Separating Ego from Election – UPDATED

Our Year of Faith topics page, which is currently being sponsored by the Norbertine Nuns Capital Campaign, is featuring an usual piece for this election day, in that it is written by a Baptist, not a Catholic, a man who has been feeling fear and despair throughout this election season.

November 4, the first Sunday of the month, was Communion Sunday, with Deacons assisting. Not me, yet. I’m a deacon-in-training, a process that takes a year. In any case, I’m supposed to be focused on the service, on learning my duties as a deacon, on worshiping God.

Instead, I’m obsessing about the election. I keep pulling out my iPhone during the service, looking for any hint of hope that Romney might pull it out. (I actually found some, by the way. I think he’s got a fighting chance.) My stomach is in knots. I have to force myself to calm down, listen to the sermon, make it through the rest of the service. Once it’s over, I must go with a fellow deacon to the home of a shut-in member and deliver the Eucharist to him and his wife.

It occurs to me that I’m in no condition to minister to anybody. I’m tense, worried, on the knife edge of snapping at anybody who might try to distract me from my obsession.

What he learned about himself,
and the people around him recently is a message we might all need to internalize, now matter how the election turns out! Read the whole thing!

And don’t forget to subscribe to the Year of Faith’s page on Facebook to keep up with all kinds of great writing relevant to the year!

Jonah Goldberg looks at why the presidential elections have become so frightening to so many

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Sandy Amos

    I prayed last night that our country would make the right decision, knowing that in my mind anyway that it is Romney. I to have felt anxious throughout this election. My boss said yesterday, that “I’m on the verge of praying for Obama’s defeat”. I told him that I had been praying about this election for a long time. I’m not sure how I will feel if President Obama wins, certainly not happy. I think as a lot of people have said, our country is at a crossroad and the outcome of this election determines the future of my children and grandchildren.

  • Dad of Six

    From my daily reading of the Imitatation of Christ:

    “Likewise, it is impossible to satisfy all men. Although Paul tried to please all in the Lord, and became all things to all men, yet he made little of their opinions. He labored abundantly for the edification and salvation of others, as much as lay in him and as much as he could, but he could not escape being sometimes judged and despised by others. Therefore, he committed all to God Who knows all things, and defended himself by his patience and humility against the tongues of those who spoke unjustly or thought foolish things and lies, or made accusations against him. Sometimes, indeed, he did answer them, but only lest his silence scandalize the weak.

    Who are you, then, that you should be afraid of mortal man? Today he is here, tomorrow he is not seen. Fear God and you will not be afraid of the terrors of men. What can anyone do to you by word or injury? He hurts himself rather than you, and no matter who he may be he cannot escape the judgment of God. Keep God before your eyes, therefore, and do not quarrel with peevish words.”

    I have voted for Romney. I do not know who will win today. But I do know that God wills it or allows it…that is why I am at peace.

  • Gail Finke

    My husband and I are so worried about the election, we’re wrecks. We know in our heads, of course, that we’ve done everything we can and now all we can do is respond to whatever happens. We own a business and we know that business is awful everywhere, for everyone. Our clients are other businesses, so we know very well what the business climate is and it’s NOT GOOD. Where businesses used to have a hopeful, “it’ll surely get better” attitude even when looking to hold down costs, now there’s a grim, “cut things to the bone and hang on” view that means cutting hours, cutting staff, cutting costs, cutting everything — and KEEP IT THAT WAY — because survival depends on it. There is a general feeling among most business owners we know and/or work with that if Obama wins again, all bets are off. The fall off the cliff will have begun. Small business owners are terrified because in a good climate, they MIGHT have a chance of selling, but now if they have to close their doors it’ll be to simply shut down (best scenario) or they’ll have to declare bankruptcy (worst scenario), and either way, where could the owners find a job themselves? There are no jobs. Large business owners seem to think they have more leeway before they reach that point — by leeway, I mean more jobs to cut, more costs to cut — but that it’s just as much a possibility, only they will be better off personally if it happens because they had more to begin with. People who work for Catholic schools, hospitals, charities and other organizations in areas where bishops have been very vocal on the HHS mandate are terrified that they’ll all be out of a job at once. There’s a lot of dread out there. Dad of Six has a nice-sounding sentiment above (whatever happens God wills it or allows it) but it sure doesn’t work for me. Good wills or allows some pretty awful things. That doesn’t mean any of it wil be easy, or even possible, to live through — witness last week’s storm. This is a storm too.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    We’re scared of the election, because, well—it’s scary!

    Our country is being changed, and not in a good way; we feel there’s little we can do, against those who want to turn the U.S.A. into “Brave New World”. Like the Baptist in the first article the Anchoress links to, we feel isolated. When we voice our fears, we’re told something along the lines of, “Oh, tut-tut-tut! Silly you, trying to turn Obama into some sort of Manchurian candidate!” (A question: assuming that Obama is not a Manchurian candidate, what would he be doing differently than he is now? Actions speak louder than words.)

    (Sometimes, of course, they just call you “Racist!” if you criticize Obama.)

    So, it’s come to this:

    If Obama is (God forbid!) re-elected, we can take some cold comfort in this.

    We. Will. Get. What. We. Deserve.

    Not all of us. Not you, Gail, or the Anchoress, or many other good people. But America, as a whole, will get what it deserves, for succumbing to the temptation of the welfare state; for appeasing our enemies, and trading freedom for the imagined security of Big Nanny Government, who will take care of us, in exchange for giving up our liberties. Hubris, meet nemesis.

    And, yes, this is scary.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Go to the website, “According to Hoyt”, read the post, “We’ve come to the End of the Cake.”

    Many voters in this election think they’ll be voting for more goodies for themselves. Sorry, folks! (“Folks”—one of Obama’s favorite words.) There are no more goodies to be had, not with the level of debt we’re carrying, and the level of our expenditures.

    And, as one commenter there suggested—”Remember Benghazi!” Also, remember all the Mexicans, murdered in Fast and Furious.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Gail, I sympathize.

    God can will some pretty awful things—as witness the storm, as witness the worldwide persecution of Christians (which Western Christians, to their shame, haven’t really spoken out against). A second Obama term will be horrific. (Remember, he won’t have to worry about re-election, this time around; he can do whatever he wants, and his followers, and the media, will support him.) There will be a lot of suffering. None of this is going to be easy to get through.

  • Manny

    I think we all know the policies between the two candidates, and everyone knows where I stand. I’m an unabashed Conservative and while Mitt Romney may not be conservative enough for me, he is certainly the far better choice. Obama has no record to run on—in fact he’s done a terrible job, he’s hurt the economy—he’s outlined no vision for the future, his economic instincts border on socialism, and he’s progressed the cultural rot of secularization, abortion, and now restricting religious freedom. This man has been a disaster for this country and another four years where he will be unaccountable to the electorate will be catastrophic. Mitt Romney has put forth a credible economic plan (unleash American energy, tax reform, repeal job restricting regulations, especially Obamacare), and, while he has been wishy-washy on cultural issues, I tend to believe his religious core will at least not further the rot. Remember, unrestricted abortion, gay marriage, and religious freedom are essentially up as a referendum in this election.

    Rhinestone has it right. We are scared because our country is being changed, and the change is not in a healthy direction. This election is a ratification of those changes. They will be fixed in place if Obama wins.

  • dry valleys

    Not a bad blog, that. What’s really interesting is that the blogger’s colleagues actually turned out not to be rabid partisans who hate any Romney supporter, he feared they would be but it didn’t turn out thus. I know I live in a community where most people are left-wing, and I share their views, but it gets a bit boring at times, which is why I seek to interact with people who think differently online!

    The thing is, a lot of these people are probably not all that political at all, perhaps because they ignore this-worldly concerns altogether, or like a lot of the people around me they simply don’t take an interest. But there were, in that case, no closet conservatives that he met, just as Owsley County, Kentucky and the mountains of Wyoming aren’t home to many shy Democrats.

    They’ve actually done research on this and found that America is becoming split and as people become more mobile, they seek out like-minded people.

    The internet can bring people into contact with people unlike themselves, but unless they seek it out that won’t happen, and some prefer to just stick with those who agree with them.

    “They accepted me, without missing a beat”- as I accept the conservative who does voluntary work with me, and would be if I met any others. Now, that doesn’t alter the fact that I’ve actually moved further away from your views over time, because as far as I’m concerned there are two possible explanations for and responses to the global economic meltdown and they can’t be reconciled.

    I read about a left-wing person who lived in Rexburg, Idaho. I can’t recall where it was now, though.

  • Sandy Amos

    When I read responses from someone on the “left” as Dry Valleys, I think how can we be so far apart on such important issues. He sounds like someone that studies situations and writes with confidence about what he sees. I look at the Democrats in Congress and wonder is there not any of them that will speak up about what their party is becoming. I know that there is one, but can’t remember his name that is speaking out. But, as a whole, they are quiet. They are fathers and mothers the same as we are. What am I missing? I think we are in trouble both morally and economically, but they seem to think that everything is OK. Where I work, we are struggling after years of prosperity. Friends of my boss are telling him that if Romney doesn’t win, they are closing their doors. What is the answer?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Sandy, in all honesty, when I read Valleys, half the time I don’t really get what his point his.
    Same with many other leftists.

    Doesn’t matter. After Benghazi, no thinking American can support Obama.

    The Democrats are quiet because, as a whole, they support what this administration is doing. They like Obama, and the Democratic platform, because they support abortion, gay marriage, free birth control, and all the rest of the progressive platform.

    They probably are nice people, many of them; I’m not really sure what “nice” means anymore.

  • dry valleys

    Yes, but anyone who reads my comments will know what I think. I’m not going to express my views yet again. The main thing I wanted to draw attention to was in that link, about peoplee being divided more than ever, which has been proven by this Bill Bishop. So if I have a point at all, that was it.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Sorry for the snark, Valleys.

    On this side of the Atlantic, yeah, we’ve known we’re more divided than ever, at this point. Myself, I think the cracks really started to show after 9/11. Before then, we could all kind’ve pretend we had no real differences (even though we did.)

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I don’t really know about the whole like-minded people living together thing, in the article you link to; most Americans have to live where they can afford to; we choose our homes economically, rather than whether or not the people living there believe the same things we do.

    I think that’s one reason for the internet’s popularity; we can voice the opinions we wouldn’t dare talk about to many of our friends, and neighbors (even family!)

  • dry valleys

    Yes, I just live where I’ve always lived, and at first I didn’t particularly go along with what most people in my community thought, until I started to think they were probably right all along. I know it’s hard to see why I comment here, but I suppose I just wanted a change from my usual fare. :)

    It must be hard to be unpopular for your views. I wouldn’t know, but I wouldn’t exactly be thrilled if everyone around me disagreed with what I thought. One thing I will say is I’m surprised that what this Jean-Baptiste Doe said has gone down badly! I liked his story myself.

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