A Response and Call to the US Presidential Election

Committing to the Best We Know

 

In light of the U. S. election, Jim Wallis of Sojourners says there is now renewed cause to be concerned for the:

most vulnerable: parents of young black and brown children, Hispanic pastors who are dealing with the terrified undocumented families in their congregations, African-American ministers who fear the emboldened white police officers who no longer fear the scrutiny of a justice department, a president, or anyone else who might hold them accountable. And, of course, many of our Muslim brothers and sisters are wondering whether this can be a country for them anymore.

Elizabeth Renzetti of the Globe and Mail asks:

What do we tell our daughters, and our sons, about the fact that a man is not punished for that behavior, or for his alleged unwanted sexual advances to at least a dozen women, but is rewarded with the keys to the Oval Office? What do we tell them about a man who said that pregnant employees are an inconvenience, that American women’s court-protected right to reproductive freedom should be rolled back, that some women are pigs and others are dogs, and that only the rare few worth his attention are 10s.

Ali Michael, Ph.D. writing for the Huffington Post offers this for one’s consideration as to what we will say to our children:

  • Tell them, first, that we will protect them.
  • Tell them, second, that you will honor the outcome of the election, but that you will fight bigotry. Tell them bigotry is not a democratic value.
  • Teach them, third, how to be responsible members of a civic society. Teach them how to engage in discussion—not for the sake of winning, but for the sake of understanding and being understood.

President elect Donald Trump has been all that people say – misogynistic, racists, sexist, a bully, a creep, and the list goes on. What I contribute to this is that he sees people in three ways, as objects, obstacles, or opportunities for self-aggrandizement. Someone like this should not be president of the United States of America.

A democracy relies on mutual respect, decency, deep conversations, honoring one another, and working collaboratively to build a just and peaceful society for all.  When large numbers of the populace are seen as objectives, obstacles, or opportunities by the governing elite, I would wager to say that such a society is no longer a true democracy, but instead, borders on totalitarianism.

The current state of affairs, and there are pockets of such thinking even in Canada, reminds me of all that I have been taught as a person of faith which is our only hope and is so counter-cultural:

  • Love your neighbor as yourself
  • Love even your enemy
  • Forgive one another
  • Welcome the widow, the sojourner, the orphan, and the stranger
  • Again love and love unconditionally and extravagantly
  • Be ready to engage truthfully and openly in conflict resolution
  • Do as much good as you can to as many as you can for as long as you can
  • At least do no harm
  • Be patient
  • Be kind
  • Be a healer, a peacemaker, a justice seeker

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but a place to be and to begin, to live and to witness to the in breaking of God’s reign on earth as it is in heaven.

Friends in the faith, join me in committing ourselves anew to these values, actions, and ways of being and may God bless us all.

About the Author
Although Tom was born and raised an American, his life experience and faith journey have brought him to our congregation. His social justice background, deep empathy and sense of humor have combined to give him the depth to lead this flock in south Calgary. He can be totally at home leading us in prayer or in a rousing shout of “Yahoo!”
  1. Clara Anderson Reply

    Thank you, Tom…..your article really is timely for us as we are going to be visiting with dear US friends in a few days and I must say that it’s hard not to have a different feeling about being with them….I am so surprised that they voted for
    Trump. I think he is a disgusting individual not fit to be president.
    Your article will help me focus on what is important and I’m praying I will be smart enough to be gracious but not condesending.
    I feel badly for all who have been offended by his bullying and pray he will change his attitudes.
    I will reread your list a few times before we visit with our friends.

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