October 03, 2018
Being conservative is a dangerous business these days. Congressman Andy Harris (R-Md.) is the latest Republican to find that out, Capitol Police say. A clash over marijuana policy outside Dr. Harris's office turned violent when a group of protestors stormed into Harris's office and assaulted him. Huffington Post reporter Jennifer Bendery was there and tweeted that Congressman Harris was "trying to hold his office door closed but was not successful." The demonstrators, she insisted, "were smoking weed."
Across town, officials were busy investigating at least two packages of ricin that had been sent to Defense Secretary James Mattis and Admiral John Richardson. Even a pin-head amount of the poison, authorities say, can be deadly. Apparently, someone else had the same idea at the White House, where the U.S. Secret Service said Donald Trump received a "suspicious envelope" of its own. Republican Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) Houston office rounded out the scares, when a "white powdery substance" put the area on lockdown until authorities confirmed that it wasn't dangerous.
And elected officials aren't the only targets of this violent wave. Yesterday, University of Texas conservatives had pro-Kavanaugh signs ripped out of their hands at a rally and torn into pieces, while liberal students screamed profanity. Then, of course, there are the online threats, like transgender activist Emily Gorcenski, who asked on Twitter if everyone was going to "be down for a violent general strike" if Kavanaugh is confirmed. Followed by Smash Racism founder Mike Isaacson, who called on people to "to kill your local politicians before they kill you."
It's a world that seemed inconceivable just a few short years ago. Even under President Obama, one of the most divisive leaders in U.S. history, conservatives weren't bursting into congressional offices to hurt the Democrats they disagreed with. That's probably because we understand that democracy isn't supposed to work that way. You don't target and harass people to get what you want. Sure, you get involved and speak up -- but not as aggressively or as violently as we've seen from the other side.
By and large, I think that's because conservatives operate out of a general respect for everyone. We may not agree with people, but we don't reduce them to the sum total of their beliefs either. As Christians, we know that everyone has inherent value because they're created in the image of God. And whether or not liberals believe in that God doesn't make their worth any less real.
Obviously, emotions are running high right now -- but we can never lose sight of what's most important: that God so loved the world that He sent his only Son. I'm not saying we shouldn't be motivated politically. By all means, be passionate; be engaged. But remember that behind every issue are people who need a Savior. Never in my lifetime has that been more obvious than now.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.