Friday, November 18, 2016

Election Day

I have been spending a lot of time these past 11 days talking with my 12 year old about recent events and assuaging his concerns about his nation’s future.

You see, we are Christians and ultimately, our hope is in Christ, his future glory and the redemption of all creation.

As Christ followers in a pluralistic, post-Christian society we believe in forgiveness, love, mercy and justice for all, even if people don’t agree with our values. It is not always easy, but it is necessary and worth it.

So it is with these paradigms in mind, that I find myself trying to explain to a young man who is beautifully empathetic and curious and sincere and loving, how the events of November 8th, 2016 have come to pass.

He realizes that either of the major party candidates being elected would have been less than ideal, to say the least.

But he does not understand how a person who publicly displays some of the most abhorrent behavior that parents instruct their children to avoid, could be rewarded with holding the most high profile power position in our great nation.

He is not alone.

My answers are imperfect, incomplete, brilliant and pedestrian at times of course. He is patient with me.

I tell him that I believe our nation is not perfect, but it is intrinsically good, despite our past and present mistakes and can be a force for good in the world.

I will tell you what I cannot tell him.

Anger, ignorance, fear and desperation elected Donald Trump. Those emotions were manifest in real people who voted, but those were the forces at play.

A foreign government has actively worked to influenced our election in blatant ways and has been handsomely rewarded. What next of China, Iran in the future?

Our institutions have been questioned and may yet be tested as new leadership sees what it can get away with like he has played fast and loose with the law all his life.

Everything will not be all right.

At least not if people of good conscience choose to do nothing if and when we are required to act, agitate, donate, demonstrate, pray and scream out loud to prevent potential injustices to one another and our planet.

Our task is to determine how we best treat the symptoms that lead to the political outcome two weeks ago. It starts within ourselves and then we must move out into the lives of others to be the human agents of grace, mercy, forgiveness that we simply cannot expect a government to facilitate, regardless of who is in the White House.

That’s where I’m going to start.


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