Next…

A deep breath…this is a non-partisan post, I promise. In fact, I’ve tried to focus all my posts around specific issues and social concerns; not about people, parties or politics. But today, especially, is a day to try and get past party lines and talk about what’s next.

To that end, here’s what we’ve (all, hopefully) learned:

-Hating on the gays doesn’t buy votes anymore. Let’s move on and talk about something else next time.

-There are many women’s issues in politics, but using the language of ‘war on women’ is a little dramatic, and it doesn’t really sell, either.

-That in mind–old white dudes should not talk about rape. Ever. Or contraception.

-It does not pay to politicize the muppets. Both parties tried it, to the tune of an epic Jim Henson smack-down on both sides of the aisle.

-We are all tired of the hate speech, the nasty ads, the apocolyptic posturing, and leaders whose every move is geared toward the next election cycle, and not the everyday lives of regular people. Get it together, folks. We are waiting.

-There is no such thing as ‘the Christian vote’ anymore. People who follow Jesus vote on both sides of the aisle now, based on diverse understandings of faith-based ‘values.’ Let’s stop letting politicians–and the media–put us all into such tiny boxes. And let’s all stop claiming that God is on our side. It makes us look ignorant and arrogant, and it does nothing for the public image of Christianity when we spend so much energy fighting amongst ourselves. (I am a professional PR rep for Jesus, so this concerns me.)

-And, speaking of God…may God forgive us for the astounding piles of money gone down the tubes in this election cycle. Let’s next time press our leaders to spend more time addressing issues in public forums, and much, much less money making commercials, printing signs, and digging up dirt. We can’t really talk about stewardship and economics until we stop this madness.

All this in mind…if we are happy this morning, let’s not be obnoxious about it. And if we are anxious or angry this morning, let’s not keep hollering and name calling and threatening to move to Greece. Let’s all acknowledge that we’ve got some accountability in the brokenness of things, and that we’ve also got some power to move the heck on and start piecing it back together.

Furthermore, let’s remember that the presidency is larger than any one person–however you feel about that one person at the moment. Even if you think he’s the best thing ever, he must play well with others. And even if you think he’s the end of the world as we know it, others must work well with him. This is the meaning of democracy. If we are truly Americans with American values, we celebrate the conversations this vote will inspire, and we support ALL of our elected officials–even those for whom we did not vote–in their efforts toward our common good.

Challenge yourself today: think of someone in leadership who you were REALLY hoping would not be (i’ve got mine). And stop for a minute, and pray for that person. Withholding judgement against them, or against their supporters; without secretly hoping they will crash and burn in the first quarter; without wishing you’d posted just ONE MORE THING on facebook that would result in their political demise. Find the discipline to pray for their vision, their health and safety, for their family, and for their effectiveness in office. Then let it go, and trust that the American dream–and possibly, even God–is much bigger than all this. Let’s commit to finding a way forward together, and celebrate the fact that we have our shallow, consumer-driven, holiday-explosion commercials back on cable tv.

Meanwhile…now that the election is over, what in the world am i going to blog about?? Taking suggestions…

 

About Erin Wathen

Rev. Erin Wathen is the Senior Pastor of Saint Andrew Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Olathe, KS (www.sacchome.org). She's a Kentucky native, a long-time desert dweller, and she writes about the sacred thread that runs through pretty much everything. For more info, click the 'about' tab above...

  • Cheryl Carmichael

    November is National Family Caregivers month – my book is a very thoughtful gift for all your friends to give to caregivers they know – http://www.facebook.com/daretocareelders

  • Robyn

    Been waiting for this post I knew you would be brewing up a good one. And yes another good one!
    Amen!!

  • Robert

    What is the common good? It doesn’t seem to be adhereing to the Constitution or the separation of powers. This administration seeks to set aside our founding priciples and forward his own liberal agenda and he had a lot of people helping him with it. American is known around the world for our sense of fair play, right is right and wrong is wrong. People strive to get here for the freedoms we afforded, not the handouts. I will not play nice with those that want to set aside our Constituion and Bill of Rights so that they can attain more power. I will continue to fight against those are tearing our country down. Stand up for freedom.

    • http://www.irreverin.com irreverins

      Lot of conversation and differing views around what’s ‘right and wrong.’ but the idea that any of our leaders are intentionally trying to tear down the fabric of society is just a convenient way of writing off those with whom we disagree. demonizing the ‘other’ party or candidate will not help us solve any of our problems–and i don’t think either party is equipped to do it alone.

  • Judy

    Wow, great post, as always. But sad to see some people resist your wisdom. As for suggestions,well the crazy holiday season will probably inspire you!


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