You don’t have to always agree on her stance to appreciate her impact on our country, especially for women. Ruth Bader Ginsberg said, “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.” Her opinions gave voice to women in our country deserving equal rights along with equal opportunities.
I know I don’t usually talk politics but may I share what RBG represents to me? Included in my book, Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion, is a story about a college student who said she couldn’t be friends with someone who believed there should be a wall. “I burst out laughing. ‘That’s bull, I said. Look at Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Antonin Scalia! They couldn’t have been farther apart in their political views, and yet they were lifelong friends who enjoyed family vacations together. You couldn’t be friends with someone with a different view on how to run the country? Do you realize how narrow-minded and petty that view is?” (p.55) Surely, we can be bigger than this.
David French summed it up for me in his recent tweet, “I hope and pray that the passings of Justice Scalia and now Justice Ginsburg don’t also herald the end of an era they modeled in their own relationship – when deep friendship could flourish across profound disagreements.” RBG represented strong belief coupled with a gracious lifestyle.
I know how difficult it is when our political views are bound with what we consider morally true. Many of us feel we are defending the moral rights of humanity with our politics. RBG gripped impassioned morals in her political stance and yet she didn’t allow it to be a defense for isolationism or hostility. I question a sense of morality that promotes behavior contrary to basic human kindness.
The Psalmist wrote, “My soul has dwelt too long with one who hates peace. I am for peace; But when I speak, they are for war.” (Psalm 120:6,7) We are entering a contentious season for our country. Are you for peace, dear Christian? Are you a person of peace? (The Hebrew word for peace is shalom, meaning wholeness, peace, harmony, wellbeing) Or are you for war- for discord, variance, strife, and quarreling? Are you bent on continual hostility? I know kind and gracious Christians who contort into angry, snarling beasts on Facebook.
In this election season, I am committed to RBG-style “deep friendship that flourishes across profound disagreements.” No matter which side of the aisle, I am bound to the human right and dignity of every person I encounter. I am creating cultures all around me—in my home, my church, the grocery store, work, and social media—full of honor, love, and compassion. How are you creating a loving environment in your circles of influence? Please share your methods of bringing peaceful, healthy discourse.
You can find my book, Gracious Living, at www.margaretallen.org or anywhere books are sold.