Wednesday, January 21, 2009

yesterday’s inauguration

Alternate title: I’m not getting enough hate mail, so I think I’ll write another one of “those posts” that ticks everyone off. :-p

Truthfully, no one has to read this blog very long to know that I love my sister-in-law Tara. She is the sister I never had as well as a very good friend. We are alike in many ways, but in others we are very different. We have disagreed over several issues, but we have always managed to do so graciously and respectfully, without any grudges or hard feelings between us.

Today we discussed yesterday’s inauguration. Here we do NOT disagree. She wrote a post on her own blog about the Christians spewing Obama hatred. And now I am writing not to argue but rather to back her up. Only I’m more long-winded than she is. Blame my Baptist roots. ;)

For eight years now, I have listened to liberals and Democrats who do not agree with President Bush’s political philosophies rant and rave. They have said, “He’s not MY President!” and “I hate Bush!” They have made comparisons to Hitler, of all people. They have in their feverish hatred denied him even the respect that the office of President deserves.

I have been saddened and disgusted by this, as have many others. Can we not disagree with someone’s policies without demonizing the man? Can we not stand united in patriotically wanting the nation to succeed and do well, regardless of who is in office? I have been disappointed with many of Bush’s actions as President. But I never knowingly disrespected him as a man or as President.

I did not vote for Obama in November. He was not my choice for the office of President. I disagree quite strongly with many of his proposed policies and his political ideologies. However, I am now hearing the same kind of venom being spewed, only this time from the other direction. The same people who were horrified by the Bush hate are now guilty of the very same thing. I even read a “right-wing” blog playing the tired old Hitler card, and I cringed. (Do we really think that ANYONE who actually lived through Hitler’s regime would so cavalierly make that comparison?)

It is bad enough that conservatives would be hypocritical enough to engage in this type of behavior, having spent the last eight years condemning it. But for Christians to engage in this sort of vitriol is particularly disturbing. We are reminded in Scripture that no one is in any position of authority unless God has allowed him to be there. No one. God is sovereign, even in the elections of Bush AND Obama. The Bible also teaches us to respect and humbly submit to our earthly leaders.

And if you want to insist on viewing President Obama as the enemy, well, you’re still not off the hook. We are commanded to love our enemies, to pray for them, and to bless them. I have every intention of praying daily for our new President—for his safety and protection, for wisdom and discernment, for godly advisors, for the Holy Spirit to move in his heart and life. I will pray that God’s will is done in him and through him. These are the same things I prayed for President Bush. God is quite capable of accomplishing His purpose either through or in spite of anyone.

Yes, it is okay to disagree with policies or to point out sin where sin exists. But even that can be done with love and respect for the man himself, without hatred or ugliness or venom. We can respect the office! AND we can honor the man who holds that office…even if we do not approve his actions. You will not hear me say that I do not support this President, even though I did not vote for him. I do support him and I will continue to do so.

Finally, even though I did not vote for Obama, I can acknowledge and even rejoice in the historic significance of his election. Do I wish someone else could have had the honor of being our first black President? Sure. (I have actually voted for Alan Keyes several times in the primaries.) But it doesn’t matter. Someone else didn’t. Barack Obama does and is. And I am thrilled to see another long-overdue nail in the ugly coffin of racism. I am not a minority, but I can be proud of this triumph, this small fulfillment of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream. It is progress, in and of itself.

Okay, stepping off the soapbox now. You may commence throwing rotten tomatoes. :-p


Tana said...

having already made my pertinent comment on tara's blog, all i have to say is this:


give it a few years, you'll be a minority, and it will still be cool that a black man won the presidential election (just not cool about which one). :)

Tara said...

You said a lot of things I wanted to. :-) Yay Karen!

karen said...

Lol. Are you saying my long-windedness is a good thing? ;)