Set humor and sarcasm to "off." I struggle with this every day. When I got out of the Marines, I'd been so brutalized BY Blacks for 4 years that I was filled with hatred - a real candidate for the KKK. A string of miracles (that I used to call "coincidence") pulled me back from the edge of that pit. When I was finally able to get some distance from myself and see what I had almost become, it filled me with shame and regret. I never became what you'd call a pacifist, or anything close to that, but for the past 35 years or so, I have worked very, very hard at rooting out and exorcising the racism and hatred from my thinking and my character.
As the old saying goes, "God knows I'm not what I should be, but I thank God I'm not what I used to be."
In about the last 4 or 5 years, though, that old devil has regained a lot of lost ground. The Scriptures tell us that, "...there must needs be opposition in all things." If there is a love that transfigures and saves a man's soul, mustn't there also be the polar opposite of that love? I think this is one of the greatest tasks Heavenly Father has set us: to practice the one extreme while denying the other. For much of my life, this challenge has been beyond my ability - and vastly beyond my faith!
So I find myself in the position of having found an earthly love that is the greatest I've ever known. It has, literally, transfigured me and brought me to my knees in supplication that I might be worthy of the smallest part of it. The love of which I speak is what I feel for my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. (For those about to castigate me for calling them mine when they aren't - you're right. They are my step-children and grandchildren. But if you who bite from behind at the sinews of my heart had the faintest notion of the love that drives me, you might close your serpent's mouths, and wonder.)
The great love that has moved me so far demands that I do all I can to leave these precious ones a legacy - an inheritance - of the the best I have - the firstlings of my life, as it were. I have no money or worldly wealth to leave them. I have only honor and liberty. If they have these, they will find their own way to those other virtues: forbearance, charity, gratitude, humility, and all of those other traits that prove Mankind to be the child of our Father.
What do I see now? I see that honor attacked and ridiculed on all sides. I see that liberty thrown down and trampled under the feet of entities not worthy of the phlegm of those who gave it birth - who sewed the stripes of its banner with their muscle and bone, and dyed it with their blood. I see the liberty that ought to be guaranteed to my precious ones defiled and perverted with a wanton maliciousness that would make the demons of the pit hang their heads in shame. I see the future of my children squandered for cheap, ephemeral political glory and power.
I see the sacrifices of generations of men and women who shed oceans of sweat and blood to secure the liberty decreed by My Father in Heaven as the birthright of His children. And I see those sacrifices, not just disagreed with - not just pushed out of style - but kicked through the sewers of the vilest imaginations of the human mind.
Then the emotions that swamp this old scrapper's heart turn hard and hot, and I say things that I know are wrong, and think things that have no place in a Christian mind. I fight these things at the same time I'm fighting what gives them rise. Some days are better than others.
I ask you, though, my dear and gentle friends: do not think me so low and savage that I would feel these things because of a disagreement, or a difference of opinion.