A year ago today our souls were still filled with the words of President Obama’s Eulogy in Charleston for nine Christians murdered in their own church: in that speech his words were filled with calls for forgiveness, love, tolerance, and social justice. And then, a year ago today, the Supreme Court passed down a decision that made it legal for everyone in this nation to marry whomever they love.
How have these two great events impacted us now, a year later?
On the one side we have a political party that talks about respect and care and social justice. Now, admittedly, they don’t always live up to the ideals they hold, but the intent is there: a determination to love others as God love us.
On the other hand, we have a political party that talks about alienation, about deportation, building walls, embracing hate for all who are different from them in any way, claiming that the threat of deadly violence against another as the first and best defense against injustice. And, it is clear that the presumptive nominee of that party has no concern for anyone but himself: in his mind, people are tools to be used, not creatures of God to be loved as God loves us.
Let us not mince words, as a country we have a starker choice than we’ve ever had before: to choose hate, or to choose love.
What’s more, you see another strong thread in the current election.
On the one side you have a political party committed to the current system, committed to making it better than it was. I may not fully agree with how they’re approaching that task, but the intent is what matters: how to go about it is merely details.
On the other side, you have a group, and a candidate, focused on destruction of the system. They want to tear down what’s been built through generations of effort through the long and hard work and dedication of both political parties. Force and violence are the only tools they feel have any legitimacy. “Take Back America” they say, meaning (in their minds) taking America back to what they imagine it once was, an America that never existed.
To me, I see that phrase as meaning we will be taken back to a time when women, minorities and any who were marginalized had no vote, no voice, and no safety. An America where hate and might triumphs, not love.
Does might make right?
What does the Bible teach us about those who live by the sword?
Jesus’ two great commandments were to Love God with all our hearts, minds and souls; and to Love our Neighbor – meaning Every Neighbor – in exactly the same way.
Which of our two candidates, and the political parties they represent, come closest to that goal?
What would Jesus do?
What shall we do?