No one was hurt, but yesterday morning's news that suspicious packages had been found at the addresses of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, CNN headquarters, and others was no less shocking. The idea that there could be more violence, more threats, more outbursts than we've already witnessed this election cycle is more than most Americans can bear. Now, two weeks out from midterm elections that stand to divide the country even more, most people want to know: when can we get back to being one nation again?
For weeks, we've watched tensions on both sides boil over, threatening our way of life and our political process. This is, very honestly, a dangerous time for us as a nation. When people live in fear simply for holding certain beliefs – we've lost sight of what it means to be American. What happened yesterday is horrifying, but it's also an opportunity – if we take it – for some honest soul-searching. We may have our differences and there is certainly room for disagreement and debate in our Republic – in fact, that ability is what enables our experiment in self-government to work. But what there's no room for and what we can't tolerate is the terrorizing of our political opponents.
We all need to work to shut the door that leads to violence. And that starts by finding a way to communicate. Not by shouting at each other, but by starting to talk to one another. Obviously, feelings and emotions are running high. But 13 days before an election, we need to look at this from an eternal perspective – recognizing that the help we're seeking isn't in Washington. It's in the hope and healing offered through faith in God – the same faith that's sustained our nation for two and a half centuries in days much darker than this one. It's time to turn our attention there, to the One who reconciles – regardless of color, age, party, or beliefs.
President Trump promised that “The safety of the American people is my highest and absolute priority.” But there's a part we all have to play. As he said, “In these times, we have to unify, we have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.”
The path forward is a civil one. We continue to pray that people on both sides will choose it. Most importantly, we lift up our nation, which desperately needs God's healing touch if we have any hope of rediscovering the mutual respect that makes America great. May the Lord help us to be reflective as a people about what's at stake and seek His hand as we navigate these difficult waters.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.