April 21, 2020

Being a Christian in the time of labeling

I recently responded in this way to a post on a friends page that implied that all of these people protesting the lock down were sociopaths: “Granted it could be just sociopaths but I think it goes deeper than that. Are we raising generations of people who do not believe in caring for each other? Are we emphasizing to our children individual liberty without tempering that with social responsibility? There just can’t be that many sociopaths. They must be “carefully taught.”” (Okay so now I’ve taken to quoting myself.)

I have thought about this a lot lately and want to expand on what I said.

As a Christian it behooveth me to look at all people as God’s children.  Now granted, many of God’s children suffer from mental illness but are we becoming to quick to label people as having mental problems?  Is that becoming the easy way out for us? 

It is my belief that we, as a nation, have, for far too long been deficient in two areas of our process of educating our youth. 

First we tell them that this is a country of individual liberty without telling them that that liberty requires certain things of them.  We frequently ignore what it takes to implement the phrase in the Constitution when it states that it was ordained to “promote the general Welfare”. Promoting the general welfare often requires at times that we surrender part of our liberties so that others may have equal liberties to those that we enjoy.  In the past this happened, for instance, when men were drafted to fight in WWII. In this time of pandemic it is happening when first responders daily put their lives on the line for their fellow human beings.

Secondly we fail to educate them in the love of their fellow human beings.  We might call some of these lock down protesters “sociopaths” but can we honestly say that we, in this country, have done all that we could to help them to understand, no matter what their religion or even if they have none at all, that we are in this for the love of each other?  We are one body as a country.  Countries that live under democratic socialism of some kind recognize that their citizens are not rugged individuals living only for themselves but that everything they do is for the good of the body of people that make up their country. Perhaps we need to take a long hard look at ourselves and our country’s ethos before we take the easy way out and label people as being mentally ill.  As a Christian I am required to do this.

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