Because of COVID-19, loved ones have had to spend a lot of time together this past year. For this reason, it may be anti-climatic to have the holiday encourage more of the same.
That is not the case for the country, however. There is a genuine need for love and unity in America.
A big part of President Bidenĺs campaign ran on that concept because ôlove thy neighborö has been replaced by ôfear thy neighbor.ö There are serious divisions in our country that will take a long time to resolve.
Major cracks in our unity began to surface during the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements on the part of majority and minority youth. There was love in the streets, but a love for a different kind of vision for our nation.
Our country has always tended to move forward toward the promise of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The leadership of the founders, their descendants and the vibrant immigrant communities that settled the land from the east to the west provided the energy to move us toward that goal.
It is that leadership that began to be questioned in earnest again in the second half of the 20th Century. The country had changed and other voices demanded to be heard and included.
Much of this came from the fact that President Lincoln was assassinated before he could finished the job of closing down the Civil War. Being generous to the rebels in order to achieve peace and harmony quicker was only the first of two major contemplated undertakings. The other was the follow through on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery. Left largely undone, African Americans and other minorities were left dangling by those who chose to acquire and retain political power for themselves.
President Johnson led civil rights landmark 1964 legislation created in part a backlash by southern Democrats that decided to accept an invitation by the Republican Party to join the coalition that we see playing out in todayĺs Trump political reality. The power of that coalition is running its course as it is reaching into its lowest denominator seen by the inclusion of terrorists and their seditious acts designed to intimidate and rule by fear.
The appearance of the Confederate battle flag in the halls of Congress is an extreme expression of desperation by a ruling class that used to be. It is being gradually replaced by a new America hopefully more representative of its people and their goodness.
When Christ came into the world as a Jewish prince sent by God, he came with a message of love and grace. That message resonated so much that it created one of the great religions of world history.
Tony Bottagaro in his open letter to the world states: ôIt is time for all humanity, one by one, to cross over the bridge of separation into the awareness that we are, literally, one body, one being, one spirit. So that whatever we do to another we do to ourselves, for there is no other. There is only One. Therefore, as we cross the bridge of separation, we get closer and closer to a living expression of that undivided, unconditional and unstoppable love, the enduring solution to all of lifeĺs challenges and problems, global or personal.ö
Love as ôthe enduring solution to lifeĺs problemsö is a message most appropriate for our time and our condition. So, as we express our love to family and friends, think of our country too.