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Plain and Simple for Jan. 24, 2013 / January 22, 2013
Well, President Obama has been inaugurated and we are either heading for Armageddon or on the right track, depending on whom you talk to or which TV station you watch. I am one of those foolish people who was raised in the tradition of talking to the people on the other side. I remember someone who actually defined politics as the art of the possible. It has now degenerated into the art of name-calling and character assassination.

Let me cite an example. I read on Facebook the thoughts of one of my friends concerning the inauguration. Let me say that I respect this friend and find him to be a person of integrity and faith. He was very upset because Obama has chosen to be inaugurated on a Sunday because that was the Lord’s day; he thought Obama was placing himself above Christ. There were several people who agreed with him, asserting that it proved once again that Obama was not a Christian and was a tyrant.

As things go on Facebook, there soon appeared remarks pointing out a few inconsistencies. First, the Constitution requires that the oath be administered on Jan. 20. Second, Obama chose to have a private ceremony on Sunday, just as Ronald Reagan did in 1985. The pomp and circumstance of the inauguration and the public swearing-in was held on Monday, just as Reagan did it. By the time all of these things had been presented, my friend had taken offense at so many people picking on him.

This, in a nutshell, reveals so much of what is wrong with discourse in our country today. We all believe that we have a right to our opinion, even if it is blatantly false and misinformed. If someone dares to present the facts to us, no matter how gently or kindly, we huff and puff and refuse to engage in conversation. As a matter of fact, we decide that we will simply find someone or something that agrees with what we are saying, and shout it out even louder next time.

I understand that people can be so condescending or so irritating with their views, even if they are correct, that we have a difficult time agreeing with them. I have one friend that I agree with her views, but she gives them in such an obnoxious way that I find myself arguing with her. But we must come to a place in this country where we can discuss things calmly. We are at a standstill in Congress and in our daily lives.

We once were able to disagree vigorously without feeling the need to consign someone to hell. Isaiah tells us that God says, “Come, let us reason together.” If we are going to find our way out of our problems we must find a way to reason together.

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