In case you have not heard or realized, our American Democracy. Depending on your social circle or how your digital algorithm the threat is probably either Donald Trump and the extreme Conservative Right or it is the entire Democratic Party and the Critical Race Theory propaganda that is brainwashing our society.
Today, January 6th, as I reflect on the events of last year, the thing I believe to be the greatest threat to our democracy, is a spirit of rugged individualism. Messages like “Don’t tread on me,” “My body my choice,” “It’s my right,” “You can’t tell me what to do” are only concerned with me, myself, and I. The self centered nature of these message do not actually take into account what or how our neighbor, our fellow citizens, might be feeling or thinking.
This spirit of rugged individualism and how it has manifested itself all feels very antithetical to the gospel of Jesus and the message of the cross. There is a world, a kingdom if you would, that Jesus came and invited us into. In this kingdom there is incredible peace. But in order to be a resident and live in this kingdom one must be willing to sacrifice their own needs and wants for the sake of others. A radical love has to exist that truly seeks the well being of others above ourselves. This kingdom has given me cause to examine how I exist and live in the outside world. It causes me to think twice about how I vote and who I vote for. It makes me wonder what might happen if my vote and voice was actually more interested in other people than myself? What if everybody’s vote was actually counted and we as a nation actually worked together collectively to ensure that everyone actually had equal access to voting and their voice was actually heard. What if this was a greater value than winning?
We defaultly assume that the voice which is different than ours is stupid and wrong. It should not be heard, and we ought to win at all cost. But what if these voices actually were heard? What if we became unusually interested in what other people think, especially those who think different then we do. What if we were willing and able then to stay in the room with difference and live peacefully with disagreements. What if we were less concerned with our voice becoming the minority and more concerned with everyone’s voice being heard. This rugged individualism that is intertwined into the framework of our government and our capitalistic way of operating and thinking is wreaking havoc and actively working to destroy our nation. Will you take a stand? Will you go against the grain and seek out voices that are different than your own? I truly believe this is the only hope we have at saving our democracy.