It seems that Tressy Capps (what kind of name is Tressy, anyway?), a local “political activist” in Ontario, California, doesn’t like her neighbors flying a Mexican flag in their front yard. So, this self-proclaimed American “patriot” did something about it. She gloriously high-stepped it over to her non-English speaking neighbors and told them to move back to Mexico if they wanted to fly the Mexican flag:
“This is America. Maybe you can move to Mexico if you want to fly your Mexican flag. Does that make sense?” Capps says.
It makes sense if the person asking the question is a complete moron, devoid of basic civility and grace. Capps, who “insists she’s not a racist, just a patriot,” is a perfect example of why Republicans and Conservatives (not always the same thing, mind you) may very well snatch defeat from the jaws of victory this November. Not only does Capps aggressive and non-gracious attitude reinforce the negative stereotypes of Conservatives (especially of the Tea Party variety), but it serves as a reminder of how we are supposed to treat our neighbors, even those who irritate us.
As a follower of Christ (which Capps apparently is not, at least when it comes to her literal neighbors), I am called by Jesus to live out the Great Commandment:
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40, ESV)
How would you feel if your neighbor came to your home — uninvited — and started berating you for exercising your First Amendment rights? Oh, that’s right. Last time I checked, flying Old Glory or the Mexican flag or the Union Jack or even the Confederate flag — was not illegal, although it may run afoul of certain homeowner’s associations. Flying the Mexican flag obviously runs afoul of busy-body Gladys Kravitzes who would rather show their ignorance of the Bill of Rights instead of graciously communicating with their neighbor.
As a Conservative Christian, I am called by my theology to turn the other cheek and to not let every little thing in life offend me. I am called to unconditionally love my neighbor, regardless of their skin color, ethnicity, political ideology, or sexual orientation. I am called to do unto my neighbor as I would want them to do unto me.
Perhaps Ms. Capps should spend more time studying the Good Book rather than listening to all those hotheaded “patriots” who spout such utter (and oftentimes non-Christian) non-sense. It might cut down on her irritation and she might just come to see her neighbors as people worthy of respect, made in the image of God. Is that too much to ask?