The last few weeks, I kept slapping my forehead in frustration. A week ago, I wanted to deactivate my Facebook and Twitter accounts. This last week, the madness has slowed down a bit — but not completely.
A week ago, America decided who their 44th President would be. The weeks before and even on the day of election, social media was an emotional, verbal battlefield as Republicans and Democrats attacked each other. Many of my Republican-leaning friends decried abortion, gay marriage, and the fear of a socialist America, attacking anyone who didn’t adhere to their definitions of life, marriage, and economy. Their left-leaning counterparts, also some of my friends, accused the Republican party of being a bunch of rich, white, bigoted, overly-religious hypocrites, and their fans. This was to be expected, but what bothered me most was peoples’ attitudes in all of this, and even the post-election sentiments: Democrats smugly boasted that America was “moving forward,” rubbing it in, and Republicans whined that America is crumbling and the end of society is imminent. Idiotic, ignorant and mindless statements were/are proclaimed from both sides as my newsfeed was clogged with regurgitated, emotional political opinion.
But not everyone. Some people were moderate, some people actually intelligently defended their hard political stance, and many just didn’t care (which is troubling in and of itself). I won’t divulge my own political leanings because I’m wary of people jumping to conclusions and painting me in a certain caricature of a stereotype. I’ve seen it happen many, many times. And there are things I appreciate about both parties, and many things I disagree with. I think most people, if they actually rationally thought things through, would probably be in a similar boat.
When you only listen to and trust your favorite pundits and ridicule anyone who doesn’t drink your favorite flavor of political Powerade, when you make “morality” or “tolerance” the only issues that sway your vote, when you don’t think through and dialogue calmly with people who disagree with you, but only spout regurgitated diatribe that you haven’t thought through, you run the risk of being ignorant. And I fear that many tiptoe that line.
Ignorance fortifies ignorance, and arrogance makes it near impenetrable. Charles Darwin (woah there, conservatives!) once said:
“Ignorance frequently begets confidence than does knowledge”
and Solomon, in Proverbs 18:2 (hold your horses, liberals!) says:
“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”
The Republican party is not just some out-dated, fundamental group of untrustworthy white Evangelicals, and the Democratic party is not just some morality-killing ideology that’s enabling the “poor” or “lazy” by stealing hard-earned money. Start from that vantage point, and you’ll be much better off.
Barack Obama has been reelected as President of the United States of America for a second term, whether you like him or not. America will not disintegrate in the near future, and if so, it won’t be because Obama is in office. Same would go if Romney was in the Oval Office.
Regardless of your political leanings and convictions, remember that the United States is not the Kingdom of God. If we have put our faith in Christ Jesus and are in Him, we are a part of that Kingdom, where Jesus is our King. And it isn’t America. And the President is not our Savior or High Priest. As citizens of the US, we should engage in the privilege and responsibility of voting. But as citizens of the Kingdom of God, we put our hope in our true ruler who is neither red nor blue. The Kingdom of God is not a democracy or a republic, but it is a joyful Monarchy. And when He (Jesus) returns in power, He will hand the Kingdom over to the Father. Thus, we do not put our hope in presidents or policies or laws. They are just citizens and agents in God’s sovereignty:
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” — Romans 13:1-7
Let that reminder keeps us all in check, whether we be conservative, liberal, Green Party, Tea Party, independent, anarchist, or whatever.