It seems that we used to define ourselves by our actions. Now, we define ourselves by our beliefs (political beliefs, nowadays - not religious ones). Our politics defines our identity. Just go to Twitter and see.
A lot of us would think the world would be better off if those whose beliefs align with the other party would be… dead (read more about that here).
Now, there are issues that matter. Very much. But when it comes to the bloodthirst that ties into upholding our righteousness, there’s far more going on under the surface than what we think.
This seems like a new phenomenon, but it really isn’t. If it’s one thing that the human brain does well, it’s dividing people up into ‘them’ and ‘us’. I predict that if we were to exterminate 100% of the other political party, the human brain (and the collective consciousness) would find another reason to divide ourselves up into an ‘us’ and a ‘them’.
This is the kind of thinking that destroys communities.
So we’ve been doing this since the beginning of human history. Paul writes a letter about it here. In his day, the thing that humans tied their identity to was what they ate. It wasn’t just a dietary thing then; how you ate showed what you believe about God (and about everything). In his letter to the Romans, Paul basically says that it’s not our job to judge another. It’s not our job to have an opinion - at least not at a certain level (like, the level in which we begin to want each other dead).
It is not our job to judge. Our job is to see ‘them’ as human beings who are loved by God in all their stupidity and foibles (just like us).
Truly, none of us are perfectly right. All of our political views are stained with sin. We all fall short of God’s perfection.
And the good news is that everyone is forgiven. Christ justifies us, not our beliefs. In that, we are all one.
We’re stuck with each other, friends. Sure, we can kill them all, but we can’t kill sin - including our own. May we allow the incessant love of God to soften our hearts so that we may lay down our rightness and put on a nonsensical love that just might be the answer.
Grace & Godspeed,