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WNIJ Perspectives
Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: #LoveYourNeighbor!

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Susan Stephens
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“It’s the end of the world as we know it! If the wrong side wins our upcoming election, there will be dictatorship, the end of democracy, and inevitably a Civil War!”

This is the media frenzy we live in right now.

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We exist in parallel realities, getting our news from media silos that reinforce our preconceived notions, with each side accusing the other of being “fake news.” How can we be one nation under God, when we can’t even agree on basic facts?

And I confess, I’m guilty of judging those who support a different candidate than I do. Walking around my neighborhood, when I see an opposing sign, I cringe and wonder, “How in the world can they support that guy? They must be really ignorant, uneducated, and blind!”

That’s a big part of our problem: The sense that our position and party are morally and intellectually superior. It’s not just that I’m right and you’re wrong; it’s that my side is righteous, and your side is evil. Name calling and dehumanization easily follow.

What if we pause and reconsider? Both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures exhort us to love God and to love our neighbors. They remind us of the sacred worth, the infinite, eternal value of each person.

To avoid civil war, to limit the acrimony, I believe we need to go back to the most basic command God gave us: Love one another!  Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

So regardless of our party and positions, let’s start each day during this election season with a commitment to each other as God’s children: #LoveYourNeighbor! (No exceptions!)

I’m Jonathan Crail, and that’s my perspective.