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Agree to Disagree

October 10, 2019

Leadership Notes

Several weeks ago, I wrote about reading books and articles by people with diverse viewpoints and backgrounds. For example, I recently finished a book on our marketing culture written by a professor who is both an atheist and evolutionary psychologist. It seems you usually find the one descriptive accompanies the other. I am challenged and energized by people whose views differ from mine.

There are some for whom that is a difficult task. For years now, I have seen, and even experienced, two kinds of behavior. One says that, even though we disagree, this is America, God Bless You, and even if I can't be close friends with you, "live long and prosper." In spite of our differences, I am always open to having a conversation over coffee or a cold beverage of the person's choice. I'll even buy. That is always a good thing.

On the other hand {there's always that pesky other hand}, there are those who will pillory someone with whom they disagree. For some people, if there's strong disagreement, whether over cultural issues or a political position or religious opinion, you must be knocked down a peg or two, publicly shamed, or even destroyed. Sadly, it happens. Social media is the

new soil upon which this noxious weed grows.

Enter Ellen DeGeneres and George W. Bush.

Last week, as the Dallas Cowboys struggled against the Packers of Green Bay, DeGeneres was shown in the owner's suite sitting next to Bush. And she looked happy. And he looked happy. They were laughing, sharing a moment together. *gasp* You could tell they have developed a friendship over the years. The former President even appeared to be nonplussed with the fact that DeGeneres was at the game with her partner, actress Portia de Rossi. Remember, this is a man who has formed a special bond with former First Lady Michelle Obama. How dare he {sarcasm front and center}. I love George W. Bush and Ellen DeGeneres for their example of kindness and grace.

Not to let a positive moment go unscathed, unhappy people everywhere attacked DeGeneres. Yikes. On her program, DeGeneres read one the positive tweets:

"Ellen and George Bush together makes me have faith in America again."

She went on to say, "Here's the thing: I'm friends with George Bush. In fact, I'm friends with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs I have. We're all different and I think we've forgotten that that's okay that we're all different…but just because I don't agree with someone on everything doesn't mean that I'm not going to be friends with them."

Here's a thought we inserted into last week's worship bulletin:

When I join an online conversation, I am conscious that I am doing so as a Christian, and thus a reflection of Christ in a particular way.

I think this is applicable not just in online conversation, but in all of our conversations. We Don't Have to Be in Complete Agreement in Order to Love Each Other as Christ Has Loved Us!

O How I Love the People of Covenant Church,


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