Charlottesville, Virginia and The ‘Most People’ Rule

We can disagree on statues and monuments to the Civil War without re-fighting it.

But it’s important to remember something as we hear the news bulletins and overheated rhetoric from all sides in Charlottesville.

Yes, there were some people demonstrating. Some people preaching hate. Some people destroying. Some people threatening. Some people attacking.

Let’s remember, however, that while some people made the news, most people did not.

I call it the “most people” rule, and it’s handy to keep around in places like Charlottesville and times like these.

Most people in Charlottesville on Saturday went about their business.

Went shopping for back to school clothes.

Watered their lawns.

Waved to a neighbor.

Most people who are in favor of preserving old monuments did regular-people things.

Most people who are in favor of taking down old monuments did regular-people things.

Some people made the news for the way they acted.

But most people acted the way they always act. Treated their fellow man the way they always do.

When I sat in church at St. Mark’s Saturday afternoon, I realized that we’d all heard the news from Virginia. But as you looked around the pews, you couldn’t tell who there was pro- and anti-Civil War statues.

You couldn’t tell who was Democratic and who was Republican.

You couldn’t tell who had voted for President Trump.

You couldn’t tell because we were, and we are, all just children of the same God, first.

Nothing was solved in Charlottesville. But there’s always the danger of projecting the behavior of a group of people onto everyone. Not fair. Not right. Not useful.

When you see the madness and the hate, just remember, that’s not most people. Someone needs to represent “most people” in all of this.

God bless this country and all its people.




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