Are you black, brown, tan, yellow, red, white, violet, orange, spotted, striped, pink polka-dotted? We love you!
Are you a liberal, a conservative, a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent, a Whoochamkot, or not political at all? We love you!
Are you gay, lesbian, straight, bi, trans, queer, other? We love you!
Are you a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Sikh, an Atheist, an Agnostic, a Confucianist, or just confused? We love you!
Do you hate us and want to kill us? We love you! (Please don’t kill us though. That isn’t acceptable here in America. We cannot have a free society if we are killing one another)
Are you a person? We love you!
Not sure what you are? We love you!
Are you offended yet? You guessed it; we love you!
Does that mean that we don’t have our own beliefs and practices and faith? Absolutely not. But the last time I checked we still live in America where we are supposed to be free. It's time to start loving and respecting one another again. I have a sneaky suspicion that there are a lot of us out there that would love to stop this hate, on all sides, and go forth in love. Yes, let’s have vigorous debates. Let's march our protests with unbridled passion, cast our votes with deep conviction, worship our God with reckless abandon, and share our wildest dreams with one another with mutual respect.
But let’s also listen and think and feel and put ourselves into each other’s shoes. Let’s be willing to cherish and admire our differences again instead of falling into the trap of devaluing and demoralizing each other over them.
"It’s not too late. We don’t have to capitulate to an America that is so bitter and divided all the time."
"Come on Phil, join the real world..."
I have and I am still saying this. This isn’t idealistic naivety. I have seen it work with real people that have real differences over and over again. I know we have VERY different beliefs that we are VERY passionate about. I know that it is much easier to simply keep hating and mudslinging and taking sides. I know it will be extremely difficult to turn this hate-boat around. But I also know America has done it before. We have fought and bled and died for this. I know that freedom is worth the effort. I know that to get down to the deepest and most meaningful parts of who we are as a nation, we will have to stop taking the easy way out.
It’s far easier to rant about someone you can’t stand than to fight for what makes you a common people.
Who is the enemy in this fight?
That is why this Revolution is not a fight against each other, it is a fight against our own stubborn, lazy self. Boo Hoo! Now I've offended us all collectively. Oh well, get over it for the sake of freedom. I dare you and me to come down off our lofty, high horses and join the crowd of people who are waiting to be listened to and loved. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to join a cause, like a page, donate to a movement, or share a nasty meme that demeans your so-called enemies? But ask us to simply listen to one another or to greet your neighbors in person or to reach out to someone with a different slant on life and try and hear their heart... we are far too busy forwarding memes and attaching our bumper stickers... we don't have time for that useless stuff, right? Well, if you are going to be a soldier in this Revolutionary Army, it's time to face those fears. The real battle is against our selfishness.
Jesus puts it this way...
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you... For if you love those who love you, what reward have you... And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others?"
Let's commit to lay aside the ugliness and strive to find some common ground.
Have we become that lazy and uncaring that we are willing to let this great nation die in a ball of self-righteous bitterness? Don’t buy off on the lie that the best America would be full of people just like you! The best America is one that is full of people that stop plugging our ears and filling our hearts with rage and start listening and thinking and talking and doing for one another. The talking heads make lots of money and wield lots of power by trying to divide us. They are on the television and the radio and in the newspapers. They are in our schools, our neighborhoods, and our places of worship. They come in all sorts of colors, sizes, sexes, faiths, and politics. They stir up hate in all sorts of flavors. They never give real, lasting solutions because those solutions would mean the end of their power, money, and fame. And we are letting them run away with our freedom. We are letting them steal our joy, our love, and our respect that makes this diverse nation so great. Please, I beg you, resist the temptation to agree with their hate, even when they seem to identify with your plight, your politics, or your piety.
Hate is not the answer. Love is!
Join the Revolution!
So, we ask you to join us in this revolution! If you believe, or even want to believe in what we are saying, then please join us. Here is how you can join the Revolution of Love:
Socialize it!: Like this post. Share it on all the social media sites that you are a part of: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Circles, Squares, Triangles, TwitterGramsterBook, whatever you got! Clap for it, smiley at it, whack it, twist it, pull it… whatever new fan dangled way of digital sharing you can come up with, we are on-board and grateful.
Engage with it!: Comment on this post or in social media. Let’s get the dialog going. Be brave, be bold, be loving. They really can mix.
Follow it!: Follow us on Facebook, or on this website or down the street, or into a restaurant… (I hope they are opening soon).
Re-invent it!: Start your own version of this post. Say it in your own words. Maybe we missed something. Send us a copy so we can like it and share it. We don’t want fame. We want to see love and respect and peace and joy and creativity and freedoms flourish in America.
Politicize it!: Start a new political party. One based on reasonable, rational discussion and respect of all Americans. One that listens to all sides and acts on what makes sense, not what stirs up the most hate. I’ll vote on you!
Live it!: Most importantly, start loving again. Turn off the hate. Speak to your spouse, your kids, your parents. Listen to what they are struggling with. Offer to help and mean it. Branch out to your community if you have the time and resources. Serve one another. Build up one another. Share your faith, your dreams, your fears, and create an environment around you where people feel genuinely free to do the same. Organize a march for "Mutual Love and Respect". Invite people and police officers of all kinds to march in unity with one another over our shared humanity instead of marching against one another because of our differences.
That is what Matthew’s House is all about.