American Flag by Charlee Swanson  In America, we grew up saying the Pledge of Allegiance and whether you add “under God” or not it includes “One nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” Yet, we have people who are actively trying to divide us at every turn. From pastors to politicians, we see divisive rhetoric that is clearly leading to the acceptance of hate and animosity throughout the country.

You only have to look at the Pulse tragedy to see the fruits of this kind of divisiveness. In the wake of fifty people being killed we had elected officials stating that “we reap what we sow.” We have a presidential candidate that congratulates himself for being “right about terrorism” and pastors who say that the victims deserved what happened to them. It didn’t stop with our leaders, in Kage Alan’s latest blog he points to some of the comments on the popular news sites that would appall most anyone. The Cambridge Dictionary defines “Liberty” as the freedom to live as you wish and go where you want. In order to have liberty and justice for all, we have to accept the diversity that makes up this great nation. I can understand the fear when something you have believed your whole life has been put in question. In the Les Misérables, Javer kills himself after realizing that the man he has hunted all his life may not be the criminal he thought. I don’t just say this for the causes I believe in. As a gay man, mentioning Chick-Fil-A is definitely a no-no. The company, which is owned by a devout Christian, is known famous for following many tenets of the religion including not being open on Sunday. It wasn’t surprising to me that they would fund some anti-gay charities or even that the CEO would speak out against gay marriage. He got backlash and stopped funding many of the charities that were actively anti-gay. Although, it was found that a sporting charity that he supports does have an anti-gay message but it wouldn’t necessarily be something I would think about when I looked at it. In the Pulse aftermath, they opened a location on a Sunday to make lunches for the many people who were waiting in line to donate blood. I have had friends say things like they are “capitalizing on the tragedy.” Having been a corporate restaurant manager, the fact that they opened at all is a miracle and the circumstances around the incident would make it twice as hard. The question I ask is if this had happened at a Trump rally, would you do the same? It isn’t just the right or the left that is tearing the fabric of America. It is them collectively not seeing the commonality of all humans. Alan Watts said it best, “Peace can be made only by those who are peaceful, and love can be shown only by those who love. No work of love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.”  

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