whispers, insinuations, slanders, and gossip was to heap reproach on me until I left and they got “their church” back.

The goal of their public raging, bitter words, sloganing and accusations was, again, to reproach me so much and so often I would have no choice but to leave.

While I was there 3 more years, the tactics did not succeed and their own reproach drove them to attend elsewhere.

The Real Battle with Reproach Begins

It was after I left that ministry to care for my aged parents that the opponents’ reproaches wormed their way into my soul.

Part of the toxic cocktail was the deep embarrassment I felt over our very public misbehavior in the sight of the entire community.

We, as a church, had repeatedly disgraced ourselves and brought discredit upon the fair name of Jesus Christ.

There was a vast amount of deserved reproach from the community, in other words.

Part of it was how negative, repeated labels from other people are so easily received and work their way deep within.

They taunted me as a failure, and the infighting church had steeply declined during my tenure.

So I felt branded as a failure in ministry, a failure as a pastor.

The final piece was how I began to reproach myself for losing my steady income, my ability to provide for my family, and my emotional absence and lack of functionality as father and husband while at home.

These self-reproaches often began with “Why didn’t I….?!” or “How could I have….?!”

They were both paralyzing, and extremely self-defeating and self-fulfilling.

The Journey Back From Reproach

This season has not all been bad, and there’s been many great lessons and precious encounters with the grace of God these last three years.

But it wasn’t until very recently, when the word “reproach” popped into my mind as I sought the Lord, that I finally had a name for the unseen enemy repeatedly dragging me down.

So what does one do with reproach?

First, the undeserved reproach really belonged to my opponents and not me.

Their labels were about them, about their own enormous shame.

Their disgraceful gossip and nasty attitudes out in the community was their issue

So I “returned to sender” in my heart and emotionally handed their reproach back to them.

I also saw Christ bearing their reproach, relieving me of any responsibility to carry their emotional baggage for them or to internalize it.

He bore their reproach, and also the reproach they tried to place upon me.

That sure helped!

I then came to terms with my own mistakes and failings and sins, and terrible toll that self-reproach had taken.

I placed this burden of the reproach I deserved upon Christ as well.

In all cases, I’ve gone out of the reproach business, and resigned from bearing my own or others’ reproach.

The entirety of this horrible burden is no longer mine–Christ owns it and is perfectly handling it.

Now I’m freed up to pursue real growth again in the weak and broken areas of my personal life, freed to resume my proper roles and responsibilities.

An Invitation to Join Me

So if, like me, you’ve carried childhood reproach, self-reproach from your own poor decisions and failures, and/or the deserved or undeserved reproach coming from or belonging to other people, let me share some good news.

You no longer have to do that anymore.

You can place the entire burden of deserved and undeserved reproach on Christ, and He delights to carry such burdens for powerless, broken, and guilty people like me and like you.

So….why not let Him?

The Dangers of Frustration and of Fulfillment

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2016 by jcwill5

imagesI once heard a leader say, “Our problem is not so much having “the right answers”.  It’s failing to ask the right questions that lead to the right discussions.”

Let’s take it one step further back.

Let’s own our failure to engage deeply.

Let’s learn to listen for each person’s heart cries, to the questions they are trying and failing to answer on their own.

The same is true of discerning the needs of our society right now.

What are the big questions our society is struggling to answer?

What are the unmet cries of our national heart, and the unmet cries of significant groups within our society?

What if, instead of raging against the other guy’s agendas, quests, and dreams, we took the time to truly understand why those unmet thirsts are there in the first place?

In other words, behind the rage and the disappointment, beneath the lobbying and protesting, hiding behind the politics and the votes, are driving, unmet, insatiable needs that won’t let us rest.

The Peril of Forcing Others

If we cannot self-meet these needs adequately or sufficiently, we are driven to look to something or someone outside of our selves to supplement, complete, and fill our empty, insufficient selves.

We seek to change our environment and alter the people around us to cooperate with our agenda.

And if they won’t cooperate with our plan, we get infuriated and lash out and label them and go after them.

We double-down and up the ante and press and press and press, yet they still deny us our “rights” to validation, to acceptance, to affirmation, to entitlements, etc.

So we start to use laws and force and coercion to make them give it to us, or which let us pretend they aren’t there or don’t matter.

Then they, too, negatively react from a place of self-preservation and existential threat.

But what if we simply cannot force others to give us what we think we need?  What then?

Notice as well that the “make them give it” approach locks us into a cycle of perpetual, mutually-reinforcing conflict where neither can yield without surrendering their own identity.

Our opponents go underground, or they become even more offensive and vociferous, or aggressively counterattack us–yielding pain rather than relief in the end.

Hello, Donald Trump! Hello, Occupy Movement!  Hello, Tea Party!  Hello, Black Lives Matter!

What if all our pressuring produces exactly the opposite result?  What then?

The Peril of False Success

Let’s take the opposite case.

Suppose we succeed and obtain what we think we need personally or in society.

But if we somehow obtain what all we think we need, and there’s nobody and nothing else we can blame, then what?

What if succeeding is not enough?

What if it fades and grows stale and leaves us even more dissatisfied in the end?

What then?

People in such a state first double-down and up the dose.

They give up more and more in order to use more often with more potency, with less and less returns.

This process of cycling down is called idolatry in the Bible and called addiction in modern times.

And what we have fallen into, without realizing it, is an unconscious kind of worship of the “sought after something”.

And that something is not only not enough, it’s positively enslaving and corrupting!

At the final stage, it ends up in utter self-despair and self-loathing–leading to self-harm and even self-murder.

All to no avail.

Jeffrey Satinover has put it, “idols demand more and more and provide less and less, until eventually they give you nothing and demand everything.”

More to Come

These next few weeks,  we’ll explore the major, unanswered questions of the times in which we live, one by one.

Then I’ll turn them into objections against faith in Christ and explore how these quests are used to make trusting Him implausible, even counter-productive.

Then I’ll show how the Christ Himself is actually far more relevant and infinitely more satisfying than the self-fulfilling, self-answers we are so frustrated with right now.

Good Grief

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2016 by jcwill5

I’ve been following from afar the last earthly days of my uncle Don, and journeying with his family in spirit through the valley of the shadow of death.

Like an echo chamber, my aunt’s grief and my cousins’ father-loss touches the grief and loss I felt (and still feel) about my dad two years later.

The depth of these feelings caught me off guard.

There’s a deeper than words kind of compassion that was not there when I was younger, before I had personally walked the depths of losing someone close.

Grief calls out to grief, and comfort received becomes comfort shared.

Another Family

Yet my mind keeps drifting to another family, a family of one brother and two sisters who were dear friends of Jesus.

In John 11, Lazarus their brother has died and his sisters have laid him to rest.

They are starting a long, public mourning period for him.

But there’s a problem:   Jesus is nowhere to be found.

And there’s a troubling question:  Why isn’t He here?

And there’s a far deeper unanswered question:  Why wasn’t He here to stop it?

The Frustrated Fixer

Jesus finally arrives and the first to meet him is Martha, the more activist and outspoken sister of the two.

Her grief is expressing itself intellectually, and her complaint is His apparent lack of action.

“If you were here, my brother would not have died!”

Christ and Martha have a short exchange about the theology of the resurrection.

She affirms her belief in the resurrection of the dead on the Last Day.

Christ asks if she believes He has control over life and death, and calls her to believe Him now so she can witness the glory of God.

She affirms her intellectual faith but clearly doesn’t understand what Jesus has in mind.

Notice that Jesus meets Martha in her intellectualism and her activism kind of grief, without demeaning her personality or dismissing her style of grief.

The Heart-Broken Empath

Then Mary comes out to Him.

Interestingly, she says the very same words as Martha but evokes a completely different response from the Lord.

Mary is a deeply feeling, quieter person who is taking the loss far harder, and weeping much more.

Her same words convey an emotional undertone that is far more agonized, far more personal.

“If only You had been here, my brother would not have died!”

Instead of the intellectual, accusatory tone of Martha, her broken heart amplifies the terrible, terrible desolation of living in a fallen world where loved ones are torn from us.

Rather than promising action, Jesus asks to be shown where they have laid Lazarus.

Then He weeps on the way to the tomb, and He weeps again when they arrive.

Even His worst enemies had to confess how much He loved Lazarus.

Notice that Jesus meets Mary in her deeply feeling introversion, without demeaning her personality or dismissing her style of grief.

The Window into God’s Heart

We readers are told that Jesus felt a deep kind of intermingled sorrow and anger.

Christ absolutely hates what sin has done to real people like Mary–and His grief-anger agrees with Mary that this kind of thing should never, ever have happened.

“This is not the world I created or intended!  This is not what I want for anyone!  I hate this!   It’s wrong!”

“And I really AM going to do something about it!”

“Something so terrible it will shock heaven into silence and something so beautiful the angels will never stop singing about it.”

“I’m going make sure the full force of sin and death falls on Me alone.”

But before that happens a few chapters later, Jesus feels their grief and weeps with those who weep.

He Does Something About It

Shockingly, Christ orders the stone to be moved back, and tells Martha to stop complaining about the potential stink and to trust Him for a glorious outcome.

Then He prays one of the strangest prayers in the Bible, like God is talking to Himself and only speaking out loud for the benefit of those overhearing the conversation.

Then He commands Lazarus to come forth, and their brother emerges from the tomb fully alive and well four days after he had died!

And the sisters’ sorrow is turned into joy, and their loss melts away into reunion and restoration.

These siblings picture what’s to come on this side of Christ “doing something about it”.

A time when the dead are resurrected, where all losses are restored, where all tears are wiped away, and where all that’s bad and wrong will never, ever happen again.

To quote Paul, “Do not go on grieving as those with no hope….comfort one another with these words.”

And so we shall.

World of Hurt

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2016 by jcwill5

Insight_Melissa_Grieving-AngelAn angry society is a hurting society, a nation full of wounded souls and hurting hearts.

An angry age is a time when many are trying and failing to cope with deeply painful losses.

These losses can be personal, or can involve an entire group.

This week one of my dad’s two remaining siblings entered into hospice care.

It brought back to my mind the recent loss of my father and incapacitation of my mother due to age.

I’m watching my aunt, and her adult children, begin the process of watching their family’s father decline and pass away.

It’s a painful re-living, as well as an opportunity to express care, share lessons learned, and support them from afar.

The Long, Ugly Process

Grieving people and groups feel so terribly out of control.

The more we love someone, but more horrific it is to contemplate a life and a world without their presence.

We begin with denial–“This isn’t happening! It will all work out!”

Then we enter into shock, “This just can’t be happening!”

Then we enter into anger, “How can this be happening?! It’s wrong! No!!!”

Then we move into deep sorrow, “I’m so sad this is happening (or has happened)! My life as I knew it is now over.”

Then we make peace with our loss, “OK. This has happened.  Now what?”

The Different Styles of Grief

Some of us grasp at anything, and cast about for something or someone else to fix.

Some of us let go of everything, and lose touch with everything and everyone.

Some of us get more verbal, and some of us clam up.

Some of us lash out and explode, and some of us grow deathly quiet and go inward.

Some of us get busy, and some of us sit frozen in place.

Some of us change everything as soon as possible, and some of us change nothing and keep things unchanged as long as possible.

Opposite Reactions to Losses

That’s one of the reasons why, individually and as a society, it is so hard to have conversations about regional or group grievances.

The same change–a loss of an industry or way of life–is bitterly grieved by some who pay the whole price, and celebrated by still others who pay no price at all.

Then these two responses are plastered all over 24/7 News and social media.

Then there are the inevitable jeers and cheers.

Some sing, “Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead”, while others feel like an honored grave has been vandalized and grab their weapons.

It’s an explosive mix.

Mercy and Patience Needed

And beyond the occasional exploitive politician, we have few if any ways to recognize grief appropriately and ways to not aggravate grieving groups unnecessarily.

If the discussion were to change from a blaming/avenging/protest discussion, to a comforting/supporting/practical helping discussion, we might find a way forward.

We need to move beyond “That’s too bad for you–deal with it!” arrogance by policy winners and majorities, to a humble, “How can we help mitigate this loss, or prevent it from getting worse?” magnanimous approach.

We need to stop telling grieving people to be politically correct, to shut up, or to go away.

We need to let them move through their anger, not take their angry words so personally, and give them the space and the time they need to find resolution.

In other words, “Do unto others as you would have the do unto you.”

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