Post Election Thoughts

Post Election Thoughts

(This is my Distraction from 11.15 which for some reason didn't post to the site. The Distraction for 11.22 is just before this one.)

The internet is full of commentary today, the day after the general election revealed a 50/50 divide in America. There is some celebrating and some wringing of hands. There is a bit of gloating by some and a bit of name calling by others. There is some denial about supporting the 45th President and there is some call for punitive actions against those who opposed Mr. Trump’s candidacy. There is also some serious reflection on what will be the future of our nation and if Christians will find a way or ways to reconcile their deep differences. Perhaps the uncivil rhetoric from this election will be the catalyst for a serious civil discussion on the issues which are not going to be solved by this or any future election: racism, anti-Semitism, intolerance toward Muslims, refugees, Latinos, immigrants, the gay community, and others who may look or think differently.

Other concerns for many are the possible privatization of Social Security, the dismantling of Medicare for seniors, insufficient support for Veterans, and the dishonoring of Congressional treaties with Native Americans. I don’t have any grand solutions, but I’m pretty sure that solutions will not be easy to arrive at in the current atmosphere of a divided nation. We should be able to look to our faith communities for some guidance, but the chasm between theological conservatives and theological liberals makes this seem like an unhelpful direction to go.

So, I believe we will have to rely on the words of Jesus as recorded by Matthew’s account when he answers the question, “Which commandment in the law is the greatest?” put to him by some Pharisees. Jesus responds with these words, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” In Luke’s account, Jesus follows the answer with a story, of a detested Samaritan stopping to aid a half-dead man on the side of the road and doing what a neighbor does. Let us hope that we are able to do what makes us a neighbor to those we encounter in the coming days as well as to stand and speak for those who have no voice or have been left to die on the margins of society. Then the world will see our witness as followers of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.