Dark Days

Like many other Americans, for me this election has been disillusioning, to say the least.

The truth is, I have never before felt so ashamed and disappointed in my country. I am in disbelief about the candidates who we chose to represent us for this election. I am appalled to think that these individuals are the best we have to offer, as leaders for the nation.

Worse, I’ve never felt more marginalized in the Christian Church as a whole. There are many believers I know who were unsatisfied with either candidate, and weren’t afraid to say so, for which I am grateful. But what disturbs me so deeply is the large majority of believers who not only accept Trump as a good candidate, but are now actively celebrating his election. How can we, as Christians, celebrate the election of a president who publicly presents himself as a racist, a sexist, and a bigot? I am saddened to know that a vast majority of the Christian Church around the nation supported this man with their votes. What does it tell the world about the church, and Jesus, when this is who we choose as our president? We are Jesus’ representatives, and we have failed in this.

Of course, the alternative was arguably not much better. Clinton is certainly not a shining light for Jesus, any more than Trump is. Her platform includes things which as a Christian, I cannot morally agree with. Nevertheless, I did vote for her because, frankly, I believed she was the lesser of two evils. I voted for her because she was the only serious competition to Trump, and at the very least, her message was not one of distrust and divisiveness. I refused to support fear, alienation, and hatred.

As a follower of Christ, I support equality, peace, and love. The sad truth is that neither of these candidates offered much of any of those things. And in truth, as bad as this election was, it’s not as if politics frequently offers up Godly candidates. It is for this reason that I am not a Republican, and I am not a Democrat. Neither party comes remotely close to being a reflection of God. For those Christians who refuse to acknowledge that, I challenge them to read the Bible, pray, and recognize that we are called to a higher standard than this. Watching people celebrate the new Republican control of the government as if it’s some kind of blessing from God is what disturbs me the most about this whole situation. God is not a Republican, guys. (He cares for the poor, for one, and he commands us to welcome foreigners, not build a wall to keep them out.)

Anyhow, I am encouraged to know that there are other believers who have also publicly expressed their disappointment in this election process and results, no matter how few they may be. It reminds me that the entire church isn’t happy with what I feel is a tragedy for our nation, not a cause for celebration.

As disappointed as I am with what just happened, my hope is still in Jesus alone. It has to be, because any hope I had left for our nation has been demolished. As a follower of Jesus, I have to respect President-Elect Trump and love him as a person. As such, I will continue to pray for him, and strive to forgive him continuously as he inevitably continues to behave in ways that make my blood boil and my heart cry.

I can’t say that I’m proud to be an American. In fact, I’m considering whether I want to be one at all anymore.

But that’s actually okay, because contrary to popular belief, God is not partial to the United States of America. It’s just a country, a human construction, and a deeply flawed one at that. I am not called to be loyal to my country, but to God’s Kingdom. I am, of course, called to pray for my country, its leaders, and its people. I also have total respect and gratitude for the brave men and women who defend my rights, in the name of our country.

But I’m also called to stand and disagree when I see evil things happening here. So that’s what I’m doing now. I don’t like what I’m seeing, and through my mourning I can only pray that somehow, God will use these dark times for the greater good. I know he will, because that’s just the sort of thing he does.