As we prepare for the U.S. presidential Inauguration Day, so many thoughts and emotions are swirling through me, it’s hard for me to write them all down. Peacemaking is needed in our nation now more than ever.
Fortunately, another writer has captured many of my feelings in her powerful short drama.
I’d like to introduce you to the talented teenage writer, Ashley Newman.
My Hatred for Politics
Characters: Ashley: An American teen
God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
(The scene opens on a girl on a bed with a white light shining on her. Stage left a soft red light shines, stage right a soft blue light shines. Muffled yelling plays over the loudspeakers getting gradually louder. She sits up and everything is silent. Putting her head in her hands she exhales and speaks.)
Ashley: I’m standing in the gap again. Why do I always put myself in this position?
I’m unable to choose a side, recognizing truth and malice in both,
Unable to make up my mind, yet knowing if I do, I won’t feel any more at peace.
(She stands up and begins walking from side to side)
There’s no love that attracts me to either side.
(A projection of Instagram fills the background. She stares down at her phone and scrolls.)
Angry social media posts filled with hatred are the only things in my feed now,
Calls for unity cloak agendas that widen the chasm rather than bridge it.
(She looks up, staring vaguely at the back of the room)
Friends that were inseparable for three years suddenly can’t stand the sight of each other,
And any word said becomes offensive for every and no reason.
(She sits cross-legged in center-stage)
Everyone wants unity, but only if they win.
Calls for peace fill my screens, but the sounds of rioting outside my window is the only thing I can hear.
(Sounds of yelling gradually increases again)
Ultimatums regarding both sides increase, as inauguration day draws nearer,
And the promises of harmony become progressively hypocritical.
(The yelling is cut, as Ashley cups her hands over her ears. She stares on the ground, hesitates and speaks)
I just want to see my friends laugh together again.
I just want to have a conversation without passive-aggressive comments about someone saying something that offended this person who took a stand or didn’t.
I want to see humility and genuine compromise and peace in this country’s leaders.
(A gentle voice resembling Morgan Freeman’s speaks)
God: You are right where I want you.
(Ashley slowly looks up. She stands up and begins pacing.)
Ashley: I just wanna belong, Jesus.
I want to see the truth about politics that seems to be so clear to everyone else.
God: Don’t lose your humanity.
(Quickly replying, barely acknowledging his words, Ashley says)
Ashley: Jesus, when will my friends love each other again?
God: Pride takes mountains of heartache to overcome.
Ashley: (Angrily) Well that was specific
God: Do not forget that these (The red and blue lights on the sides flash slightly and muffled yelling quietly turns on again) are all mine. Every single one I see and I love.
Ashley: (She stops pacing and contemplates what he said. Her anger gives way to peace. She closes her eyes and begs) Jesus, give me your compassion. (She walks over to her bed, lays down, and curls up on her side. The yelling mutes and faint crickets are heard. The lighting dims and the curtains close.)