Take the BOTH AND Pledge

“If I spend all day reading Facebook and social media and rant mindlessly over things

about which I know almost nothing and over which I have even less control,

I will either get off Facebook so I can keep my job or seek professional help.”

After what has been pretty much a media-frenzied locust plague over the last three weeks, I began to think, “Hey, what will happen after the election? We’ve been told that if we choose wrong, the apocalypse will come, the sea will turn red and the zombie-takeover will begin. Don’t get me wrong, it matters, but a lot of nutty people have access to the media. I’m at the beach at the moment, and I try to remember that the water is only as sanitary as the least sanitary person sharing it with me. The pool is pretty polluted at the moment with Chicken Littles, convinced that they, alone, know how dire things are if we don’t think just like them. Whew.

A friend sent me a pretty good picture from Oregon. I’m guessing it was a church sign, but I don’t know. Unfortunately, my fellow preachers are all Be coolriled up at the moment, apparently having taken care of local sin and now ready to wipe it out globally. I myself resist this, since I’ve been around to watch a good bit of human foolishness. There’s plenty to take seriously, but there’s so much chaff out there that you need a microscope to find some wheat.  Well, this picture inspired me, so I created my own pledge. I decided to make a pledge for AFTER the election. When we have to carry our shame for all the stupid and ignorant things we’ve believed, forwarded, said and argued. Unfortunately, most of us will NOT get appointed to a new job or, like consultants, get a big fat contract out of it if their guy wins. We have to go back home and eat dinner with Uncle Ernie, who thinks your views are sending America straight to hell. And you yelled at him that he was a racist neanderthal and he looked wounded and looked up “neanderthal” on the web and then stopped speaking at dinner.

And people will have to get offline, and go back to work. And congresspeople will have to do whatever it is they are doing up there, or not doing. So here is a pledge for all of us. I call it the BOTH AND PLEDGE. I am the first signer.

I promise to still love my country, my neighbors, my friends, and even people who didn’t vote as I did, especially extended family. I will calm down and try to do what is best for the other person and keep hope alive after the election. I will choose to believe the best of those who disagree with me and live a tweet free life. I will not refer to people as “evil” whenever they do wrong, because it’s a misuse of the word evil and we might need it later.  If necessary, I will take medication to calm down and stop believing that this is the worst time ever (Barbara Tuchman said it was the 14th century, hands down), and if necessary will talk to someone who lived through the Great Depression to help me. If I spend all day reading Facebook and social media and rant mindlessly over things about which I know almost nothing and over which I have even less control, I will either get off Facebook so I can keep my job or seek professional help.  I promise not to be angry toward anyone asking me to value their lives, too. I’ll try to listen more and talk less. Since I have been lamenting how far we’ve drifted from Christian values, I will actually go to church next Sunday and reintroduce myself to the pastor and volunteer to be involved in a ministry to the poor. In fact, after the election, I will only talk about sports, fishing and hunting, like people in Alabama do, until Christmas. I will do something to help children in our country and give some money I was going to spend on moving to Canada to help somebody who needs it. If this doesn’t work, I will cancel internet and cable and read books until I regain my sanity. If my person lost, I will pray for the one I hate until I don’t hate them any more, because Jesus said to.


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Gary Furr

Gary is a musician, writer and Christian minister living in Alabama.

2 thoughts on “Take the BOTH AND Pledge”

  1. Giggle, giggle. Maybe one of your best yet.
    Being an old political junkie I of course have enjoyed all the craziness.
    A neighbor of mine was railing on me the other day about how bad things are. How this country was going to hell in a handbasket.
    I explained to her that everything would be alright because she and I were on the opposite ends of the political spectrum but we were still good friends and Americans.
    Don’t know if she will call me for lunch again. I hope so. I really like her.

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