“Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye,
but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
Or how can you say to your brother,
‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’;
and look, a plank is in your own eye?
Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye,
and then you will see clearly to remove the speck
from your brother’s eye.”
Mt 7: 3-5
In between, “my way or the highway,” and, “live and let live,” grew a nation of diverse people with a variety of beliefs, religions, and cultures. For decades, this diverse group lived together in relative peace. When skirmishes arose, they were faced and resolved as adults.
The early 1960’s brought about a cataclysmic fault in American culture that set in motion a chain of events that turned America upside down.
American innocence was lost.
- Vietnam: The war in southeast Asia that had been simmering for many years began to escalate and the US became involved under President John F. Kennedy (JFK).
“The Vietnam War was a long, costly armed conflict that pitted the communist regime of North Vietnam and its southern allies, known as the Viet Cong, against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. The war began in 1954 (though conflict in the region stretched back to the mid-1940s), after the rise to power of Ho Chi Minh and his communist Viet Minh party in North Vietnam, and continued against the backdrop of an intense Cold War between two global superpowers: the United States and the Soviet Union. More than 3 million people (including 58,000 Americans) were killed in the Vietnam War; more than half were Vietnamese civilians. By 1969, at the peak of U.S. involvement in the war, more than 500,000 U.S. military personnel were involved in the Vietnam conflict. Growing opposition to the war in the United States led to bitter divisions among Americans, both before and after President Richard Nixon ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1973. In 1975, communist forces seized control of Saigon, ending the Vietnam War, and the country was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam the following year.”
- About the same time, one atheist woman, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, made lots of noise to have God removed from schools. June 25, 1962, the Supreme Court stopped school prayer.
- The assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK: Not long after the Supreme Court ruled in her favor, JFK was assassinated November 22, 1963 in Dallas. A few years later, Martin Luther king, Jr, a peace-loving, civil rights advocate and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was slain at a motel April 4, 1968 in Tennessee. Two months later, JFK’s brother, Robert (RFK) was also killed June 6, 1968, in Los Angeles.
- Roe v Wade: On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court rendered the decision that continues to tear our nation apart. Abortion was legalized in the heat of misleading propaganda that filled the airways with images of back alley botched attempts. Forty years later, the passion has not dissipated as evidenced by the recent Anniversary March, January 22, 2013 in Washington, as over 500,000 Americans rallied calling for ROE v WADE to be overturned.
Something happened deep inside American culture in those early days of the 1960’s with Ms O’Hair’s angry rhetoric that planted seeds of rebellion that are coming to full fruition today. As an atheist, she proclaimed an unwillingness to “tolerate” the practice of prayer in schools. The rest of America remained silent, so she won and her lack of tolerance became the battle cry for the progressive “secular humanist” agenda that rules our schools today. Her unwillingness to “tolerate” viewpoints different than her own went viral and spawned today’s juvenile, intolerant society.
Thing is, we’re all Americans and each is entitled to his/her own opinion. So now,we have the various positions lashing out and name calling, fully engaged in schoolyard behavior … as adults?
One of life’s lessons that I happened to learn the hard way, is that “I am not responsible for the responses and action of others. But I AM responsible for my own actions, words and responses!” As parents, we do our best to guide our children through the maze of life’s pitfalls. We teach them to brush after meals, to wash their hands when they’re done in the bathroom and before eating, and to change their underwear everyday. We teach them to finish their homework, to wipe their feet, and to not put personal info on Facebook. But do we take the time to teach them about the feelings and opinions of others?
The grown up version of this is seen and heard everyday in our political arena. name-calling and finger pointing starts at the White House and trickles all the way down the socio-economic-political ladder to the recipients of welfare and food stamps. We’re no longer encouraged to try to understand the viewpoint of others, but rather, we’re pushed to blame the opposition for what ails us. There is no maturity, no respect for different opinions, and no acceptance of responsibility for our OWN attitudes toward others. Is this not just a fancy expression for BULLYING???
Most Americans recognize Bullying as a significant issue in our schools today, but where are the kids learning their behavior? From their PARENTS!!! Adults today may be chronologically adult, but emotionally, many are quite adolescent!
Which brings us back to that log in your eye, or, more accurately, the log in MY eye. For whatever reasons, we are prompted today to focus more on the flaws in other people, particularly those living different lifestyles, than on our own character. We live in a nation that proclaims religious liberty which means we are each free to choose our own belief system. I am not required to believe what you believe, and you don’t have to share my belief system. Rather than criticize your beliefs, your stand, or your character, it’s better, i.e. more productive if I concentrate on my own character, my own beliefs, and my own stand, and let God take care of everyone else as He cares for me! This way, we can each enjoy our personal FREEDOM!
CONCLUSION: Check the log in your own eye, and let everyone else enjoy their own life. If we want BULLYING to stop, we, as adults, must stop bullying one another.