Civil Discussions

He looked across the burgers and fries and said, “You were always interested in politics, weren’t you? I assume that you are a Trump supporter.”

We hadn’t talked for many years. And even though I am a midwestern white male, he assumed wrongly.

He explained why he likes Trump, why he’s doing a good job, why he thinks God put him in the White House. It’s politics. I believe politics is 95% emotion these days with about 5% rationality that is used to justify emotions. So, I accept his arguments–for him. I shared what I observe.

We departed on friendly terms as always.

It is possible. But you must tame your emotions.

That is part of what James, the letter writer who was accepted into the New Testament, meant when he talked about taming the tongue. You let your inside emotions get all worked up. They spill over into your tongue and out through your mouth. And they are out in the open.

I’ve seen the effect in small ways and large. I’ve been the cause many times in my life–for which I am often convicted in guilt when the incidents pop into active memory at odd times.

A corollary that James never imagined is that the tongue can be diverted to your fingertips and flow out into Facebook or Twitter.

Same thing. The words are out there. In this case preserved forever. And used by Facebook to send you messages reinforcing you momentary prejudice. That becomes all you see. You may even begin thinking the whole world agrees with you.

Guess what? They don’t.

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