Seeking brotherhood, not homogeneity

When we lump each other into categories and decide to hate those we disagree with, we alienate good people who could be our friends and allies. No one is a “liberal” or a “conservative.”  Those adjectives describe an idea we have, but those words are too limited to describe the whole of anyone’s entire personality.

Tell me, for instance, what category you think I belong to: I believe that less government is better, so in that sense I am a conservative tending toward anarchism. Yet I believe that I am my brother’s keeper, so I believe we have a responsibility to provide social services–does that make me a liberal? I am a feminist, but I don’t believe women are any better than men–in fact most of them are horrible. I would never, ever have an abortion, and if I knew someone else who was having one, I would do everything in my power to convince them otherwise, including offering to adopt the baby myself–but I believe women should be free to make that choice for themselves. I hate guns, but I will not try to take yours away. I am a born-again Christian who refuses to proselytize and encourages atheists and skeptics to exercise their right to not only disagree with my beliefs at every opportunity, but to live their lives according the dictates of their own conscience–even if that means they never believe as I do.

Not that anyone cares about these details of my character, but my point is this–if you knew me you would not be able to classify me. I suspect that is true of most people. If we so narrowly define our expectations of others, we will each of us have only ourselves on our “side.” Then all of our causes will be lost and we will be doomed to hate our own lives as much as we hate what the world has become.

We have a choice to make the world a better place by letting the American dream live, if not in our government, then at least in our hearts. Let’s join together, with all our differences, and see if we can’t find a way to live together without tearing each other down.flag

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