The "Demonization" of the "Other Side"

Vilifying the Other SideI was flipping through the TV channels a couple of weeks ago and accidentally landed on a news station. I stayed. Shame on me. This particular network was airing a 30-minute program about one U.S. political party that was claiming the other political party’s ideas and agendas were like Hitler’s. The anchors and reporters were refuting those claims by attempting to prove how, in fact, the first party’s thoughts and plans were actually more like those of Hitler.

The “demonization” of the other side is a disease that’s taking over the entire world.

And it’s killing us.

It happens in this country’s politics. It happens in our social settings. And it happens in our religious life. If we don’t see exactly eye-to-eye with somebody on something — anything — we have a real tendency to vilify that person from head to toe. That person is evil. That person is bad. That group is wrong. Through and through. There’s nothing good or redeemable about that person or that group of people because we have these one or two disagreements.

All conversation stops. All outreach stops. Love stops.

And it’s killing us.

I don’t have to actually talk to you because I know we disagree about this one thing. I’ve already labeled you as bad. You have this one certain viewpoint so I already know exactly where you and exactly where you’re going. Why would I spend any time or effort to get to know you?

Talk radio and talk TV are increasingly about this attitude now. Every other channel or station, every other show host and program, yelling and arguing, demonizing and vilifying the other side. It’s not just accepted as standard behavior or the expected response, it’s being promoted as virtuous!

You’re not involved in any of that, are you?

May we be a people who receive one another as Christ receives us, who forgive others as we’ve been forgiven by God, and who love God and others as fearlessly and unconditionally as he loves us.

Peace,

Allan

4 Comments

  1. Rob's Dad

    Randy Harris expands on this in his book God Works. I’m about halfway through and he makes some really good points.

  2. Allan

    You wanna share any of those good points with us or are you getting a kickback on Harris’ books?
    God Works is on my short list of books to purchase and read before Easter. It’ll happen in the next couple of weeks.

  3. Rob's Dad

    just teaasing a segment for Sunday. I am also issuing a failed bit warning – definite e-brake material

  4. Trey

    Allan–I’m a new reader of your blog, new as in 15 minutes ago when your blog came up under a Google search for Jenny Biz.

    I heartily agree with your assessment, and it’s a big reason why many in my generation (X) and younger are increasingly skeptical of standing for anything at all. It’s not as if we’ve had many good role models for genuine discussion and honest consideration of another’s point of view.

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