E pluribus unum- our country’s moto. Latin for “Out of many, One”. The idea that in America we are coming together as one people. We have not always been perfect at this but I believe we need to align ourselves with people and organizations that bring unity rather than divisiveness.
I am white, but that alone does not mean I came from privilege. I was raised by a single mom who worked two jobs just to keep us from losing our home always teetering on the edge of financial disaster. I was pushed through school left completely illiterate (unable to read) until I was in middle school. I had teachers saying I would never graduate and tell me I wasn’t worth their time. Other adults insult me to my face. And classmates literally beat up on me for being “retarded”.
I resent when people think I grew up privileged. My mom worked hard, I worked hard and I overcame the disadvantage I started with. I am first generation college graduate. I am one of the only men in my family line to not struggle with addition which leads to generational poverty.
Let’s stop overgeneralizing the issues we face. Groups like Antifa and the alt-right (Neo-Nazi/KKK) are tearing apart the foundation America was built on. Both groups are doing nothing more polarizing our country.
We need the church to reach in poverty stricken areas and share with the people there that hope can be found in Jesus. But the church can’t stop at that. We need men to rise up and be an example to the next generation of what it looks like to climb out of poverty, not by trampling on others, but by hard work, integrity, and long term wise choice.
We also need to stop giving one sided views of history that show every founding father as evil slave owners. As I said earlier we didn’t get it perfect but we have moved in the right direction and need to continue to. I love the story of George Washington getting ready to cross the Delaware knowing the battle of Trenton was the next day one of the generals (and Signer of the Declaration), William Wipple, turns to his slave and says “Prince, I hope you’re going to behave like a man of courage and fight bravely for your country.”
And Prince replied, “Sir, I have no inducement to fight. But if I had my liberty I would endeavor to defend it to the last drop of my blood.” William is recorded as being surprised by this reply, recognized that if they are fighting for liberty he should give it to Prince, and freed him on the spot.
Similarly Founding Father Benjamin Rush had a dream one night where he recognized slavery as wrong and freed his slave the next morning.
Let’s return to the standard of order MLK had where anyone demonstrating with him had to sign a commitment card that read:
I hereby pledge myself—my person and body—to the nonviolent movement. Therefore I will keep the following ten commandments:
- Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.
- Remember always that the non—violent movement seeks justice and reconciliation — not victory.
- Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.
- Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free.
- Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free.
- Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.
- Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world.
- Refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart.
- Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.
10.Follow the directions of the movement and of the captain on a demonstration.
I sign this pledge, having seriously considered what I do and with the determination and will to persevere.