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WATCH: What the Native/MAGA Confrontation Tells Us

This needs to be said.  Like many of you, I saw the first video clips that came out and were run repeatedly by mainstream media: a lone Native man, who turned out to be a decorated war veteran for this country, appeared to have his peaceful demonstration interrupted by a crowd of rambunctious teenage boys attending the March for Life.  One of the teens seemed to be trying to intimidate the man by staring at him with a sarcastic smirk on his face.

I watched the same media that had been doing all it could to avoid covering the annual March for Life, finally finding reason to pay it some attention.  Reports of these boys chanting “Build the Wall” – an odd message to be shouting at a Native American in the first place – began to make the rounds, along with challenges from social justice spokesmen to look up to and model the dignity and stoic courage of this lone Native named Nathan Phillips.  “His name is Nathan Phillips. Know it. Repeat it,” they said.

Then I saw more video – video that showed the already rambunctious boys not surrounding Mr. Phillips, but instead being approached by Phillips who walked over to intentionally initiate a confrontation with them.  I watched video of Phillip’s fellow demonstrators cursing at the boys, telling them to go back to Europe. 

Worse yet, I saw one of the Catholic boys, who was black, being called the N-word by other protestors.  And if that racist epithet wasn’t enough, still others began using homophobic terms to attack the boys.

And with as depressing as the videos were – from every direction – the responses from our entrenched political clans was even worse.  Suggestions that the Catholic boys were morally equivalent to Hitler Youth, deserving of physical abuse, or that they should have been aborted themselves surfaced.  Online mobs felt justified and triumphant in doxing teenage boys and their families, despite knowing that on the same thread there were those who could use that information for terrible purposes.

And observing all of this for the last couple days, here’s what became crystal clear to me: we hate each other.  Forget our economic woes, our border battles, leave aside our differences over taxes, schools, or transgenderism.  Put away any fear of the Russians or the radical Islamists.  None of those things – none of them – are as serious of a threat to our civilization’s survival as the fact that we hate each other.

Hate is what has us rushing to our tribes.  Hate is what has us assuming the worst of anyone who has different beliefs than us.  Hate is what has us wishing ill upon people.  Hate is what keeps us from listening and actually trying to hear the reasons someone else has a different perspective. 

We are quick to turn on one another, quick to mock, quick to incite, quick to attack.  We rush to our keyboards and fire off hate-filled generalizations that we pretend explain everything.  It gives us a feeling of superiority to try to make others feel inferior.

We won’t survive this hatred.   And the old solutions, things like, “get off social media and start talking to your neighbors,” “stop paying attention to the people who stoke the division,” and, “force yourself to follow and read people who you don’t agree with” aren’t going to cut it.  They’re too little, too late.

So it is hopeless?  I’ve never been so convinced it is, so long as we continue treating this as political division, or cultural war.  This can’t be solved by uniting around the flag or our common values because the problem is deeper than that.  Hatred is deeper than that.  It’s not a political phenomenon, it’s a spiritual one.  We have rejected the things of God, and He has obliged by turning us over to our own hatred for one another.

The spirit of reconciliation is not a work of man.  It’s a gift of God.  And we only receive it from Him when we’re desperate enough to want it, and humble enough to seek it.  I am.  And I’m praying every day that you are too.

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