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Tag Archives: History

When Friends Spew Hatred: Love in the Political Season

battle_of_bosworth_by_philip_james_de_loutherbourg

Innocently scrolling through Facebook the other night, I came across an article posted by a friend that intrigued me. The author of the article claimed to be able to discern characteristics of the supporters of one of the candidates based solely on the fact that they were planning to vote for that candidate. I clicked open the article, assuming I’d see statistics and demographics.

I was sorely mistaken.

The article made huge sweeping (and cruel) assumptions about all that candidate’s voters based on nothing but stereotypes. It would have been hilarious if it hadn’t been so insulting. The article’s sole purpose was to shame half the voters in America.

You’re guessing which candidate it was, aren’t you? But does it really matter? If you’re planning to vote for Clinton, does that make you a lying America-hating murderer? If you’re planning to vote for Trump, does that make you a money-grubbing, mean-spirited xenophobe? Are the voters really guilty of all the worst things the candidates been accused of?

Let’s face it: Not even the candidates can be guilty of everything they’ve been accused of. This campaign cycle is nothing but a battle of the barbs, where soundbites have become headlines as if they’re actually news.

Where does that leave voters? Many of us feel we’ve been given two lousy options. So we’ve considered the candidates, maybe even prayed about our decision, and made a choice.

I commend everybody who’s planning to vote, even if you don’t enthusiastically support your candidate. Voting is our civic duty, and letting everyone else make the crucial decision about who leads our nation the next four years doesn’t seem like a wise move. All the people who’ve decided to, as some have said, “hold my nose and vote for [insert candidate here],” have now become targets of people like the one whose article I read the other night.

What bothered me most about the article, even more than the ridiculous claims it made, was the fact that a friend had posted it. Have we really come to that as a nation? Have we become people who hurl hate at our friends because they’re supporting a rival candidate? Whatever happens on November 8th, on November 9th, I fear the ground will be littered with the tattered remains of former friendships, ripped apart by the vitriolic language spewed for months on end.

Tweet this: On 11/9, will the ground be littered with friendships ripped apart by the vitriolic language of the campaign?

At the end of this election cycle, God will still be sovereign, and it is He who chooses our leaders (see Romans 13:1). Yes, we Americans will vote–as well we should–but the final choice is God’s. Is this election really worth losing friends over? It is worth losing business associates? Is it worth all this hate?

In John 13:35, Jesus tells his followers, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Our job is not to win arguments. Our job is not to shame or insult our enemies. Our job is to love even those who disagree with us. It’s getting harder and harder to respond with love during this heated campaign season, but I will keep trying to respond with love or, at least, silence. If all believers choose love, imagine the impact we can have on the nation. Imagine how we can stand out in the crowd of haters.

Maybe that’s what Jesus had in mind.

 

*Image by Philip James de Loutherbourg

 

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen is an award winning multi-published author, but only because she can’t pursue her other dream.

If time and money were no object, Robin would spend her life traveling. Her goal is to visit every place in the entire world–twice. She longs to meet everybody and see everything and spread the good news of Christ. Alas, time is short and money is scarce, and her husband and three teenagers don’t want to traipse all around the world with her, so Robin does the next best thing: she writes. In the tales she creates, she can illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

Connect with Robin at robinpatchen.com

 

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He Started it All

AGBOne hundred and forty years ago today, Alexander Graham Bell filed his patent for the telephone. I’m fairly certain Mr. Bell had no idea what he’d unleashed on the world. His cumbersome contraption of wires, diaphragms, and tubes bears no resemblance to the device resting in almost everyone’s pocket today with its slick glass screen that connects the holder to the world.

Idiagramn 1876, Mr. Bell filed his patent and entered the history books. Ironically, he filed only two hours before a similar patent was filed by Elisha Gray. Not wanting to be cut out of this new emerging technology, the powerful Western Union Telegraph Company hired Mr. Gray and well-known inventor Thomas A. Edison to develop their own prototype. Mr. Bell sued to uphold his patent. His case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which upheld the Bell patent. The Bell Telephone Company would withstand many lawsuits in the years to come as it evolved into what we now know as American Telephone and Telegraph … or AT&T.

How did Alexander Graham Bell come up with the idea of such an invention? Born in Scotland, he worked his younger years with his father in London. Melville Bell had developed a written system to teach speaking to the deaf. When he moved to Boston in 1872, Alexander established a school for the deaf there. In the next year he became a professor in speech and vocal physiology at Boston University. Throughout his life he described himself as a “teacher of the deaf.” Speech was, you might say, the focal point of his life.

firstcallHis background and dedication to speech and sound, along with his keen scientific mind, made him the logical candidate to invent the telephone. But he didn’t stop there. With the money he made on his telephone patent, Mr. Bell went on to found and finance both the journal Science and the National Geographic Society.

And yet – he never allowed a telephone to be installed in his study, lest it distract him from his work.

That, my friends, is the lesson for today. Jot us a comment on how you interpret the lesson as it applies to your life and work.

~ Pegg Thomas

Trooper and Pegg cropped

 

 

 

 

 

PeggThomas.com

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 7, 2016 in Pegg Thomas

 

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Happy New Year – But When!?

colonialtimesDid you know that for the first 130 years of Colonial America we celebrated New Year’s Day on March 25th? It’s true.

Britain at that time reckoned March 25th as the beginning of the new year. On this day rents were due, contracts began, and obligations were renewed. They based this on the Julian calendar – authored by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. That calendar had 12 months and 365 days, but had one flaw. There was no allowance for leap years, so it didn’t quite match up with the solar year.

Many European countries had already adopted the use of the Gregorian calendar – authored by Pope Gregory XIII. Britain, not wanting to follow a Pope’s lead, clung to the Julian calendar until 1752.

Colonial America was part of the British Empire, but it was also already culturally diverse. Immigrants from across Europe made the colonists familiar with both calendars. When the official switch came in 1752, the colonists took it all in stride, avoiding the upheaval that happened across the pond, and showing once again the colonists unique ability to adapt and prosper.

A nice tidbit of history to think about when writing – or reading – books set in Colonial America.

 

~ Pegg Thomas

Trooper and Pegg cropped

 

 

 

 

 

PeggThomas.com

 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 28, 2015 in Pegg Thomas, Writing

 

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