Author Joe Battaglia believes that we are at a crossroads in our current culture—and we really need to be a good people before we will ever be a great people.
In a time of cultural and civil unrest, where lines are drawn and voices demand to be heard on critical topics involving politics, race, equality, and religious beliefs, the issues can be overwhelming, the lack of civility frightening.
In his latest book, Make America Good Again: 12.5 Biblical Principles to Unite Our Nation, Restore True Greatness, and Reshape Our Political Rhetoric (Broadstreet Publishing), Battaglia, the son of Italian immigrants, offers foundational principles from the Bible about how to heal the cultural divides between us, appreciate our differences, better understand our corporate relationships to each other, find common ground on issues of the day, and learn to communicate respectfully.
Battaglia, the president of Renaissance Communications in Wyckoff, N.J., is the author of Unfriended: Finding True Community in a Disconnected Culture, The Politically Incorrect Jesus, and That’s My Dad.
With personal stories and a faith-based perspective, Make America Good Again addresses some of the divisive issues related to politics, immigration, tolerance, gun control, climate change and poverty, and offers solutions to regenerate our national character. Some of topics featured include:
- There’s No Us vs. Them. It’s Just Us: Jesus demands honesty in how we interact with each other. His way fosters freedom and despises intolerance, so let’s celebrate our differences openly and civilly.
- Find Common Ground Despite Our Differences: Jesus went out of His way to find those society would usually avoid or disregard. We should find common ground with everyone. Jesus confronted sin in a loving manner. Conviction brings love into the equation whereas condemnation leaves no room for love.
- Tolerance: Political correctness would prefer to turn a blind eye to the obvious for fear of offending people. Jesus confronted sin with truth. He did not tolerate sin, yet never condemned the sinner, but demonstrated forgiveness.
- Immigration: Sound policy and humanitarianism need to come together without an agenda. Jesus experienced the ultimate immigration story (Heaven to earth), often identifying His followers as refugees and aliens. When we understand that, then our neighbor looks more like our brother.
- Fake News: Fake news cannot exist in an environment that believes in the search for truth. Fake environments must come up with fake news to legitimize their fake community. To restore truth we must demand integrity, truthfulness and challenge inauthenticity.
- The Culture War: As Christians, our objective is to help each other become better humans, not better political allies. When we raise the flag higher than the cross, we have a problem. It is one thing to disagree and another to be mean spirited toward those with whom we disagree.
Battaglia reminds us that the genius of our nation, embodied in our national motto E Pluribus Unum, is that we are all different, yet one; not that we are all the same and one.
“Greatness is about achievement; while goodness is about character,” he says. “We need to be better people. In the words often attributed to French social historian Alexis DeToqueville, ‘America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.’”