Weekly Meanderings, 28 January 2017

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 10.25.39 AMThis is inexcusable and un-American:

A massive group of violent demonstrators spat on, assaulted and screamed obscenities at a Gold Star widow and sister Friday outside an inaugural ball honoring the military, one of the women told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday.

Amy Looney, who lost her husband Navy SEAL Lt. Brendan Looney in 2010, and Ryan Manion, whose brother Marine First Lt. Travis Manion died in 2007, said they were attacked as they tried to enter the American Legion’s tribute to Medal of Honor recipients at the Veterans Inaugural Ball.

“Unfortunately, as we got there we found ourselves separated from the rest of the group walking to the galas that night and were caught in between the entrance to the event and about 75 protesters that got very angry with us and really converged on us,” Manion said on “Fox & Friends.”

That’s when events quickly escalated.

“We were pushed by a man in a mask hiding his face,” Manion wrote in The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Our clothes were drawn on with permanent marker by other ‘protesters.’ And we were called the most vile names I have ever heard as we entered and exited the venue.”

This is too:

Chelsea Handler took a swipe at Melania Trump saying she wouldn’t interview the First Lady because “she can barely speak English.”

Perhaps the comedian, who does not hold a college degree, should do her research first. The First Lady speaks at least five languages, including English, French, Italian, German, and Slovene.

This isn’t the first time the “Chelsea” host has gone after Melania Trump’s accent. She shared several tweets over the course of the presidential campaign making fun of the First Lady.

Here’s a better way, by Shane Scott:

  1.  For every minute you listen to or read a pundit that you agree with, listen to or read a pundit you disagree with. If you watch Fox News, then flip over to MSNBC. If you listen to Sirius Progressive, then also listen to Sirius Patriot. If you read The Daily Kos, then check out Breitbart. Try to understand the arguments the other side makes. “Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude” (1 Peter 3:8, New Living Translation).
  2. For every assertion you make on social media, ask a question. This is the precise opposite of how most social media works. But if you decide to ask questions as often as you make assertions – with genuine interest in what those on the other side may say – you might learn something. You might even learn you have more in common than you think, and you will certainly be less quick-tempered. “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19).
  3. For every criticism you offer of some outrage on the other side of the political spectrum, make a criticism of some outrage on your own side. Don’t pretend that it is only those you disagree with who are cruel, dishonest, or vulgar. Human depravity being what it is, there is plenty to choose from on all sides. “First take the log out of your own eye” (Matthew  7:5).
  4. For every argument you have with someone on the other side, do something kind for someone on the other side. I’m not opposed to genuine debate – in fact, I think a good argument is a great thing for our democracy. But I don’t think it is healthy when our only interaction with those who hold different views is in the context of the clash of ideas. This inevitably dehumanizes those on the other side, reducing them to opponents rather than seeing them as people. Robust debate is great, but loving your neighbor as yourself is better. “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13).

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 12.29.16 PMComing in October — my commentary on Philemon! What an honor to work on this commentary and now see it come into existence.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.