‘On Speaking Out’

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

I find it a challenge to ‘speak out’ these days.  For example I wrote an article several years ago about my concerns regarding ‘Global Warming’.  The next week I received a heated note accusing me of being ‘political’.  In my heart of hearts I knew I wasn’t being ‘political’ (perhaps uniformed as to just how heated that topic can be) I was simply expressing a concern.  I read just this week that with the oceans heating up we could expect more ‘Hurricane Michael’ type of events. I hope they’re wrong…but what if they’re right.  That concerns me.  It is not political, just a concern.

I wanted to say more about the process of this nation when it comes to confirming Supreme Court Justice Nominees.  It has felt like whatever I might have said or have to say is so loaded with divisive emotion that it was best for me not to say anything.  So I have said very little.  Simply at this point let me say regardless of opinion with regards to the recent process of confirming Justice Brett Kavanaugh…the accusations of Christine Blasey Ford…the denials…the politics, etc.; the process has been an embarrassment for this country and for all human decency (and here’s the point…the preceding sentence could be interpreted to mean ‘Pro-Kavanaugh’ or ‘Anti-Kavanaugh’).  I find it a challenge to ‘speak out’ these days.

It is my perception that we live in a world of ‘filters’.  You have a ‘filter’ by which you hear and understand information.  I have a ‘filter’ by which I hear and understand information.  When those ‘filters’ are healthy and mature, chances are we know better how to assimilate and move with the information we receive.  But when those ‘filters’ are full of fear, anger, revenge, power mongering, distrust, etc. we never really quite appropriate the whole truth into our thinking and thus into and through our lives.  So what are we to do?

First, we must remember the words of the Apostle Paul “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).  Then note that “Jesus is never upset with sinners; he is only upset with people who do not think they are sinners!  Salvation is not sin perfectly avoided, as the ego would prefer; but in fact, salvation is sin turned on its head and used in our favor.  That is how transformative divine love is.” (Rohr, Falling Upward, Pp.60-61)

I’ll ask it again “So what are we to do?”  We are to approach each other and each issue with a question “What can I learn from this person, process or situation?”  This, I believe, puts us in a posture of lowering our biased ‘filters’ and moves us toward helpful truth.  This then creates a healthier environment for relationship with those like us and unlike us.  This relationship creates respect and trust…and then it becomes a welcome moment to ‘speak out’.  Maybe I’m naïve…but maybe I’m right.

 Always Thinking…


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