As I listened, I couldn't help but think back to October of 2017, and the sermon that I preached immediately following the Las Vegas shooting. ...
At 15:00 minutes, I say, "If you listen to how the conversation is framed, you would think there are only two possible ways to think about it - either 'no guns for no people' or 'all guns for all people.' That’s the way our 'national conversation' has been discussed. But it is just not true! It isn’t reality!"
I also published a blog post with the full text of that sermon - Click this.
In that sermon last October I posed the following question: "Who is framing the conversation that way? Maybe that’s where we need to spend some time and energy. Who benefits from keeping us at each other’s throats over issues that aren’t really issues in the first place? That is where the power resides, after all. And they stay hidden, under the surface, in the shadows."
Now, I am not claiming any kind of prophetic insight, but there is a resonance that cannot be ignored.
And of course, the more important point to make here is this - We have to get smarter.
When it comes to discussion and debate about public policy, there will naturally be disagreement on what is the best way forward. But we cannot allow the hidden powerful elite to define the conversation for us. That has to stop.
We have to get smarter about how we speak with one another about contentious issues.
We have to get smarter about who is truly holding the power in our nation, and what is actually at stake here.
We have to get smarter about fixing the gun crisis in America.
We have to get smarter about what the vast majority of us believe are the core values of our nation.
I started this blog (oh so many) years ago with the premise that "The Conversation Matters," an idea I flat-out stole from the title of a book by Hal Knight and Don Saliers. I still believe that. The conversation matters. HOW we talk to each other is just as important as what we say.
And we are failing miserably at HOW we are talking to each other. That is, if we are talking to each other at all. We seemed to have recused ourselves from any responsibility for framing the conversation, and are just allowing that work to be done for us, by strangers we will never meet.
Honesty, integrity, humility, and compassion are in short supply these days - they have been stolen from us. It's time to take them back. We have to get smarter.