Choosing which hand to hold

Okay, I think by now it’s pretty obvious that I have some definite opinions on religious liberty and justice for all.

I guess it boils down the simple truth that if we value and want to keep our freedoms, then we must fight for everyone else’s.

To me, that would just take some common sense and reasonable thinking.

clownHowever, judging the current political circus, and the poll numbers showing the mania following it, we have our work cut out for us in finding those who could fit the bill.

I firmly believe that the only way we can be defeated is by our own hand.

To a point, that is why terrorism is so counter intuitive to its supposed objective: those who are attacked tend to unify in defending precisely that which was the terrorist’s target.

I guess if they were smart, they’d just leave us alone and watch us over the next year as we ignite another civil war over who should and shouldn’t be the next president.

We could argue it to be a good thing that they aren’t that smart; sadly, however, neither are we.

So, in the spirit of common sense and reasonable thinking (at least as reasonable as I am capable of), let’s identify some ground rules as we move forward:

check3Don’t be offended by someone who disagrees with your views, even those beliefs that are tender and precious.

There will always be someone who disagrees with you. It doesn’t in any way diminish or negate what you believe unless you allow it to. It’s simply a waste of time trying to “prove” your point to others so that they agree with you.

Those who are truly comfortable with their choices don’t feel the need to be defensive about them; rather, they will defend them with every kind action they take.

check3Don’t demand to exercise ALL of your rights, just because you have the right to.

Just because it is my right to refuse you, or object to you, or protest you, doesn’t mean that I have to do it. We should openly exercise our rights when it is the right thing to do. Think of the clergy who protested funerals of gay military.

It’s literally impossible for everyone to have ALL of their rights at ALL times. Some of your rights may conflict with some of my rights. We are simply too diverse with too many combinations of ingredients being tossed in the pot for each ingredient to remain separate. With respect and give and take, we find that the differences can meld together and make something pretty wonderful and tasteful for all.

check3Don’t be so quick to demand justice, nor too slow to grant mercy.

Life isn’t fair. But in truth, therein lies much of its beauty.

When we were kids we carefully counted out the number of cookies for each friend, making sure that we each had the same. If you were like me, you grabbed the biggest first and then doled out the smaller ones.

Thankfully as adults, we grow to appreciate the satisfaction of giving from our pile to that of another.

You know, needs vs. wants.

check3Take confidence in your beliefs, even if they are in the embryo stage. It is your privilege to know truth for yourself.

Your beliefs are your own. Over time, they become the foundation that gets us through all of the ups and downs that life throws our way.

But in the beginning, they can be pretty fragile. One part of religious liberty is that you truly do get to choose for yourself.

The other part is taking the responsibility to do so.

check3Take your clenched fists out of your pockets and extend an open hand around you.

The brutal truth is that we will never make a difference with our lives if they aren’t entwined in the betterment of other’s lives. Safety comes when we hold hands of those who believe the same; growth comes when we hold hands with those who don’t.

We need both to truly become who we are.  

check3Choose wisely whose hand you grab onto for strength.

I think this may be the most important. In the end there are only two hands to choose from: one is vapor, the other granite.

Once you’ve latched on, never let go.

Savior

 (Source: LDS Media Library)

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