My favorite metaphor from Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity


Jon Stewart played video clips of cars merging before entering the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey.
"This is where we are, this is who we are: These cars. That’s a schoolteacher who probably thinks his taxes are too high; he’s going to work. There’s another car-a woman with two small kids who can’t really think about anything else right now. There’s another car, swinging, I don’t even know if you can see it - the lady’s in the NRA and she loves Oprah. There’s another car—an investment banker, gay, also likes Oprah. Another car’s a Latino carpenter. Another car a fundamentalist vacuum salesman. Atheist obstetrician. Mormon Jay-Z fan.
But this is us. Every one of the cars that you see is filled with individuals of strong belief and principles they hold dear - often principles and beliefs in direct opposition to their fellow travelers.
And yet these millions of cars must somehow find a way to squeeze one by one into a mile long thirty-foot wide tunnel carved underneath a mighty river. Carved, by the way, by people who I’m sure had their differences. And they do it. Concession by conscession. 
You go, then I’ll go. You go, then I’ll go. You go, then I’ll go. Oh my God! Is that an NRA sticker on your car? Is that an Obama sticker on your car? Uh, that’s okay. You go and then I’ll go.
And sure, at some point there will be a selfish jerk who zips up the shoulder and cuts in at the last minute, but that individual is rare and he is scorned and not hired as an analyst!
Because we know instinctively as a people that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light we have to work together. And the truth is, there will always be darkness. And sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land. Sometimes it’s just New Jersey.  
But we do it anyway.

Very nicely said.

I have an idea: Perhaps the greatest witness to the grace of love of Christ would be if Christians became the ones who modeled civility in public debates, refusing to caricature opponents, willing to listen as well as to speak, respectfully engaging in debates. Perhaps we can refuse to get caught up in the vitriol that has become the modus operandi of the cable news and radio networks.

Books for Christians to read on this subject:
The Case for Civility: And Why Our Future Depends on It by Os Guinness
Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World by Richard Mouw

1 comment:

Jake Belder said...

That's a great analogy. It's good to see major public figures taking a stab at the utter lack of respect and civility in American politics.