When Rancor Enters the House

My husband, Tom, writes editorials that appear in newspapers across the state. Recently he wrote two columns dealing with racial reckoning. I read them before they were published. I give thanks for the justice journey my husband is on. He is using his voice to speak truth into the racism that has permeated our nation since the 17th century.

Tom’s awakening, however, has been met in ugly ways that make their way into our house – through the mailbox and the inbox. I have read his mail. Not only is a lot of it sickening, it is saddening, grievously saddening. What are we coming to?

The responses he has gotten go far beyond healthy debate on issues. They are accusatory, demeaning, calling him a Marxist, calling him anti-American, accusing him of being a socialist. Usually people know us before they hate us. Pre-formed talking points amplify the hate-full echo chamber that surrounds so much that is going on today.

I can turn the radio off. I can turn television off. If I hear one more time….”you Democrats” or “you Republicans,” I will vomit. Party names have become slurs. There is no civility across the spectrum. But usually the ugliness is out there, not in here. It feels so dirty in the house.

So interesting to me that the pandemic has made me realize some things. First, how precious life is. Second, I can live a more sheltered, cloistered life and be perfectly fine with it. I have remembered prayer without ceasing and thanksgiving for all creation. I am happy with a small life. Then we open the mail.

One thing both Tom and I have decided. We will work for justice and equity. The naysayers, deniers, conspiracy theorists, and white supremacists will live with whatever consequences their words evoke. As for me and my house, we will love God and neighbor and speak truth with love. Bring it on, people. I will add your names to my growing prayer list. God save us all.

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