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Welcome, my friends! Welcome to the new normal! We seemingly have forgotten how to be civil, not just in our physical contact, but in our discourse as well. We Americans are so attached to our divided sides in matters now that we often take on the role of mob member and willing participant in our verbal, or even physical attacks on others. The mob decides who is right. The mob decides what is right. The mob with the weapons, the mob with the media exposure, the mob with the most judges, or the mob with the paid assemblage of thugs is always the victor. We used to discuss and even debate issues in this nation. We used to laud our nation’s protective stand for the precious and infinite value of free speech, varying opinion and the right to speak in direct contradiction to one another. We mostly did so civilly, without attack and without using the tools the mob uses to silence others. We used to value our electoral process and the correlating inherent philosophical differences which created at least two sides of the coin in the first place. But no more. We now bash the freedoms which made this nation something exceptional. If someone says or does something we don’t like, we want to silence them or shut them down! We take the very liberties which are God-given and impugn their existence in those with whom we have philosophical differences. We choose sides, only now the sides often have sticks, bats, clubs, aggressive networking tools, paid participants, and blood-lust agendas to enforce their side’s point of view, and to ultimately render silent or destroy any opposition.    

Our melting pot’s civility and desire for freedom’s preservation have always been our bulwark. We even allowed groups deemed highly offensive by the majority of our citizenry to share their voice as long as their voices weren’t the tip of a more brutal iceberg for inciting violence. But now, sadly, we have many citizens who cannot handle even the most mild-mannered voice if it represents dissent from their prevailing opinions. They assemble in mobs under the guise of peaceful protest to silence the speakers with whom they disagree. They destroy property, physically cause harm to other people, and breach their promise of civil protestation all to make their point. They desire such unanimous, non-diverse expression of opinion, that only their’s matters and so all others must be rendered unable to even speak! This forceful suppression is happening now on many college campuses, in many venues, and upon many streets in our once liberty-conscious nation. It is the growing trend towards mob rule in our neighborhoods, in our towns and cities, upon our college campuses and in our populace as a whole which threatens our Republic’s existence.   

It’s hard to watch the decline of my great nation by the hands and will of those who don’t actually value America for what we were and still are. It’s that willful abhorrence or apathetic ignorance as to America’s standards for maintaining liberty for all and preserving our inherent rights which are the catalysts for our destruction. We simply cannot exist in lawlessness, chaos, or by mob rule. We cannot accept civil disobedience, purposeful judicial or legislative abuses, and mob mentality as our normal construct. If we are to maintain our inherent freedom in this nation, we must agree to disagree without impunity. We must accept that there are voices, beliefs, opinions, and ways of doing things other than our own. We must not shut others down to give our own raised voice more importance, more distinction, or more credence. If we cannot agree, we at least must be civil in our disagreement. Most of us have had to accept that not everything will go our way all the time, and we don’t take to the streets punching others or destroying their property as a response to that! If we must disagree, then let our protests reflect our intellect, our ideas, and our ability to persuade rather than our desire to silence, to browbeat, or to brutalize others for who and what they are.  

It’s very difficult watching the demise of our exceptional nation through divisiveness because we are losing our ability to peacefully and willfully be different, unique, and to value the individual and all of our individual expression. Our nation is exceptional because it begins first with the individual, the inherent freedom to be a unique individual first and foremost. Our nation’s founders knew that no individual should be so constrained or modified in thought, word or deed by a governing body as to lose the freedom’s inherently bestowed to them by God. We must be law-abiding, civil, and desirous of that state of peacefully cohabitating this chunk of land known as the United States of America in our individual states of being. Otherwise, we become mobs of discordant, unruly, and dangerous unravelers of the very freedoms which weave this nation’s melting pot of citizens together! We must agree to disagree, we must look past our differences, and if we want to stand up for our own points of view, we must respectfully not endeavor to bully others, to beat them down, or to sue them into submission. We cannot accept another’s forced silence as our victory, as silence means we’ve rendered all perspectives and opinions but our own as null and void. That desire to submit others to ourselves is always a reflection of our own insecurity in who we are! We should securely tolerate and even encourage open discussions, criticisms, and even arguments knowing that to do so doesn’t take from us any measure of our self-respect, intellect or value. We must maintain our civility and respect for others while doing so, as that individual humility is necessary to maintain our collective national civility amid such diversity of personal culture, opinion, and behavior!

I pray each new day for civility to return to my nation. I pray for people to concede that political correctness and suppression of free speech are the poisons which are stripping our inherent, God-given freedom to believe, to think, to opine, and to behave as we believe and desire. And I pray that we each again choose to individually accept our share of personal responsibility for preserving freedom by also individually accepting the consequences of our personal choices in that regard. We only all prosper if we are able to be uniquely and individually ourselves in these United States. We only stand united through our civility, our lawfulness and our desire to preserve our Constitutionally-protected, God-given, inherent individual freedom. Mob rule has no place in our exceptional Republic comprised of individuals desirous of freedom and liberty! Peaceful protest is our nation’s birthright, but such protestors don’t throw stones, hide behind masks, accept payment for participating, or seek to physically bully others into submission! I’ll keep on praying.