I was thinking today about when the last time I saw one of those “coexist” bumper stickers.
It seemed as if they were mostly stuck on cars of the person who wanted everyone else to acknowledge (and maybe even approve) of his or her own beliefs, and for whatever differences they had to be “OK”.
The idea, as I understood it, was basically the same as the question made popular in the 1990s.
“Can’t we all just get along?”
With the political climate as it is in the U.S. currently, I think a lot of those stickers got peeled off! I would imagine those stickers belonged to folks who leaned toward the liberal side of politics, and now they are fine with NOT getting along. I would even venture to say there is some annoyance (if not outright hatred) for a few of the religions depicted in the letters of ‘coexist.’
Agree to disagree. That used to be thing. Just like the bumper stickers, it was meant as a way to say, “Hey, we might not see eye to eye but you be you and I’ll be me and we can still be friends.” We could still be civil. Now, though, politics are more like…
In a related thought, I just started reading “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis and gosh, I wish I had read it sooner! So far in the book, he’s basically just established that mankind knows there is a standard of right and wrong. More than animals or any other creation on earth, humans can behave against the “Law of Nature,” unlike a rock that naturally always falls to the ground because of gravity. There is a way man ought to be, then the way man is. Sometimes, maybe oftentimes, those two things aren’t the same.
Applying to politics what I’ve read so far, I would say everyone on any part of the political spectrum believes in right and wrong. Otherwise, why would a person feel so strongly in one thing or another? The conflict comes from what is believed to be right and what is believed to be wrong. Hopefully this country I love doesn’t crumble because of this growing conflict between liberals and conservatives. It seems key to step back and admit there is a standard of right and wrong, and we each need to find out who established it, and what it is. It’s about truth.
One problem emerged when the phrase “live your truth” became a popular mantra. It sounds all well and good, but there is a problem the very minute two people with conflicting ‘truths’ meet. Not even to mention there is a third element that should be factored in. Besides the fact that each person thinks they’re right and if they’re not willing to agree to disagree, then the problem escalates, there is the problem of actual truth. You say the sky is blue, I say it’s red. Then there’s the actual fact, the real truth.
So much for coexisting, right?
How have you been doing in this sensitive time? Have you lost friends? Have you ended relationships with someone who doesn’t believe the same things you do? Chime in below!
-Out of the Wilderness
3 thoughts on “Whatever happened to those “Coexist” bumper stickers?”
I understand the sentiment, but in practicality, never agreed. For instance, one can’t hang out with a thief. But even in other circumstances, where principles are completely different. We can agree to disagree, but if I find out the other person stole from a neighbor, we’re turning them in.
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I came to this blog following the news of the Taliban overrunning the Afghan government and wondering what to do about my “Coexist” bumper sticker on my all-electric car.
So far I’ve kept it on through all of the former president’s term and in spite of having my car’s window smashed twice. Of course I can’t say if the sticker was the motivation because some low value items were taken both times but I wonder if the sticker prompted their damage. I have noticed a few drivers appear to take offense at it by becoming more aggressive around me: driving very close to my rear bumper and/or speeding around to pass. I nearly removed it following the second break-in but rationalized keeping it because I eventually came to blame a specific person I had seen early who appeared to me to be unhoused/drug user/mentally ill, likely not politically driven.
But the news from Afghanistan and the fear shown on in-country reports does make me wonder if it is the time for a different message. Right now I don’t know what that could be. Extremism, religious or political, continues to rise. More people are feeling uncertain about the future because of COVID and environmental disasters. I’m to the point of thinking that I should remove this grain of sand. But I’ll keeping thinking about the big picture.
Maybe a sticker of the big blue marble without borders.
[don’t know if this ever posted]
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PS I’m a pagan atheist so there is some irony in that my only bumper sticker features religions. The one that I have is a slightly different version than your photo.