Someone approached me yesterday and asked me why I had not been blogging lately. He said, "It's because you're running for office, isn't it?"
I chuckled and replied, "No, sir." I assured him that I am constantly thinking, writing and blogging, but that I don't always publish my thoughts.
However, as I departed the conversation, I was forced to self examine. Why hadn't I posted anything recently? There is so much going on in the world and I have loads to say about it all.
So why I hadn't I shared any of my thoughts as of late? Was I scared that my opinions would alienate some constituents or further enrage those who oppose my views? I hadn't really considered those notions, but once I was faced with the question, I began to think.
And what I discovered was that I really didn't have an answer. I was frustrated at myself as I looked at my list of unfinished, unpublished blogs and wondered why I hadn't followed through.
After all, early last week, I turned on the television and had the regrettable opportunity to listen to the Student Vice President from the University of Missouri. She expressed her disdain for our beloved freedom of speech and said that the 1st Amendment was responsible for “creating a hostile and unsafe learning environment.”
Yeah, seriously. That's what she said. That's what many on that campus and across our nation believe. Now, let's be clear: they only harbor those feelings toward the notion of freedom of speech when their hateful rhetoric is questioned and opposing speech is given an opportunity to be heard. Just ask them. It is the speech in opposition to their own that is harmful and hostile and unsafe. It isn't their words that are the problem, it's ours. *sigh*
Then, on Friday of last week, ISIS terrorists from Syria committed heinous acts of terror against innocent victims in Paris, France. Cowards, dressed in all black with bombs strapped to their bodies or assault rifles slung across their backs, massacred unarmed civilians. The global outrage was immediate. Millions of Facebook profile pictures changed to reflect the French flag and show the world's solidarity and support of the French people.
However, mere days later, before many of the victims were even buried, some conservatives in America faced ridicule and scorn when we voiced our opposition to an influx of Syria refugees into our nation. We're mean. We're hateful. We should be more tolerant and kinder and less, well, less mean.
And there, in those painful moments, as I listened to a young, ignorant woman criticize a precious American freedom that many in the world die for, and as I watched our Dear Leader look down his pompous nose at those of us more concerned with protecting our families, friends and way of life than appeasing a hostile international community, I was reminded of why I hadn't published a blog as of late: People.
You see, people are my problem. Well, wait, SOME people are THE problem. I can write and write and write and write and say tons of things and quote loads of facts, but some people, in their infinite deception and complete indifference, will choose to believe what they want to believe and hear what they are comfortable hearing.
Here's the problem:
SOME smart people lack wisdom.
SOME wise people lack charisma.
SOME charismatic people lack scruples.
And almost all people with scruples, morals, faith and principles are vilified and marginalized as judgmental, out of touch and intolerant.
We are a society deteriorating quickly. We are a people who have given up on the notion of conversation and adopted a spirit of protest and demonstration. What is right is wrong and what is wrong is right. People don't take part in constructive discussions any longer, they posture and self-promote. People don't listen, they react. People, from both sides of the aisle, from all backgrounds, think their thoughts are superior to the thoughts of those around them. People hear what they want to hear and only believe in the fulfillment of 1st Amendment when they possess the platform. If there is dissent, they resent and wish to restrict that precious American freedom.
In the past few months, things have gone on around me that I would have never thought possible in this world. I have witnessed things in my precious hometown, in my state and in my nation that have appalled me to my core. And because I know that fruitful conversation is simply not possible, I have made the choice to be silent.
I have decided not to dignify some of the heart-breaking occurrences by recognizing them. You see, if I write about it, I legitimatize it. If I address it, I make it appear important.
However, I believe, as an additional protection, the LORD has given me a good dose of writer's block. I believe He is showing me that some things of this world are simply not worth discussing. I believe He is teaching me that compromise isn't possible when there is no basic commonality. I see now that He is instructing me that healthy discussion isn't possible when one side is so completely unable and unwilling to hear anything that contradicts their absurd views.
There is no middle ground on abortion. It is murder, regardless of our law.
There is no middle ground on gay marriage. It is wrong, regardless of our law.
There is no middle ground on the 2nd Amendment. Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Mr. President, address mental illness and stop trying to disarm our population.
There is no middle ground on a strong national defense. It is necessary, regardless of who is the Commander in Chief.
There is no middle ground on supporting Israel. The nation of Israel is God's chosen people, that land, including Jerusalem, is theirs; and any nation who attacks, discredits or abandons them will face harsh judgment one day.
Sometimes in life, you simply have to pick a side. You have to decide what you stand for. You have to be willing to step up, stand strong and fight for what you know is right. Those moments don't mean that you are stubborn or indignant, they show that you are principled and confident. Those moments reflect your integrity. They define who you are.
Yes, gray areas exists. Yes, finding middle ground is possible. Compromise is necessary when you are facing issues and trying to resolve complex dilemmas. But sometimes, the lines are drawn. The choices are clear. And in those moments, leaders are made, failures are evident and national futures are determined.
As badly as this writer's block has sucked, it has given me an opportunity to step back and access things. And here's what I have determined: this world is jacked up. Very, very jacked up.
But there is still tremendous goodness. There are still more of us than there are of them.
We just need to find our voices. And then, we need to use them.