Publisher: Don’t force opinions – live and let live

By Brian Whitmore/Publisher
 
Live and let live.
That’s what my father taught me.
Tolerate others opinions, so they will tolerate your own.
But the world is increasingly more divided with each day.
I myself just want to be left alone. I believe most people want to be left alone.
Yet, some want to control others. They want to stir the pot. They are always negative — narcissists that get their kicks from aggravating others.
Live and let live. Can we get back to that? Is the Golden Rule — treat others like you want to be treated — a lost cause?
I hope not. I pray that God allows me to respond in mercy and grace in all situations.
Now I’m human and fail in this pursuit every day, but continue to strive to be more Christ-like.
On this opinion page, I share my Christian and conservative worldview.
I want everyone to come to Christ, but don’t force my faith on anyone. As a fiscal and social conservative, I wish we could get the Reagan years back, but I don’t expect you to want that.
I don’t expect your thoughts to be a clone of mine on today’s most divisive issues:
Take a knee
• I will not kneel to any person, ideology or government. I will only kneel to God.
• I will stand and salute the flag of the United States — one nation under God.
• Kneel in prayer — I’ll do that. You know most sports have a moment of silence. That would be the perfect time to kneel together in prayer.
Not divided, united
• African Americans are my brothers and sisters in Christ. We are united in Christ. What if we stopped tearing up our cities to make a point and just take a knee together and pray? Some don’t think prayer is enough, but I’m living proof that it works.
• I respect other cultures, I’d like others to respect mine (Southern - rural living).
We Southerners, we country folks, don’t always get it right, but I’m proud to live in Dixie.
I hate the sins of our past, but they don’t define our present and future. We’ve learned from our mistakes and our better today for it.
• Systemic racism is the idea that African Americans are disadvantaged across the board. President Barack Obama shows us that regardless of color, you can  lead the free world.
I believe poverty, something that affects both blacks and whites, is the real issue and that’s what must be changed. Our class system based on wealth is where the playing field needs to be leveled.
COVID-19
• I believe you should wear a mask because you are a good neighbor, not because you are forced too.
• I respect the decision of businesses, governments, schools and churches on COVID.
- If a business wants me to wear a mask, I’ll wear a mask.
- If government holds a festival, I can choose to go or stay away.
- If schools are open, my child will be there. If they are closed, she’ll be online. Don’t like schools opening, take the virtual option and don’t worry about what others are doing.
- Some churches are online and others are in-person. After two months of virtual church, I had to get my family back to in-person worship. I’ll do what is right by my family and you do what is right by your family.
• I want the economy to stay open. I want to make a living, not take a handout. I’ll wear a mask to make that happen.
Don’t feel comfortable going to work? Find a remote position. My wife was recently faced with this dilemma – we prayed, she got her resume out and will start a new job that better fits our family in the new normal.
We may not want to change jobs, but we all have the option to fit our circumstances.
Socialism
Socialism in our country today is just communism rebranded. It will erode our freedoms. Capitalism might not be perfect, but it’s the best system we’ve got. Poverty can be addressed in a Capitalist society.
Conclusion
Now you might not see the world the way I do. That’s OK. I will not force you to see the world my way. You don’t force me to see the world like you.
You say, “Who is forcing you?” When we’re burning cities, mandating masks and cutting power to churches — I’d call that forcing.
It is when we force our will on others that problems arise and lines have to be drawn. Example: Abortion. One person’s right to choose, affects another’s right to live. In the vast majority of cases, adoption is the best choice for all involved.
If each side has a choice, we can get along just fine. We can live and let live. We can think different.
 
Brian Whitmore is the publisher of The Chronicle. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Chronicle. Whitmore can be reached at publisher@clintonchronicle.net
 

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