On the morning of November 5, 2008, I took the liberty of recording several post-election Facebook status updates for posterity. Here are some of the highlights:
- “The world as we know it is coming to an end.”
- “Good bye, America.”
- “An Obama Nation is an abomination!”
- “We may not have a country left in four years!”
- “We’ve just elected the Anti-Christ.”
Sound familiar? You might call it the Morning After P.I.L.L. (Posting of Irrationally Lugubrious Lamentations).
Listen, I get the disappointment and frustration. I’ve been there (I just tend to experience it during the primary season rather than in November). What I don’t get is the weeping and gnashing of teeth that inevitably follows every election.
Yes, elections have consequences. Serious ones. But let’s not overreact! America is not going to disappear just because 3 million more Americans voted for Obama than Romney, just like it didn’t disappear during the last four years. There’s no reason for panic or name-calling!
Here’s something I wrote four years ago that is still true:
Am I disappointed that Obama will be our next president? Yes. Am I surprised? Not really. Am I worried? Not at all. I do not agree with his policies, but… he is my president, too. I would still rather live in an Obama America than any other country in the world. I pray for him, and for the decisions he will make. My president has no bearing on my ability or my requirement to live according to the Spirit. I will fail; my God will forgive.
I don’t doubt that the next four years will be hard ones (as these last four have been), but the occupier of the Oval Office has no bearing whatsoever on the way I am to live as a Christian. Might faithfulness require more sacrifice under some circumstances than others? Of course! For those Christians disappointed with the outcome of the election, it’s time to double down on our commitment to preach the gospel, to meet the needs of the poor and needy, to raise our children to know Jesus, and to seek the welfare of our nation, praying to the Lord on its behalf (Jeremiah 29:7).
Further election reflection can wait. I would, however, like to take a moment to affirm everything my buddy Jeff Wright wrote this morning, and to add one thing to it. I think it would go a long way toward improving the state of political discourse in America if we could more charitably attribute good motives to our political opponents. I don’t buy the rhetoric that Barack Obama “hates” America. I think he has very wrong ideas about what is best for our country and her citizens, but I don’t doubt that he genuinely wants to see America and Americans prosper.
Even if I’m wrong about the President, I know that’s how many (and likely most) of his supporters feel. Let’s start giving each other the benefit of the doubt and find ways to work together on the many areas where we can find some common ground. In the meantime, we can start figuring out how best to prepare for the next round of elections.
Over the next couple days, I do want to write a little bit about some of the down-ballot things that happened yesterday around the country (e.g., legalization of pot & gay marriage), but that kind of post deserves more thought than I can spare today.
“The Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will.” ~ Dan 4:25