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  • Rev. Timothy E Byerley, Ph.D

The Danger Of Identity Politics

In every corner of American society today there is menace that is altering the way we perceive and interact with one another. It can be referred to as “identity politics”, an us-against-them mentality, a mentality that not only deems opposing views as unwelcome, but as indicators of evil intent. Identity politics attempts, “to classify and categorize us by all sorts of measurements and standards”, says, Patrick Sajak, the host of Wheel of Fortune. This has poisoned our social landscape and has “pitted friend against friend and has caused rifts within families”, noted Sajak at a recent university graduation speech. It is also dividing local communities and the entire nation.

Identity politics reduces individuals and groups to a single characteristic, like race or religion, and fosters a spirit of division and animosity. It labels people and groups because of their differences and polarizes people who would ordinarily have friendly relations. Identity politics insists that we must despise others who think or believe differently than us. It turns every discussion about important matters into a battle of polemics. Identity politics denies that we are all American citizens with shared values and goals. It dismisses the fact that we are unique individuals, created by God and blessed to be born in a country whose founders believed that our creator endowed us with inalienable rights. It highlights extremists and thwarts every effort to develop national unity and a spirit of fraternity. Identity politics never wants us to express our national solidarity or identify ourselves as fellow Americans.

My dear friends, resist this mentality that is trying to classify and divide us into opposing groups. We are all citizens of this great nation. Moreover, we are all sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. This makes all of us brothers and sisters.

Our Lord Jesus showed us that being faithful and committed to our religious beliefs does not call us to condemn those who are different, but to love them; yes even to love our enemies. (Mt 5:44; Lk 6:27) This is the only path to heal the civil conflicts that we face today; this and the daily family rosary!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Fr. Tim Byerley, Pastor

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