The extreme “Right” believes that everyone should be responsible for themselves. “Survival of the Fittest” could be their motto. They quickly forget any breaks anyone may have given them along the way. Don’t have money to buy food? Oh well … starve! Can’t get your medication? Not their problem either. Addicted to drugs? Good! If you overdose, there will be one less “moocher” taking their money. They offer no help, just a lot of “I told you so” to those who didn’t do things “their way.” This side is marked by accountability that lacks compassion.
Some say compromise is needed to find middle ground. This approach assumes that somewhere between the extremes lies the answer. I propose looking in a new direction. While “Left” and “Right” fight it out, perhaps our answer is not found somewhere in the middle, but “Up” … figuratively speaking. Look to God’s example for how to best help people. Offer help motived by unconditional love. Look to meet immediate needs, but also help people make good choices to ensure a brighter future for our whole world, one life at a time. This is the embodiment of The Salvation Army’s mission: “To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to meet human need in His name without discrimination.”
Lt. Jeff Brunelle is the pastor and commanding officer of The Salvation Army in Newburyport.