To the editor,

There’s a phrase I haven’t heard used in ever-so-long: “The loyal opposition.”

If I recall, it meant that even though we may have different goals and/or means to achieve them, we share a common love of country, a set of democratic values; e.g. I may disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it. Remember?

Lately it seems, all I hear about is opposition – very little about loyalty.

We all need each other, “liberals” and “conservatives.” We even need the extremists: The far-left to keep the far-right from under-solving problems, and the far-right to keep the far-left from over-solving them. And, the 80 percent of us in the middle to figure out what might actually work and be fair to everyone except the most radical.

Most of all, we need to be loyal to the idea of working on “a more perfect union.”

Working on a “Four Chaplains Sunday” presentation, I happened on a prayer attributed to George Washington:

“Almighty God: We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; That Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly [sic] affection and love for one another and for the fellow citizens of the United States at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy and to demean ourselves with charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were once the characteristic of the divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee…”

I’m with George on this one.

Pastor Doug Campbell, ELCA retired

Formerly Deputy Chaplain, Ohio Wing, Civil Air Patrol