Following God One Step at a Time

Views on the U.S. election

on November 14, 2016

Because I am having trouble untangling issues about Christianity and the Presidential election just finished in the U.S., I am quoting some people who are better at explaining the problems we see. 

I am a follower of Jesus, and so are all the people I have quoted below.

In her book Beyond Apathy: A Theology for Bystanders, Dr. Elisabeth Vasko says “To be a Christian is to take sides with those who are marginalized, dehumanized and subject to violence. Whether we like it or not neutrality isn’t an option.”   

Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM from his article “Rebuilding From the Bottom Up”.  “There was a palpable fear and anger leading up to Election Day, and for many it has grown even stronger.…  Only a contemplative mind can hold our fear, confusion, vulnerability, and anger and guide us toward love. Let’s use this milestone moment to begin again with confidence and true inner freedom and to move out into the world with compassion.…  Maybe some of us naively thought that we could or should place our loyalty in any political agenda or party. Remember, Yahweh told Israel that they should never put their trust in “princes, horses, or chariots” (Psalms 20:7, 33:16-17), but only in the love of God.”   

Khristi L. Adams  from her Huffington Post article, “Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up”.  We are in the same church together, But –“You might be holding my hand in prayer, but while I’m praying God would provide a place for the poor and marginalized, you’re praying ”those people” would just go away. You might be holding my hand in prayer, but while I’m praying for the walls to come down, you’re praying the walls would go up. You might be holding my hand in prayer, but we’re praying two different prayers and possibly to two different versions of who we think Jesus is.”  

Christena Cleveland  from her book Disunity in Christ.  “Despite Jesus’ prayer that all Christians “be one,” divisions have been epidemic in the body of Christ from the beginning to the present…. I wonder if our understanding of Jesus is limited by our inability to see him represented in the diversity of the body of Christ.  I wonder how much Christ’s heart is broken when we denigrate followers of Christ who differ from us.”   

What I can say —

Christians do not all think the same, do not all dress the same, do not all vote the same.  Please don’t assume that just because we follow Jesus, we are all the same.  I did not vote for Mr. D. Trump.  Following Jesus does not make us all the same.  Christians are of every race, every nationality, and every political party.

 When we get to Heaven, maybe we will find out if we followed Jesus well or not.  I imagine that we all have made some wrong turns, maybe even forgot who we were following for a while.   I hope we can admit that none of us has the perfect way to follow Jesus.  I hope we can accept that we can be Christians, and still not agree on everything. 

Those of us who dislike Mr. Trump, it is not about whether he is a Christian or not.  It is because he is against so many people who live in the U.S., or want to live here.  He has divided us, and encouraged violence and hate, specifically toward Muslims, Mexicans, women, and anyone who did not want to vote for him. 

Let us, as followers of Jesus, work in love with our neighbors to bring peace and cooperation back to our communities.  Let us follow Jesus in our own ways, and still love one another.  Let us follow Jesus, and leave politics out of our religion.


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