A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words cause quarrels. A wise teacher makes learning a joy; a rebellious teacher spouts foolishness. The Lord is watching everywhere and keeps his eye on both the evil and the good. Gentle words cause life and health; griping brings discouragement. – Prov. 15:1-4 (TLB)
It’s hard to find a gentle answer in the midst of all the shouting. It comes with the territory these days. Those who disagree, particularly those on the left and in the progressive movement love to shout down dissenting opinions. All one has to do is look at the news reports of the Antifa movement. It’s ironic because the very definition of fascism is demonstrated by their actions. The continuing riots in Berkley, the desecration of statues across the country, the death threats sent to members of the media who dare to question the Antifa movement and even Hollywood actors (a la Ellen Pompeo and her desire to jettison those who are Trump supporters from watching Grey’s Anatomy) are attempting to silence dissenting opinions.
Gone are the days of agreeing to disagree. The fascist movement, perpetrated by Antifa and fueled by the media that encourages the narrative is dividing our already divided country. Instead of encouraging dialogue that could lead to a better understanding of divergent ideas, it is easier to shut down the discussion. They are using incendiary terms and violence to shut down those who disagree. There is no need to defend your position or convince anyone else you are right. That takes effort and is not always pleasant. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of educating going on. Not unless you count smacking people over the head with signs and poles. Osmosis by assault is not a good way to impart information, particularly to those on the receiving end of the “education.”
Once again, the Bible tells us the best method. Using calm and gentle words can bring about healing. Calm and gentle words can teach, enlighten and embolden those willing to hear. They, in turn, can spread that knowledge to others. That is how our nation begins to heal, our communities find ways to work together and our children inherit a world rich in diversity instead of dividing themselves off into their little worlds and rejecting others because they don’t agree.