Assumption of Decency

When I introduced this blog, I said I would surely stay away from politics and organized religion as topics. Never say never. Today, I need to rant a little because there’s just way too much animosity in the air right now.

There are ongoing standoffs in congress. Republicans and Democrats regularly attack one another. The Republican presidential candidates are running attack ads against each other. Now the president wants to destroy the Catholic Church or maybe organized religion altogether.  Bitterness abounds.

In my opinion, what’s missing in our discourse is an assumption of decency. Are our leaders malevolent, or might they possibly be well-meaning but misguided?  Is the motive power-grabbing or are they trying to solve problems by pressing for the solutions they believe will be most beneficial?  Whichever side you’re on.

Why can’t we agree to disagree?  When did compromise become a dirty word?  Our nation is a rich tapestry made stronger by diversity of thought and tradition. Different ideas are opportunities for growth, not character flaws. When it comes to political or religious ideology, how is it every person and group confidently claims the corner on Truth?

Recently, I have been enjoying a new Dierks Bentley song called “Home.”  The song pays tribute to the beauty of this country in spite of its scars.  In particular, this part really speaks to me:

Free, nothing feels like free
Though it sometimes means we don’t get along
‘Cause same, no we’re not the same
But that’s what makes us strong.

From the mountains high
To the wave-crashed coast
There’s a way to find
Better days I know.

It’s been a long hard ride
Got a ways to go
but this is still the place
That we all call home.

The message is refreshing in this era of rampant discord. Maybe moving forward with an assumption of decency could be a first step to get beyond the bitterness. There are a lot of challenges we face, but if we could address them with a respect for one another and our differences, we might just begin to make progress.


“Home,” was written by Dan Wilson, Brett Beavers, and Dierks Bentley and is featured on the recently released Dierks Bentley album by the same name.

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