• Learning from the Wolverine Watchmen

    Can you believe people were plotting to kill Governor Whitmer?

    How did that happen?

    Well, here's something that played a part...

    Our failure to engage in productive civil dialog and constructive conflict resolution certainly helped make this possible.

    And while we all pray that justice will be served, the bigger question is how we, as an increasingly diverse society, are to engage in the kind of communal dialog that brings us together, not apart, forms coalitions not cliques, breeds connection, not suspicion, and builds up our nation, not tear it down.

    “Y’all just need Jesus.” is how a friend of mine likes to summarize the solution. And there is something to her conclusion.

    It’s because of what Jesus stands for: respectful, cordial, and considerate treatment of others, especially those with whom we disagree.
    Jesus stands for empathy, connection, and love.
    We don’t hate, shame, or bully our way to peace - but get there by care and consideration.

    So Jesus calls us to engage with, not disparage, those with whom we disagree.
    We need to think about that when we talk with people who vote differently - and when we post on Social Media.

    Jesus calls us not to denigrate and demean our opponents - but to realize that while our relationship with our communal governance, which he touches on in this weekend’s Gospel, must be defined by our allegiance to the law of love.

    When Jesus says to give the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, he’s not planning a violent overthrow - but a covert, subversive coup - of loving his opponents - for this is the only way to lasting peace.

    Friends, in this anxious election season, stoking the fires of dissension is much easier than forming a bucket brigade with neighbors we like and we don't like.

    The road to communal, civil dialogue begins with personal, civil dialogue. This is our due, to both God and the emperor.

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