Come Let Us Reason Together

Just for a moment, let’s put aside every preconceived thought and idea with the aim of listening to one another.  Isaiah the prophet writes God’s appeal to his remnant  – Come now, and let us reason together.

In order to reason with one another, we have to listen to understand what the other is actually saying, to understand what may be behind what they are saying. I say this because we are all used to trying to come up with our next statement while someone may be making their point.

The past couple of weeks have gotten sort of ugly. I believe that most of us were saddened by the loss of life of the Dallas officers who were out participating with and providing and maintaining order for the protests of the Black Lives Matter movement in response to the officer involved shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

However, just the words Black Lives Matter have pitted whites against blacks, putting participants on the defensive. Why are those words so repudiated?  Is it the thinking that as stated by former Mayor of New York, Rudy Guiliani, that it is racist?

Is it?

Does “black lives matter” mean only their lives matter?

I recently heard someone try to explain it for/to his white sisters and brothers  by raising the question that when Republicans say that they are Pro Life, are they saying that they are only for the babies in the womb?

Not at all. The reason that they have taken a strong position on being Pro Life is because millions of  babies are being slaughtered as if they have no value.

Surely we get this, don’t we? Anytime one group (people or animals) appears to be targeted or disadvantaged we usually rise up to their defense in response, right?  This is why we have PETA, MADD, and others.

But if we set aside our preconceived ideas and notions, could we see that the Black Lives Matter movement is also a response to what is viewed as a disproportionate number of shootings of blacks by law enforcement?

One of my Facebook friends posted in response to the repudiation of the term and its retort:

“Saying ‘all lives matter’ is like the fire department spraying all the houses with water, but only one is on fire.”

This past Tuesday, at the memorial for the Dallas officers, President Bush in his speech stated:

“Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions.”

Let’s reason together. Empathy, although I have heard it a lot these past couple of weeks by many, including both Presidents Bush and Obama, needs to be revived. What does it mean to be empathetic? A simple definition is putting yourself in the other person’s shoes.

I thought about this movie as a way to show what empathy looks like. The movie clip below is from the movie Time to Kill.

 

 

What if you were born to a different family, in a different country? Do you think that you would be the same person? No. Our family and our backgrounds shape us to be who we are. I have often said that had my family remained in New Orleans where I was born, I would be a totally different person than I am today.

It is God determines where we live, into what people group we are born, and into what our  socio-economic status will be.

A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. John 3:27b  KJV

This should cause us to be more gracious and grateful.

 

 

We can start today.

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13 thoughts on “Come Let Us Reason Together

  1. I agree with you; empathy is a lost art. Here is part of the problem I see with the Black Lives Matter movement. I wholly agree with the black community’s efforts to bring to the forefront their real experience of disproportionate treatment at the hands of law enforcement. And anyone who brushes that reality aside only highlights the legitimacy of the BLM original intent. However, and this may be in large part a byproduct of unfair media coverage, we are shown video after video and interview after interview of BLM members expressing hatred and sometimes encouraging violence toward the police. I think that is what makes the other side bristle and over correct in their defense of cops. And I think it is a reality that the overwhelming majority of cops are good cops and not racist. Just as BLM shouldn’t be measured by their bad apples, so should cops as a whole not be measured by their bad apples. But that doesn’t mean that police brutality is not a reality.

    My perception is this. No race matters more than another. But at times, one race is at a disadvantage or is abused and needs to be defended specially, similar to your comments above. Black lives do matter. They matter as much as brown and white lives. But minority lives right now are disproportionately in need of protection. But BLM leaders need to address their radicals just as the other side needs to address theirs.

    There is no question that the criminal justice system is in need of tremendous reform. Conservatives need to fully embrace the broader implications of “pro life.” It’s not just about babies; it’s about babies, and the environment, and poverty, and health care, and immigration, AND racial injustice and criminal justice reform. Locking people up for minor offenses only worsens the problems–felony convictions and jail time inhibit employment which furthers the socioeconomic conditions leading to high crime and poverty. It’s a cycle of death and destruction that Conservatives historically have ignored. This is an example of why I shied away from the Republican Party years ago.

    I think the problem we are witnessing is that both sides are only willing to acknowledge the extreme of the other side, which results in the legitimate concerns getting drowned out. Exemplified by the media and pundits calling for the death of the BLM movement following the Dallas and Baton Rouge cop killings–as if the majority of those supporting the BLM movement want innocent cops shot in the streets. But what we are shown are the radicals, the extremists, the cop killers, the racists. Not the well spoken and well meaning pleading for America to protect their children from harm.

    The frustration I experience with the GOP and Conservatism is their focus on prosperity and business to the exclusion of profound life issues, such as racial injustice, environment, education, health care, and the like. If we really want to address the BLM concerns, we have to dig deeper than cops. We have to get at poverty, fatherless families, health care, education, criminal justice reform, income inequality. Conservatives slur these concepts as socialism. I see these as pro life. When humanity can reach agreement on that, much of the hostility would fade away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here is an example of a BLM protest in my city held today. Police brought a grill, barbecue and water for the protesters, which was rejected. (a href=”http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2016/jul/22/black-lives-matter-rally-blocks-downtown-stre/377237/”>Black Lives Matter rally blocks downtown Chattanooga streets. Instead of protesting for reform, these protests often devolve into an “us versus them” mentality.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Some people just don’t know, and they don’t know that they don’t know. Sad. So very sad. The Bible says we need the police for they are to be a terror to the evil so that we may dwell in peace. We, our country needs a revival.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Okay, 2020 is your year. Get ready. Yes, you need to run for President of the U.S. I will vote for you. You just need to involve now so you’re ready and known. Hahaha! But I am serious. Have you ever thought about going into politics? You appear to have a grasp on the issues, you really do look at the big picture so unlike what appears to be with the decision makers now. Whenever you get the opportunity check out on YouTube Tony Evans, Pastor

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! Unfortunately, I don’t have the personality for politics–gregariousness, fund raising, hand shaking, speech making. Makes me tired just thinking about it. But I appreciate the positive comments!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. We are afraid of one another because we don’t know one another. There are days when I want to live in a monastery and take a vow of silence. Yet, we are called to live in the world….which is more difficult to understand each day. Praying with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t understand this post. You reject preconceived thoughts and ideas. Then you look at things from a Christian perspective. You say I should reason, then you say I should use my heart. What, exactly, do you demand I start today?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi There – I’m sorry that my post was not clear to you. For me, reasoning means setting aside our ideas so that we can hear without those preconceived ideas, being open to hear the other person. Empathy does involve the heart, as it is seeking to identify with what the other person is saying. So what do I want us to start today? Listening with an open mind. By the way, most of my posts are always from my Christian perspective. Thanks for your comment.

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