Guest Column: Reality check — a local perspective

Note from the contributor, Michael Sears, of Rockford: “Please find attached an opinion that I read that echos my sentiments of the political world. I have taken liberties and edited this opinion to fit my personal life and opinions, but for the most part, is intact. The original writer is Erick Erickson, also known as Erick-Woods Erickson, who is a politically conservative blogger and editor-in-chief of the blog site” Editor’s note: Erickson’s original piece can be viewed at

When I discuss faith and views on gay marriage or abortion, people must think I am lying when I say I have friends who are gay, that some of my friends are pro-abortion and some are anti-abortion, and we get along just fine. They are wonderful people.

There are subjects I do not tackle with friends with whom I disagree because I value their friendship far more than I value my view on some subject that divides our ability to be friends. Sharing my faith is much more about being a good friend to someone, regardless of their faith or world view, than about being right in an argument or going to some beach in Mexico to hammer a nail or two in a hut and speak Jesusese to a total stranger.

The worst thing about America is the politicization of everything.

Why the hell must I pick a side in the George Zimmerman trial?  A 17-year-old boy is dead, and a man who was found not guilty of his murder, even though he was found not guilty by a jury of his peers, will never again be safe because so much outrage and so much politicization have been poured into the trial.  A 17-year-old is dead. Why am I forced to either cheer for the guy who took his life or support Trayvon Martin? Why should I decide on the guilt or innocence of George Zimmerman based on the outrage of people whose politics differ from mine? Why must a death and trial comport to a political world view?

While I tend to think the left is worse about it than the right (I’m sure liberals think otherwise), why must everything be so political? The president of the United States is a good father with a lovely wife, and I disagree with both on pretty much everything. But I do not hate them.

A lot of people on the left and the right hate each other for a lot of stuff that, in eternity, really won’t matter. And here is what I find most and what will offend many of you on the left and right — those of you whose lives are most connected to your online personality and bravado, your blog or your twitter account, regardless of which side of the aisle you are on, are some of the least well-adjusted and most malcontented people in the world. Consequently, you are at war at all times and dialed up to 12 on a 10-point scale of outrage about everything from a manipulated photo to a politician who really does want to save the life of a child who could survive outside the womb.

I’m sorry, but I can’t live my life constantly fixated on the political outrage of the day, and I can’t be outraged about every damn thing under the sun. I go out with friends and talk about stuff other than politics (try to, at least), I play with my grandkids, I love my wife, I cook and make some pretty darn good beer, I watch very little TV as the garbage that is called entertainment rots brains faster than a wriggle of maggots, don’t read as much as I should, and I try to focus on the good in a world filled with bad and evil some people do not even want to call evil because they might have to concede a political point.

I think the world is going to hell. But I believe in God the Father and in his son Jesus Christ and the second coming and a judgment and a final victory over death and sin and evil and a life everlasting where I will walk one day beside my very real Creator. The rest, it’s rather small potatoes in the eternal scheme of things. God is permanent, and politics and political coalitions are not.

I get why so many on the secular left, who don’t believe in a Heaven or a Hell, get so upset about certain things and want to politicize everything. To them, this life is all there is, and every advantage, in politics and culture, is fair game to get to the grave in first place.

But I just cannot understand why so many self-described conservatives are so angry so constantly that they get mad at the suggestion there is more to life than politics.

Truth is, there is more to life than politics. And while you and I can find things that outrage us, and they may be different things, to hell with you for being outraged that I’m not outraged about something that outrages you.

While you’re preparing to tell the world what a terrible person I am for disagreeing or not caring, in the actual real world that exists off the Internet, I’m going to go build a train with my 2-1/2-year-old grandson and fly it through the rings of Saturn before we sit down under the huge maple tree in my backyard to have a root beer float and maybe play a game of catch.

You should try it.

From the Aug. 7-13, 2013, issue

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