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Why are our politics so divisive?

Credit: David Goldman via APIs America more divided than ever?

Pew Research Center polling would say that we are. More than four in ten Democrats and Republicans say the other party's policies are so misguided that they pose a threat to the nation. Things are getting worse: today, 91 percent of Republicans have unfavorable attitudes toward Democrats; in 1994, only 74 percent held such attitudes. On the other side: 86 percent of Democrats have unfavorable attitudes toward Republicans today; in 1994, that number was only 59 percent.

Another Pew poll found that 88 percent of blacks say America needs to continue making changes for blacks to have equal rights with whites. Only 53 percent of whites agreed. Whether the issue is same-sex marriage, transgender bathrooms, euthanasia, or a host of other social topics, we seem to be a nation split in two.

Why has our culture become so divisive? One answer is the way we address the problem.

What's your worldview?

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The godly way to vent

Credit: sorayut via fotaliaHave you ever felt the urge to break something? To just throw things around and smash them into tiny bits? Perhaps you've seen the iconic scene from the movie Office Space where the trio of disgruntled office workers vent years of frustration on a printer and thought to yourself, "My life would be so much better if I could do that just one time." Well, if you live in one of a growing number of cities with stores like The Break Room, Tantrums LLC, and others of their kind, today is your lucky day.

These businesses exist to let you vent your "office rage"—the official term for when the people, circumstances, and responsibilities of work are simply too much to bear—in a secure, controlled environment. As Ed Hunter, founder of The Break Room in Melbourne, Australia, explained, "We're giving people permission to get angry in a safe environment." Considering that "work-related stress costs Australian business AUD$10 billion a year," according to BBC's Alison Birrane, the market clearly exists for this kind of therapy.

Clients typically pay somewhere between $20 and $100 for up to forty-five minutes of wreaking havoc on office supplies, furniture, dishes, and a virtually endless supply of other eminently breakable objects. As one client of The Anger Room in Dallas, Texas, remarked, "If there was an Anger Room on every corner, the world would be a better place."

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French Mayors Ban Women From Wearing Burkini at Beach

Credit: Chris Carlson via APLess is more, especially in France. Muslim women, or anyone for that matter, who visit the beach in Cannes, France, are no longer permitted to wear burkinis. These full body swimsuits have been banned by mayor David Lisnard because they are a "symbol of Islamic extremism" and could disrupt the public order. More covering equates to less order when it pertains to French beaches.

Anyone wearing the burkini will be asked either to change into something else or to leave the beach. The penalty for not doing either is equivalent to around forty-three dollars. According to the law, “Beachwear which ostentatiously displays religious affiliation . . . is liable to create risks of disrupting public order.” It goes on to read: “Access to beaches and for swimming is banned to any person wearing improper clothes that are not respectful of good morals and secularism.”

It is fascinating how the law disassociates good morals from religious obedience. A common assumption is that religion produces good morals, not bad behavior. But according to insinuations within this law, religion is an incubator for disruption and chaos.

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We are not Victims

Credit: APAs the world around us becomes increasingly antagonistic towards authentic Christianity, more and more believers are falling prey to the temptation of regarding themselves as victims of a hostile culture. It doesn't help that similar cries of lament are regularly heard from the pulpit to politics and everywhere in between. To be sure, there is no shortage of evidence to demonstrate that we, as Christians, no longer enjoy the same sense of freedom and authority that we had in previous generations. But if we look around us and our first impulse is "woe is me," then we've missed the bigger picture.

One of my favorite prayers in all of Scripture is found in Daniel 9:4–19. Often overlooked because of its position among all the prophesies and difficult-to-decipher passages that tend to capture our imaginations, it is one of the most practically applicable passages in the book. Please take a few minutes to click on the link and read it. It won't take long, and hearing these words from one of the godliest men in the Bible is vital to understanding the proper perspective for us to take when looking at how to best live out God's will in a non-Christian culture.

Daniel offers this remarkable prayer after spending more than sixty years enslaved in Babylon. While he's enjoyed success and privilege as one of the king's most trusted advisors, it's been over six decades since he last saw his home or could call himself truly free. And despite those struggles, we don't find a person outside of Jesus in the whole of Scripture who's portrayed as more righteous and faithful than this man. If anyone had reason to look at his life and feel as though he'd been treated unfairly, it was Daniel. Yet, that's not what we see here.

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3 Stories of Good News You Should Know About

Creative Commons via PexelsGood news is hard to find and bad news is never welcomed. Good news is receiving a tax refund in the mail. Bad news is finding a new bill in the mail. The average American watches five hours of television a day. Television often feels like a hose of bad news, drenching it’s audience.  

These days, it is not hard to lose hope and only see the negative. But thankfully we serve a God of hope who is still very much alive and active in our dark world. This week, thankfulness, compassion, and mercy were shown in our country.

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