I’m just going to say it

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I hate the path our national discourse (if you can call it that) over abortion has taken. Not how it started. Not the current conclusion (if you can call it that). Not that one side ”won” or another side ”lost.”

What I hate is how we (the people) have engaged in it.

  • The fingerpointing,
  • the shaming,
  • the resort to violence,
  • the egregious behavior,
  • the righteous indignation,
  • the political posturing,
  • the disgusting delineation of right and wrong.

I don’t care if you’re culturally conservative or a bleeding heart liberal. I don’t care if you paint yourself in red or blue. I don’t care if you pray to God, Jesus, Buddha, or nothing at all. Hell, I don’t care if you’re a man, woman, or nonbinary.

We should all be ashamed on both sides of any metaphorical fence because we’ve waged an existential uncivil war over extremes that have done more destruction than any Supreme Court ruling can.

  • We’ve broken friendships.
  • We’ve destroyed families.
  • We’ve killed our own.
  • We’ve bastardized religious beliefs.
  • We’ve donned political missives as absolute truisms.

And we’ve done it all in the name of morality and at the expense of what it means to be what we should be:

  • listeners
  • empathizers
  • compromisers
  • bridge builders
  • good neighbors
  • individual thinkers
  • faithful servants
  • lovers

Disagreements are the hallmark of this country. I also happen to believe they are the hallmark of what it means to be humans living in communion with one another.

Yet somewhere at some time for some reason we scrapped any and all redeeming qualities we see in ourselves and others and traded them in for cheap wins.

Do any of these words make you uncomfortable? Are you wondering if I’m a Christian? Or whether I watch Rachel Maddow or Tucker Carlson for my news? Or if voted for Trump in either of the last two elections? Or whether I support or abhor what happened last January 6th?

If so, that’s the problem. I don’t care about these divisions and neither should you. They are social constructs we use to justify whatever it is we feel. And they are way too often used to define our feelings and subvert others in place of the hard work it takes to understand why we feel a certain way, why others might feel a different way, and ultimately what it is to live and do life with one another. And we do it often at costs that outweigh the objectives and contradict our very selves.

I would rather live by what unites us. We do ourselves an incredible injustice when we cherry pick morals and ascribe our identities and communities by them. We should value life and all parts of it — be it the beginning, middle, or end — equally and nothing less.

Whether you feel vindicated or violated by the recent Supreme Court ruling, the world moves on and only time is linear. The rules we write, the feelings we hold, the laws that govern us… they change direction all the time.

All we have is ourselves and the eternal optimism that anything is possible as long as time moves forward. Nothing else is as absolute as those two truths.

Hey, you win some and you lose some. Everything that happens in between should be life-giving, not life-taking. And if you think that’s a statement on my own beliefs on abortion, you are already missing the point.

I hope for grace, peace, and sincere love to wash over you. And that those around you are caught in the splash.

✏️ Handwritten by Geoff Graham on July 8, 2022

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