“Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other” (Deuteronomy 4:39).
“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan” (Proverbs 29:2).
I have been doing a lot of reflection since the historical events of January 20, 2021. While I did not vote for Joe Biden, I am glad he won and I am optimistic about the future of our country. As a reflect back over this past week, here are my thoughts.
I voiced my opposition to Donald Trump from the moment he descended down the escalator at Trump Plaza to announce his candidacy. I could not believe the Republican Party would embrace a person of such low character. I still find it extremely difficult to believe that so many influential evangelical leaders supported him and continue to support him. What I’ve learned, unfortunately, is the religion of my youth that taught me the importance of character and absolute truth really believes in power at all cost and moral relativism. At the very beginning of his presidency I said that evangelical leaders sold their soul for a cup of soup. Of course I lost lots of friends for saying so, but I still believe that to be true. It is impossible to expect an amoral person to lead you down a moral path. In my humble opinion what took place on January 6th was the natural result of four years of hateful rhetoric and 400 years of White Christian Nationalism. My cry over the last two years is that the evangelical church must divorce herself from Trump, from the Republican Party, and from Nationalism, in order to0 redeem her soul.
I’m afraid, however, that is not going to happen. It seems many evangelicals are digging in their heals and refusing to repent. I went to bed Wednesday night with a sense of peace and optimism I had not felt in years, only to awake on Thursday morning with my Facebook full of conservative friends still believing and trumpeting the conspiracies. Thankfully, they were quiet on Wednesday, but since Thursday morning the hateful rhetoric returned. All in the name of Jesus.
I know Pres. Biden is not perfect, but we elected a president not a pastor. (Boy that felt good to say!) I know there are major concerns about his policy, but has not God anointed him to be president just like he did Trump, or does God only anoint Republicans? I know both parties are corrupt, that’s why I have voted third party for years, but I also believe one party is more corrupt than the other.
I believe Pres. Biden is a devout Catholic and a sincere man of faith.
I believe Vice-President Harris is a woman of faith. Her roots go deep into the Missionary Baptist Church.
I believe they both want what is best for the United States.
I believe they care about “the least of these,” and I believe their policies will show that concern.
I believe there will be times when what they think is best, and what I think is best, will not be the same thing.
I believe I have a right to voice my opinion when that happens.
I believe you have the right not to listen to me.
I believe neither of us have the right to be mean and cruel and spread lies and misinformation.
And when it comes to abortion, I believe life begins at conception. I believe abortion ends an innocent life. I believe being pro-life is more than just being anti-abortion, much more. I believe other Christians interpret Scripture differently from me. I believe the Jewish faith interprets the Old Testament differently from me. As a result, they have reached different conclusions than me. I believe other religions have their own sacred texts that teaches them differently than my sacred text teaches me. And I believe all of this is ok. In fact, I believe I have a constitutional duty to stand up for people whose faith is different from mine or who have no faith at all. I believe we should all strive to make abortions obsolete, and that starts by addressing the reasons a woman feels her only choice is to end her pregnancy. Address those social/economic/health/education/etc. needs and you will go a long way in reducing the need for abortions. In other words, let’s get beyond our differences and work together for the common good. In the words of a Rabbi friend of mine who is pro-choice, “Know one is pro-abortion.” In the words of another Rabbi friend of mine, “So in everything, do to others what you would have the do to you…” (Matthew 7:12).
You can disagree with me, but please, let’s stop the hate.