Jim Denison on Cultural Divisions and the Persuasive Power of Courage

Jim Denison is the founder and CEO of the Denison Forum, a nonprofit Christian media organization that comments on current issues through a biblical lens. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of BCNN1.


What do the Dallas Cowboys have in common with the Washington Redskins, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Jacksonville Jaguars? None of them is playing in this year’s Super Bowl.

What else do they have in common? Their owners own superyachts that are making the news these days.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has already brought to Miami his 357-foot-long superyacht Bravo Eugenia, which is rumored to have cost more than $250 million. It has two helipads and a large spa that includes a sauna, steam room, massage room, plunge pool, and state-of-the-art gym.

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder owns a 305-foot-long superyacht with something no other superyacht in the world has—a twelve-seat, two-deck tall IMAX theater that added an extra $3 million to the final price tag. Falcons owner Arthur Blank has a new 295-foot superyacht; Jaguars owner Shahid Khan owns a 312-foot-long yacht that charters for over $1.2 million a week.

PAYING $720,000 TO GO TO THE SUPER BOWL 

Sunday’s big game is a welcome distraction from the coronavirus crisis, which has now surpassed SARS in the total number of people infected and caused the World Health Organization to reconvene its emergency committee today.

The Super Bowl is also a positive diversion for the sports world as the investigation continues into the tragic death of Kobe Bryant and eight others. His wife Vanessa made her first public statement yesterday, writing that “there aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now.”

But the Super Bowl does remind us that economic distinctions are very real in America today.

The average price of a ticket to the game is $8,940. A villa rents in Miami for as much as $15,000 a night. Or you could consider a vacation package for two with private jet transportation to Miami, a suite at the Ritz Carlton, and four days sailing the Caribbean on a private yacht, all for a mere $720,000.

VIEWING THE OPPOSITION AS “DOWNRIGHT EVIL” 

It has always been true that some people have more than most people. And that class distinctions lead to cultural polarization.

But you can make the case that such polarization is becoming more dangerous as it escalates today.

A study published last year found that just over 42 percent of Democrats and Republicans view the opposition as “downright evil.” Some 20 percent of Democrats and 16 percent of Republicans think “we’d be better off as a country if large numbers of the opposing party in the public today just died.”

When asked “how much do you feel violence would be justified” if the opposing party won the 2020 presidential election, 18.3 percent of Democrats and 13.8 percent of Republicans said such violence would be appropriate on a scale ranging from “a little” to “a lot.”

What explains such vitriolic, polemical polarization?

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Source: Christian Headlines