We tell our kids it isn’t very nice.
We have to teach them that words won’t hurt them (even though we know differently).
They are told in school that bullying is not just physical, it is verbal and psychological.
We tell them “to choose your words carefully.”
And yet, as I watch the political environment this year, I hear lots of name calling.
From all sides.
This side believes that side to be ______, and calls them names.
Sophisticated names; names that make the other side sound evil, divisive, non-tolerant.
Adults calling other adults names.
Quoting, misquoting, yelling, belittling…bullying.
It doesn’t stop with politics though.
I am a Steelers fan in Ravens territory.
I have attended games where I felt unsafe leaving the stadium.
Over football; a sporting event; at an entertainment venue.
People cursing, shouting, angry.
And it continues into other areas of my life.
Slowly seeping into my very soul.
What do I want to be called?
Child of God; joint heir with Christ.
But these words carry baggage too: hatred; bigot; closed minded; hypocrite.
Without knowing me, I am labeled.
By people I may never meet.
They judge me by association – my team association, my political association, my religious affiliation – each becomes a dirty word, a curse, a put-down.
What do I want to affirm in others?
Love of God.