Today’s post is a “Think Piece” on politics, and I’m hoping and praying for the opportunity to get inside the heads of as many people as possible and – maybe – influence their/your thinking.
The way my brain is ticking this morning I’m likely to get in trouble – both with my left-leaning and my right-leaning friends. But that’s okay.
Back when we lived in Tampa I was approached by “exploratory committees” representing both major parties, asking me to consider running for office. The Republicans wanted me on the school board; the Democrats wanted me in Tallahassee.
Both parties were convinced that I represented their fundamental viewpoints; in a way I did… and I still do.
Both parties were convinced that I represented their fundamental viewpoints; in a way I did… and I still do. Because it’s my conviction that each side of the aisle wants essentially the same thing, and that’s an America where everyone is valued and encouraged, where hard work and imagination are rewarded with opportunity, where we go out of our way to work together to facilitate progress, and where getting something accomplished is actually more important than being right.
So my remarks today are designed to encourage all of us to remember exactly what is important; and let’s be clear that what’s important is not the party, not the candidate, not Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump; what’s important in the context of politics is America, and our life together – in community – as citizens of this great land – and The World.
THE CANDIDATES: Now before I talk about the people running for POTUS, I need to make a quick reference to God. You see it’s my belief that God doesn’t care two hoots about our politics. But what our Creator does care about is justice, and mercy, and people walking humbly with God.
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8
God loves Donald Trump – just as much as God loves me; and God loves Hillary Clinton – with the same passion that God loves you. And God is crazy about America – just like God loves Palestine, and Iraq, and China, and Brazil, and England. Do you want to know who is on God’s “most highly favored nation” checklist? Fact is it’s all nations, every last one of them! God loves this world so much that God gave absolutely everything to make reconciliation possible.
Do you want to know who is on God’s “most highly favored nation” checklist? Fact is it’s all nations, every last one of them!
God is not partisan! And preachers who deliver rabidly partisan prayers and speeches, preachers who suggest that God lines up on the side of one political party in opposition to another, are so far out of line they do real harm to the gospel.
DONALD AND HILLARY: So here’s an important point. People who do not want Trump to be President have gone far and away overboard, over the top in the exclusively negative way he is portrayed, his character, his credibility, and his views. Likewise those who are committed to seeing Clinton defeated are blustering, exaggerating, twisting, fabricating, misrepresenting, and passing on a largely contrived narrative.
I admit I am not a fan of Donald Trump; and it’s true that I can’t get excited about Hillary Clinton either. But this I do know; both candidates obviously love this country, and I believe they would do all in their power to uphold the oath of office.
I’ll bet I’d probably like Donald Trump if I got to sit down and share some coffee with him, and I’m sure a similar visit with Hillary Clinton would be a treat (my wife, Rebekah, spent three hours one morning working in close quarters with George Bush on a Habitat build when he was president – everything looks different when you relate to someone as another human being…).
But we forget – accidentally, and willfully sometimes, and with a lot of help from media – that Donald and Hillary are two human beings, loved by their families, and treasured by God.
HOW TO VOTE? Make any decision you feel is the right one when it comes to voting. Do some objective research, approach the task humbly and prayerfully, don’t be tied to “the party line,” and then vote your conscience. I can guarantee that good people who walk closely with God, and who do their best to be conscientious and fair, will still not necessarily agree.
But for goodness sake; for the sake of this country; for the sake of other people who love you (and happen to read your social media posts occasionally); for the sake of all we value and hold dear… enough already with the barrage of invective – and especially the hateful memes! We often wonder how disaffected young men are so easily “radicalized” – but have we ever considered how readily we tend walk along that path ourselves in these contentious times…?
MY JOB: I’ve written commentary, opinion, and news editorials for a decade now, and I have never said, “This is how you should vote,” or “This is how I’m going to vote.” But I have said, and I will say in the future, that I want each one of us to exercise our franchise in a manner that shows respect for the freedoms so many have sacrificed to secure, and that means showing respect for the process, and that means – yes it does! – a little more respect for those who disagree with us.
In the words of Jesus, “Peace, not as the world gives” – DEREK