Publisher's Point: Let’s meet in the middle

By Brian Whitmore

Today we celebrate the 242nd birthday of the United States.

If we want to be around another 200 years, we better find a way to get along.

What ever happened to compromise and middle ground?

Why is everything black or white, with no gray?

Why can’t we put ourselves in the other person’s shoes?

Where is the tolerance? Why, if someone disagrees with us, we deem them ignorant?

Why has extremism taken over?

On June 28, we had another shooting in America — this time at a newspaper, The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. Five people lost their lives.

The alleged shooter Jarrod Ramos had a beef with the paper.

We don’t know the whole story, but I do know that journalists in general are vilified and that’s sad, because they don’t just represent the people, they are the people. They have families, hopes and dreams, just like everybody else.

They may have an opposing view than you do. But shouldn’t that be OK? Don’t we all have that right? Why does an opposing view make you a villain?

I’m not going to pontificate my view, but express it on three areas of life where we’ve gone to the extreme.

Politics

What happened to moderates?

Today, it seems you are either extreme right or extreme left.

Presidential politics leads the trend, as President Obama swung us far left and President Trump swings us far right.

I remember when Democrats and Republicans could be moderate.

Moderate is a dirty word in politics these days, but I would consider a moderate as someone that can find compromise and balance between two extremes.

Everyone is not going to get their way, but can’t we come to the table and be civil.

Where is the give and take?

Religion

Yes, the two things you don’t talk about at parties are politics and religion.

Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship. But there are many different interpretations of Bible scripture.

That and the fact we can’t get along with each other is why there are so many churches and so many denominations.

Now most professing Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God, whose death on the cross and victory over death made atonement for our sins.

Once you start talking salvation things can get complicated. Did he die for everyone?  What was our role in salvation?

In my denomination (Southern Baptist) there is a dogmatic movement going against the grain of what most Baptist believe about salvation.

If you don’t believe like these “hypers,” well you must be headed for hell.

There is no give and take on Jesus, as the Way, the Truth and the Life. But I don’t think, as humans, we are suppose to understand everything about the miracle of salvation.

Can’t we get along?

Economics

I like to think of myself as middle class economically. Problem is there isn’t much of a middle class left in this country.

It’s either rich or poor. No middle ground.

Economics tends to separate us. I’ve learned that economics does play into social standing.

You can work your way up the corporate ladder, but if you don’t have the money or come from money, it will be hard to break the glass ceiling.

Final thoughts

As for me:

• I’m a conservative. (Yes, there are conservatives in journalism. I’d like to think our profession celebrates this diversity.)

• I believe Jesus Christ died and rose, so all people can accept His gift of salvation. I believe He allows us to accept or reject this gift.

• I worked my way up the ladder, but have a modest income and modest life. But I’m blessed.

I might not see the world the way you do, but I’m not going to vilify you for your beliefs. Please don’t condemn me for mine.

How about we live and let live?

Brian Whitmore is Publisher of The Clinton Chronicle.

My Clinton News

P.O. Box 180
513 North Broad St.
Clinton, SC 29325
Phone: (864) 833-1900
Fax: (864) 833-1902

 

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