I have a small amount of experience with not having my guy, or girl, win the election. I am almost always for the other one…no not the one people recognize, but for the one most people have never heard of or dismiss as crazy. Such is life. I want to, using that experience, offer some thoughts on how Christians can, and should, handle not being on the winning side of this particular election and how it is that relates to the unity of the body. There will even be some thoughts for those who are in support of the president elect.
- Christians voted for Trump. They also voted for Clinton, Johnson, Stein. Some Christians didn’t even vote. It’s ok. I can make a good argument for, or against, any of the above. That is my first piece of advice. With at least the two major party candidates, make the argument for them. This is not to change your mind, this is to understand that yes, Christians voted for people you disagree with. This should result in your understandings of scripture being challenged from time to time. That’s ok too. It’s probably even a good thing.
- You are not right. It doesn’t matter who you are. Don’t misunderstand please. I believe that you voted, or did not vote, as your conscience dictated. I don’t doubt your motives in the least. You aren’t right though. There is a very real danger in the idea of the more Christian candidate. I’m more Christian than you are is a game where everyone loses. It is harmful to the body and it pains God. Yes, there are those who are more spiritually mature than I am, and there are those who are less so, but it is not contest of who is the better Christian. It’s sort of an all or nothing deal. You are a Christian or you are not a Christian, it is not a matter of who is better. The idea of God’s candidate is even more harmful. With any candidate, they are flawed. Generally very much so. God’s candidate came, died, rose and will come again. Until that time, I don’t think He has a candidate, but I am positive that He will use whomever is elected so long as they are willing.
- You are not wrong. It doesn’t matter who you are. Self governance is messy. It is far from perfect. It often seems pointless and redundant as we go around in circles over and over again it seems. What it does is seek to allow for self determination. Is the Electoral College fair? Yes and no. It does what it seeks to accomplish, so it is fair to those it seeks to protect, but rather unfair to the idea of individual vote. Is a direct popular vote fair? Yes and no. It would allow for each individual to have a vote of equal value, but in turn would value the wishes of large population centers over the wishes of rural communities. In other words, the tyranny of the majority. In the end, we have the best system that we have come up with.
- Don’t protest. Please don’t protest against Trump, or anything really. If you protest against Trump, for example, what is the end game? Some have said it is to raise awareness, but let’s be honest, we all know that Trump is bombastic and uses a lot of hyperbole. Everyone knows what he has said. We don’t need more awareness. What is the end game? Without an end game, you end up with things like those calling for martial law to stop the inauguration for example, or any number of articles by the Huffington Post. That is silly. When your protest is in the negative, it is noise. It may be understandable noise. It may be valid frustration and concern. It may be a lot of things, but with no end game it is noise.
- Please advocate for. The civil rights movement was an amazing thing precisely because it was not a protest against, but an advocacy for. Advocate for equal rights, for fair wages, for whatever floats your boat. When there is an end game, your message can actually get out. There is a goal, a motivation. There is a group of like minded individuals doing what is in their power to affect the changes they believe are necessary. That is a powerful thing. Is it more effective to protest against, or to advocate for? Advocating for brings change. Protest against makes noise. Both are our right as citizens of the United States of course, it is simply that one is effective and one is not. One can help unify us, and one can only tear us apart.
- He’s your president. I am sorry if that bothers you. I am sorry if you do not like him, what he has said, what he has done, and what he stands for. The same is true for President elect Trump. He will be your president. When you say he isn’t your president, are removing yourself from the rest of the population. Your are increasing the chasm that divides us. Honestly, you are proving the president elect correct as he has often declared that we are two nations. I would think the last thing you;d want to do is prove him correct. Be the opposition. Please be the opposition. Just be the loyal opposition. “He’s not my president” is not the loyal opposition.
Here’s the thing. When we look out of our church windows, so to speak, we can see a whole lot of people. Some of them voted for Trump and some for Clinton. Some didn’t vote. Some voted for a minor party. For those outside our church window, this is an ideological partisan issue. For us on the inside, it is a spiritual one. If, in victory or defeat, we look the same as those outside the confines of the church, we are doing it wrong. Right now, it seems an awful lot of us are doing it wrong. Let’s do better.