Beating the Politics of Fear
One of my personal friends, who is also a great volunteer captain here at Fair Wisconsin, was telling me about a situation he encountered the other night. He was leading the first meeting of a new Action Network in Beaver Dam, a small rural city between Madison and Fond du Lac. Some of the folks were grappling with an issue—not whether they should vote no or yes, but rather they were fearful of being “public” about opposing the ban in their small community.
Fear is a common and expected human emotion and state of mind. Many people deal with fear about their beliefs all the time. Some straight allies are going to experience fear and reluctance to be a voice crying for fairness and respect for all people. It sets them apart from the rest of “normal” society.
The Apostle John, who wrote a gospel, Revelations, and three epistles, writes a moving and powerful passage (I John 4:7-21) on the love of God, our love for others, and love driving out fear. He wrote,
Love drives fear away. When we put our faith in action we are exercising the greatest love we have ever known. To my friend and those at that meeting, I can say, find the love you all have together and drive that fear away. To the rest of us, we can all join together in this love for one another that will dispel the fear and lead us to taking bold action.
Together in love, we can change hearts and minds, and fear will have lost its hold.
That’s how you beat the politics of fear and division.