Many of you know that after high school I decided that I wanted to be a journalist. I enrolled in college and after three years, I received a bachelor’s of arts in journalism from Northeast Louisiana University. It was during this time that I worked part time for several newspapers, including the Times Picayune of New Orleans as a stringer. It was during this time that I also began working as a youth pastor in my local church and began to feel the tug of God leading me into some form of ministry. I went to seminary, and during seminary, I worked in the fledging start of radio television of the seminary. I thought that I might find a career in this new aspect of ministry, but God had a different plan. I was called to serve a church in Monterey, Louisiana, on the banks of the Black River. From there, the rest is history as they say. During my journalism days, I was taught to ask the six journalistic questions in writing a story. Who, what, when, where, why and how. The journalists’ questions (five ws and an h) are the questions answered in the lead of all standard newspaper articles. This has been my mantra ever since when I approach finding out information about anything that I hear or read about. Nowadays, I think sometimes we can allow our media (print, radio and television), social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Reddit) and our political experts to convince us that those who think or vote differently than us are our enemies with very different ideas of what is right and good and true. If you are conservative sometimes it can be tempting to believe that all liberals hate America. Liberals rejoice in the riots, and think it is OK for the police to be attacked and killed. If you are liberal, you might be tempted to believe that all conservatives hate anyone who isn’t white. That all conservatives are racists and think police brutality is OK because anyone who suffered from it was a thug who deserved it. But, is this the truth or a spin put on by Fox News, ABC, CBS, NBC or CNN? Truth be told, most conservatives I know believe that racism is evil and police reform would help our country immensely. Most liberals I know think rioting is harmful and the violence and murder against police is wrong. Contrary to what media talking points on the left and the right would have us believe, we are far more alike than we sometimes realize. The extremes on both ends are the ones who want to pull our country apart. As they point across the political aisle and call the others an enemy of America, don’t forget they are pointing three fingers back at themselves. If you are liberal, conservatives are not your enemy. If you are conservative, liberals are not your enemy. We all have different ideas about how to help America become a better place to live for all of us, but we mostly want the same thing. Now, I’m going to speak specifically to Christians. If you are a follower of Jesus, you already know that no human is your enemy. Jesus reminds us, “But I say to you, love your enemies and bless the one who curses you, and do what is beautiful to the one who hates you, and pray over those who take you by force and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44 The Apostle Paul says that we battle not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces. “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world’s rulers of this darkness, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 Let us never forget those powerful words. It is doubly shameful for us to get caught up and duped by political stunts. Remember whose kingdom you belong to. Be kind, even to people you disagree with. Rev. Frank Chlastak began work as senior minister of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Poplar Bluff on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015. _____ Editor’s Note: This is a regular series featuring area religious leaders writing about faith, family and community. To participate or suggest a church, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-785-1414.