… polite, courteous, respectful, honorable, caring … great.

I was looking at a Facebook post earlier this week and noticed how hateful the comments were, not only toward the post itself, but also toward the commenting members.

Every comment was ugly, slanderous and hateful, many of which were not even about the original post, but personal attacks between the commenters.

How have we gotten so far from center that we don’t mind publicly slamming each other?

Many of these comments were things that people may never say to each other in person, but there seems to be no hesitation to type hateful words and hit send.

When did we lose the ability to engage in productive discussion? It seems to have happened overnight.

This Nation was founded by individuals of various nationalities and backgrounds that got together to form a new union. These individuals stood together during the amazingly difficult time of the American Revolution (the 1776 Revolution, that is).

America stood together through two World Wars. These are among the times that America was great.

Highly advanced, educated societies are expected to be mature enough to respect the differences of others, and have the maturity to agree to disagree without losing all sense of moral direction. Does it seem to you that all civility has vanished from the world?

While advances in technology were likely intended to improve and advance our lives, the opposite has been the case. Instead, technology has become a way to bash each other without any semblance of conscience.

If it were not for legal consequences, I am sure many more people would resort to violence in support of their opinions, regardless of whether those opinions are grounded in fact.

What made America great was the Biblical basis underlying the forming of this Nation. Having rights has never given us the freedom to lose all respect for one another.

Does our freedom of speech include the freedom to bash one another with impunity? Why is it so important for our individual opinions to be heard at the expense, or harm of others, that we are willing to forfeit our relationships as fellow Americans?

Perhaps one of the great theological teams of the mid-twentieth century, The Beatles, may have said it best: “All you need is love.” St. Paul put it this way: “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.” (1 Cor. 13:4-6, NRSV)

Add to that the words of 1 John 4:8: “Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (NRSV)

What would make America great again? Only Jesus. Know Jesus, know peace. No Jesus, no peace.

Join us at St. Andrew’s Sundays at 10 a.m., and on KWXC 88.9FM Thursdays at noon and Saturdays at 5 p.m.

Blessings and Peace to you,

Fr. David+

Rev. Dr. David Bridges is the pastor at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Grove. He can be reached at frdavid@standrewsgrove.org.