Why Politics Scare The Crap Out Of Me As A Parent

Confession: I've grown to hate political campaigns. I've come to despise election year. I loathe the way we do our politics here in the U.S. and what it's done to our culture. Why?

Because at a time when candidates are supposed to be putting their best feet forward,and encouraging us to think critically about issues, the whole process seems to bring out the worst in both candidates and their supporters.

Things aren't just divisive. Nowadays they are downright hostile. People can't agree to disagree anymore, they instead have to load their rhetoric with hate, fear, and truly disgusting insults.

Prejudices about gender and race are alive and well. I find it saddening that in 2012, 48 years after the passing of the Civil Rights Act, and the dismantling of segregation and Jim Crow, racism is still a major stumbling block for our society. I find it insulting that women's rights are still being decided upon by men who think our health and well being isn't a necessary concern. With social networking and social media making the work a smaller place in terms of communication, it has also paved the way for us to see in black and white what people really think about each other, classes of people, basic human rights, and other key issues....I wish I could say this is a good thing.

I've watched and read the thoughts of our society on news sites, blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitter streams, and what I've read has made me fear for the world my two sons will grow up in, especially since they are African American and Latino males. I worry about how they will adjust and assimilate into a culture that appears to hate them....I wonder how they will fare in a culture that speaks so much negativity and seems to be hell bent on restricting their potential and progress just because they aren't part of the 1%.

As a Christian parent I'm wondering how to teach them to love others in such an environment, especially when Christian culture is just as hateful in our response to those who are "different."

I wish the climate of our culture didn't make me so uneasy and fearful, but it at least pushes me to try and raise my boys to be the most loving and responsible people they can be. It urges me to do my best to instill solid values into them and validate who they are. It also pushes me to be a better example for them when it comes to respecting, loving, and treating others they way I want us to be treated.

Do you get worried a out the world your kids will grow up in? How do you channel those fears into constructive parenting and life lessons?