As I lay in bed last night watching the election returns and the slow, inevitable defeat of Hillary Clinton and the inexorable march towards victory for Donald Trump, the thought that kept running through my head was, “I’m so glad this is over with.”
I am a Christian first, a conservative (in the classic sense), a father, a working professional, and somewhere down the list I would occasionally say that I’m a Republican. Or at least I most often vote Republican. And, yes, I voted a straight Republican ticket this election—from president all the way down to Coweta County Probate Court Judge. So, yeah, I’m one of those guys.
I woke up this morning, drove into work, and started my day. The results of the election were really only a blip on my personal radar, as I had much more important and pressing things to worry about. As the day progressed, I started hearing snippets of social media “chatter” about people who were disappointed about the election results. My wife told me some stories about people “un-friending” or “un-following” friends, family members, and coworkers over their choices on yesterday’s election. “Well that’s just dumb,” I said. Hopefully, no one in our family would do something like that.
However, over dinner this evening, my daughter told me about a Facebook post made by a family member that deeply saddened me. This individual posted the following:
When I read this, it troubled me deeply. How could someone put politics above friends and family? How could someone have so much hatred and vitriol in their soul that would cause them say something like this? Are friends and family of so little worth that they are cast aside simply over a political disagreement? Is the political party that is currently in power so utterly and completely important to you that you have "lost all respect for humanity"?
So, yeah, I’m one of those guys who has a family member who has rejected him over a disagreement about political beliefs.
In the book of Proverbs, Solomon wrote, “With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor, but by knowledge the righteous are delivered” (Proverbs 11:9, ESV). I think there is much wisdom in this. Our words are very powerful. Words hurt, and can destroy someone else. Should we be trying to destroy our family and friends?
Jesus provided an even greater example when he said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:43-45, ESV).
None of us are perfect, and we all make mistakes. We all say, do, (or post) things we may later regret. My hope and prayer is that this family member will consider these words and recognize that politics, political opinion, or ideology should never get in the way of us loving one another.