I Cried Today

I cried today—which, for me, is like a vulture saying, “I tried tofu today.” I use my tear ducts so rarely I wasn’t even sure I still have them. But there I was, standing in my little voting booth this morning, staring at the words, “Barak Obama and Joe Biden.” And suddenly I was seeing through water.

The constant, overwhelming emotions I feel about this election have virtually nothing to do with politics. They have instead everything to do with sheer fact that, in the year of our Lord 2008, a black man might very well be elected president of the United States of America.

I never thought such a thing could happen in my lifetime. And whether or not Obama actually wins the election isn’t even almost the point. The point is that he’s gotten as close as he has.

Again: Not about politics. About history. About the final triumph of right.

I tell you, I am feeling the joy of God’s own light tonight.

(Related pieces o’ mine: Praise God: A Politician Finally Said Something Real About Racism and Top 5 Things Modern Racists Say.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    And here I agree 100%

  • FreetoBe

    And there you go: "an historical moment." Even tho this red state didn't turn blue, our country will be in better hands in 75 days. Praise God!

  • saramason

    Can SOMEBODY please get it right: "a historical." Not "an historical." Sigh. It's bad enough that the media's judging the guy on the color of his skin and not the content of his character and now they can't even get the grammar right. gah!

  • http://suddenlyatheist.wordpress.com/ morsec0de

    Chuck: Have hope. The last I checked, it's still too close to call in California. It will probably turn out that, without being too crude, the bigots take the day…but maybe we can pull out a squeaker?

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    I and my family were at the Obama victory rally in Chicago last night. While it would have been immeasurably more comfortable at home, I wanted to be part of one of our nation's great moments in political and social history. I don't mind saying there were several moments where I became verklempt (sp?). I may be Pollyanna to think that we are significantly closer to being "post-racial", but this has to be, possibly, the biggest civil-rights moment in our lifetimes.

    It is sobering knowing what ANY new president would have on their plate at this juncture. Let us wish Mr. Obama the best.

  • saramason

    Let me elaborate a bit further what I mean. Believers should be actively and deliberately pursuing unity and purity in the Body of Christ at this historical time in our country. In Jesus' name, I pray that we would have have zero tolerance for prejudice whether it is regarding party-affiliation, color (black, white or any other color), economics etc. Disagreement is not sin. Prejudice is. And it goes both ways. I think it's great that a black man is president (albeit one whose ideals are fundamentally different from mine), but talking about diversity does not bring unity.

  • http://suddenlyatheist.wordpress.com/ morsec0de

    Mark,

    I have exactly zero problem with legal marriage being based on the love between consenting adults, even more than two.

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

    I suppose I should try to take some comfort knowing that President Obama will nominate the next two or three justices to the Supreme Court … because yesterday’s election was NOT an auspicious one for Gay Americans:

    In Arizona voting Americans decided that Gay couples don’t deserve to marry, while in Florida they decided that not only do Gay couples not deserve the right to marry, but that they don’t deserve legal and contractual protections that even “civil unions” would provide. In Arkansas, Americans decided that the state’s 9,000 children in foster care are better off there than adopted by Gay couples. And in California … CALIFORNIA, of all places … the legal right for Gay couples to marry has now been taken away, and nearly 20,000 Gay couples may now eventually have their marriages declared null and void.

    So while I’m happy that Barack Obama won the election, I’m tremendously dismayed that so many voters have decided Gay Americans don’t deserve full inclusion in society. Sorry if I sound so “single issue,” but this strikes to my very heart as a law-abiding, taxpaying Gay American who strives to conduct his life with decency and humility.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Sara: Wrong. It’s proper to us “an” before a word that begins with “h” if the “h,” when spoken, is silent. When you say, “an historic,” the h is generally silent. So either “a” or “an” before “historic” is perfectly acceptable. (And your comment about how the “media” is only judging Obama by the color of his skin is as shallow a take as possible. Surely you can do better.)

    Chuck: Yes.

  • saramason

    D’oh! I made my own gaffe now. Unless “you are” British, I mean. Thought I better comment before someone else did, since I made a big stink already.

  • Mark

    Chuck and John, two of my closest friends are gay, and they are important in my life, so you need to know that before I comment.

    Marriage cannot just be about joining “people who love each other.” If that is the standard, there are many others (perhaps less mainstream than you are) who would have an argument to be included. If emotional ties are the only standard, government could literally refuse no one who says it is important to them to be legally tied to another.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    But why/how would that be bad? Take away animals (since they can’t consent), leave in the current age restrictions, keep incest illegal, and … what’s the problem?

  • Mark

    You beg your own question, John. Why should those age and familial restrictions (human ones) be there? That’s unfair. They love each other, too. You’re making a value judgment. Additionally, there are 3 parent families that could argue for inclusion; mom and mom want to raise child with the biological dad. They want to be married to form a family unit.

    So they ALL need legal protection, and they fit the only criteria that they love each other. They ALL can be defined as a family, depending on your moral views.

    If you open the door to redefining marriage simply based on the emotional ties of love, there will never be a clear answer.

  • Mark

    You beg your own question, John. Why should those age and familial restrictions (human ones) be there? That’s unfair. They love each other, too. You’re making a value judgment. Additionally, there are 3 parent families that could argue for inclusion; mom and mom want to raise child with the biological dad. They want to be married to form a family unit.

    So they ALL need legal protection, and they fit the only criteria that they love each other. They ALL can be defined as a family, depending on your moral views.

    If you open the door to redefining marriage simply based on the emotional ties of love, there will never be a clear answer.

  • http://suddenlyatheist.wordpress.com/ morsec0de

    “Chuck and John, two of my closest friends are gay, and they are important in my life, so you need to know that before I comment.”

    Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

    “Some of my best friends are black people, but that doesn’t mean they can marry white folks.”

    I’ve gone from it making me angry to making me sad.

  • Mark

    Morsecode, once you read my detailed answer to John, I’d like to hear your response to that explanation.

  • Mark

    Morsecode, once you read my detailed answer to John, I’d like to hear your response to that explanation.

  • http://suddenlyatheist.wordpress.com/ morsec0de

    Certainly. As long as everyone is agreed to it, polygamy doesn't bother me at all.

  • http://suddenlyatheist.wordpress.com/ morsec0de

    Certainly. As long as everyone is agreed to it, polygamy doesn't bother me at all.

  • Mark

    Duly noted, morsecode. I guess that means polygamy would be legal, since it would all fall under the “more than two” category?

    And your take, John?

  • Mark

    Duly noted, morsecode. I guess that means polygamy would be legal, since it would all fall under the “more than two” category?

    And your take, John?

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    I am with Morsec0de on this, but only on an academic level. I don't know any polygamist environment where the women are equal partners to the male. Hence, they are victims of subjegation and hence it is wrong on a practical level.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    It's my Official Guess that quite often the wives in polygamous marriages are lesbian. The "wives" totally get to spend Maximum Time together—yet do so under the auspicious of a straight (if unconventional) marriage. Whenever you see them on TV, it's always some old snarly "husband" who out in the real world would be lucky to get one woman to have coffee with him, much less seven to marry him—and a bunch of "wives" around him who always seem inordinately close, 100 times smarter than he is, and not at all unhappy. The women just always seem so …. in love with their fellow wives. So I figure, "Oh. Lesbians. Totally makes sense."

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    It's my Official Guess that quite often the wives in polygamous marriages are lesbian. The "wives" totally get to spend Maximum Time together—yet do so under the auspicious of a straight (if unconventional) marriage. Whenever you see them on TV, it's always some old snarly "husband" who out in the real world would be lucky to get one woman to have coffee with him, much less seven to marry him—and a bunch of "wives" around him who always seem inordinately close, 100 times smarter than he is, and not at all unhappy. The women just always seem so …. in love with their fellow wives. So I figure, "Oh. Lesbians. Totally makes sense."

  • Mark

    Could be, John. That would be one more example to throw into this discussion.

    Earlier you said,

    "But why/how would that be bad? Take away animals (since they can’t consent), leave in the current age restrictions, keep incest illegal, and … what’s the problem?"

    If the government tries to set a legal standard for marriage based only on love and emotional ties, how could there be ANY exceptions? The age and familial restrictions (human ones) you mentioned would be unfair (and illegal) because they love each other, too. You would be making a value judgment. Additionally, those three parent families where mom and mom want to raise child with the biological dad would have every legal right to say they form a valid family unit — because they love each other.

    So if ALL the variations need legal protection, and they fit the only criteria that they love each other, they can all qualify for marriage.

    Bottom line:

    If you open the door to redefining marriage simply based on love, there will never be a clear answer.

    Thoughts?

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Wow! Fascinating "Official Guess" on that John!! So now I am thinking that it is really a conniving band of lesbian women using the man to further their lifestyle. So it is HE that is the victim. Those poor, poor men. : -)

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Wow! Fascinating "Official Guess" on that John!! So now I am thinking that it is really a conniving band of lesbian women using the man to further their lifestyle. So it is HE that is the victim. Those poor, poor men. : -)

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    @Mark et al:

    We have a secular government that, to my mind, should have no role in speaking to the morality (or immorality) of various relationships (unless there is a demonstrable victim). As far as I am concerned; a person should be able to assign one default person as their primary 'other' that would receive all the basic inheritance, visitation, custodial rights that are granted through the institution of 'marriage'. Heck…under some circumstances, that could even be a sibling! If one is compelled to anoint their relationship as one of committed, romantic love; then it seems like the church might be a good place for that.

    (sorry for the disjointed thoughts…I'm in a hurry)


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