The World Is Watching: America's Change In One Week

Saturday, June 27, 2015

I feel as though America has changed over night.

It's the same feeling I had when I first returned home after being away at college for a year.  Things change.  Dynamics shift.  Suddenly, my sister was used to being the oldest child and yet I was more than ready to acclimate back into my understanding of our family relationships.  But once you move forward, you never really backtrack.

So here I am traipsing across England, seeing sights that continue to astound me and open my eyes, when back home everything is happening all at once.  I look up one day to realize that, within a week, my country has been reshaped.

Washington Post, PC
Obamacare has been declared here to stay.

There is the debate over the Confederate flag following the tragedy in Charleston.

The Supreme Court has ruled that gay couples can marry in all 50 states.

Three issues.  Three flags have been redefined — Confederate flag, Gay Pride and the American stars and stripes.


CNN, PC
This is not a political blog. I am not an expert, nor do I claim to be.  There are so many strong voices advocating for issues, pushing for responses, lashing out with victory or hatred.  We have such an opportunity for the wrong response — when our real reaction should be one of respect.

I'm sure you already have your opinions. I'm not here to challenge them, because, quite frankly, my ideas are still being formed.  But I do have a few questions I hope you ponder.  Please feel free to comment with your responses, because I'd love to hear from you.

Are these really federal issues?

Are we okay with the fact that the Supreme Court has arguably the most power in America?  And that they're not elected?  They're nine people appointed to make the most significant changes to policy.

What will this mean for Christian institutions? If they continue to hold to certain values, what will this mean when they uphold beliefs that can now be deemed "unconstitutional"?

For those who have faced discrimination, either racially, socially or sexually, in our country, I rejoice with you now in this significant week.  For those who now face greater discrimination in the face of potential backlash and ramifications, I feel concerned with you.

For many this is the end of a long battle.  But I only see another one brewing.  And watching this all from abroad, hearing the commentary from the locals, has only nuanced my view.

***

This week, we're staying in a small fishing village in Devonshire, the southern part of England.  At church on Sunday, an elderly man came up to me and began chatting.

"American, eh?" he said, cup of tea in hand.  "There's been a lot of things going on in America, I see. Very interesting. Race issues and everything."

We got into a discussion on civil rights and he recounted his experiences in the 1960s as a young British man.  His perceptions of racial issues in America was fascinating, since he played the role of a social onlooker.  In his opinion, American current events are marked by polarity and extremism, whereas similar issues in Britain happen more smoothly and with less controversy.

I have also been discussing the social issues with Beth, the barista at the local coffee shop.  As I was writing this, she came up to me and said, "So gay marriage being legalized in America — that's so fantastic isn't it?"

I began to talk with her more about the process of the judicial system, explaining about the Supreme Court and federal vs. state law.  She was amazed by the legal differences between Britain and America, especially given the fact that they are several steps ahead of us.

The world is watching.

These issues will change the way that America is perceived in the broader world.

They will change how Christians are viewed — so how will we respond?

-Ciera

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3 comments

  1. This, like all of your posts, is very well written. You ask some really good questions. I would like to hear your opinion on the answers to some of these questions.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Tim! I may perhaps share more thoughts in the future, but this was it for now. Thanks for reading :)

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    2. Yeah, I just saw the Facebook post. Thanks again for sharing!

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