This is an opinion piece.

“You’re a liberal!” Someone once screamed this at me like a curse, which surprised me since I’ve never considered myself as being liberal or conservative. 

As most everyone in the South knows, being “a liberal” is equal to drinking tea without sugar — it’s just not considered southern. I recently learned that there’s something else people in the South believe to be true — being “a liberal” means people think you’re not a Christian. I had no idea that people thought this. I think it’s an unfortunate assumption, because I know several Democrats — who are usually considered liberal-leaning — who are Christians. 

Maybe they’re an exception to the rule, but the fact is, that assumption is incorrect.

Let me once again note, I do not consider myself a liberal nor a conservative. I do not claim to be Democrat nor Republican. I am trying to be an objective observer and call it like I see it. Also, for the record, I am a Christian.

As I have covered local news in Marshall County, I have witnessed that the most divisive topics are religion and politics. This fact isn’t surprising to anyone. But, I have never understood why people love to put themselves and others in categories then strap them with a label. Whether the category or label is true or not, why do we feel the need to segregate and throw around judgments? Maybe we’re too afraid  we’re more alike than we first thought, and maybe we’re scared of change. I don’t have the answers, but I do have a platform to pose questions.

Ask yourself this, would Jesus want us to use politics and religious denominations against each other like weapons? I think not. If you’re not a believer in Jesus, then ask yourself, is it logical or kind to use someone else’s beliefs against them to stain their character in others’ eyes? Again, I think not. 

Now more than ever, I believe it is time for us as a society to come together. We need to stop hurting ourselves and each other with snide comments, backhanded compliments and throwing daggers over political and religious views. We may never even get close to a utopia while on this earth, but why not strive to make the very best out of every moment we have while we’re here? Let’s elevate others instead of putting them down. Because after all, we are all here in this struggle to happily survive together. 

Nickie Simpson is a staff writer for The Reporter. She can be reached at nickie.simpson@sandmountainreporter.com.

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