Pastor Martin Niemöller once wrote,
First they came for the socialists and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.
Recently, as I have digested the news of the upcoming election, Pastor Niemöller’s words have come to the forefront of my mind. As I have read statements and sentiments from both major parties, I have thought about how, if one so chose, they could replace the groups in the aforementioned quote, and the sentiment would still ring true.
For Trump’s platform, replace socialist with Muslim; replace trade unionist with immigrant. For Clinton’s platform, replace trade unionist for unborn; replace Jew for Christian.
On one hand, we have a repugnant and reprehensible cad. It did not shock me in the slightest when a tape was released earlier this week, containing deplorable statements about women. This man has been open about his prejudices and views of all races, gender, and religion for years, and nothing he says shocks me.
The other camp is more of a snake in the grass. Hiding behind women’s liberation, this camp seeks to attack the core of Christianity – insisting life does not begin at the moment of conception, and branding those of us who believe in both the sanctity of life and sanctity of marriage as backward individuals. This camp would rather surreptitiously disenfranchise people based on their faith alone.
The vitriol I have seen both parties (and their supporters) spew is appalling.
And, quite frankly, I think we, as Americans, should be ashamed of ourselves.
I find it horrifying that both the candidates representing the major parties are ones who are morally bankrupt.
And, I want to cry.
This intolerance – for other religions, other races, other beliefs – is not what America should be about.
Instead, we should be focusing on respectful dialogue. Not just toward those that think or believe like we do as individuals, but also toward those who may hold differing opinions and beliefs.
I’m watching families and decades-long friendships being torn apart based on words exchanged as individuals support their candidates of choice.
The fighting is pathetic.
We need to take a step back, listen to each other, hear each other, and perhaps take a couple in-depth history classes together.
Because I don’t want history to repeat itself on my watch.
We are a great nation – we need to step up and starting acting like one!