If free speech is a desirable thing, and if Christians are sometimes schizophrenic about it (see previous post), should we be thoughtful in how we pursue it? Such a question will cause most to say something like, "Well duh! Of course we should be thoughtful!" as if the question is silly to ask. It isn't.
I don't know much about the organization "Stand Together" (in the video below). So from the outset, I will say: that's not my focus. My focus, below, is most immediately on the video—which I like! It has good content, it is thought-provoking, it encourages useful conversation, its offering is simple without being simplistic, and the production is high quality. This video is 8 minutes or so, and it's worth watching, worth thinking about, and worth discussing.
Oh, and one more thing: even if we find this or that thing to disagree with in the video, Christians could put the 5 simple "actions" to very good use immediately.
What to make of this?
As with my previous blog post, I myself am mostly interested, here, in how Christians talk to each other. (Or more often, how we won't talk to each other.) Frankly, it's a mind-numbing thing that those of us who profess to follow the one who taught us to "love one another" (Jn. 13:34; 15:12, 17; Rom. 13:8; 1 Thess. 4:9; 1 Pet. 1:22; 1 Jn. 3:11, 23; 4:7, 11, 12; 2 Jn. 1:5), often times won't sit down at the same table. The very notion of engaging each other in conversation (especially over things about which we might disagree) is far too often a radical idea.
The 5 simple, but powerful, things mentioned in the video are a good starting point. It's not the point of the video (nor is it my point), that if we all simply sit down, hold hands, take a breath, and invoke the word "love," then we'll be singing in perfect harmony, growing apple trees and honey bees, and snow white turtle doves (all while drinking Coca Cola, of course). The point is rather about an openness to sensible discussion and learning to listen as much as we like to talk.
First post: The importance of freedom to think, speak, and interact with each other.
This post: A starting point for open, civil, sensible conversation.
Next post: A new mindset for approaching conversation. (Coming soon.)
Gary D. Collier