I have a friend who is a conservative Christian who believes homosexuality is a sin. Almost predictably (isn’t it strange how that works…) her son, who she adores, came out to her, and she was shocked and in great pain. She asked me to pray with her that he changes, becomes “straight” and therefore what God wants, so as to escape hell.
I made her a counter offer: what if we both pray that he aligns with God’s purpose, whatever that purpose might be? I cannot claim to know that purpose, however many opinions and intuitions and supposed insights I may believe I have… and neither can she. But if that alignment happens, wouldn’t that be the best result? Isn’t that what she says she wants?
Needless to say, she was not happy with my answer. You can imagine what my prayers in this arena have been. I love her son, an absolutely wonderful human being who cannot share his heart with his own mother. And have told him in no uncertain terms that T and I adore him, and he and his sweetie are welcome in my home at any time. I’m pretty sure he’s already aligned with God’s purpose. I have no problem hoping that that alignment is more complete in the future, whatever that looks like.
All that is important is that he live a good life, and whether I, or his mother, are in our comfort zones about that is irrelevant.
I would never have voted for our President Elect unless two things AT MINIMUM were different:
1) He’d have to have held elected office, or served in a high capacity in the military.
2) He could never have projected all of the Birther filth he spewed for years, playing to the absolute cheapest seats in the house.
But…when he takes the oath of office he will be Chief Executive, and I absolutely hope he will do a brilliant job. Why in the HELL would I want the one driving the bus to do anything but drive well? I might have my own definition, might decide that “brilliant” means X and Y that his own adherents disagree with, but all I want is for my country to do well, whether or not it happens the way I wanted. For children to be healthy, life spans extended, freedoms protected and expanded, security and wealth increased, incarceration rates reduced.
In other words, that he be good for America, and the world, regardless of what path I chose to that goal. Regardless of the fact that I’d rather have fucked a cactus than voted for him. That I recoil at almost every action he takes and everything he says.
Because just like my friend…I could be wrong. I really could. And at least until he can be removed from office I pray I am, because he’s gonna be driving the bus, and it would be suicide to hope he that goes off the cliff, unbridled ego to hope that it stalls IF I can first ask that it travels well. Not by the definitions of the worst of his followers, but by the aspirations of the best among them, who seem good and decent people who disagree with me about what direction we should take, but love America as I do, and wish harm to none.
When members of the opposition hoped for Obama to fail I thought it was as low as anything I’d ever heard, and while I don’t see a racial component to similar talk I hear now (not from political leaders, thank goodness), I can’t respect it much more highly.
He beat the game, against the odds, and against all the pundits. I can think anything I want about how he did it, but if I can’t admit that I WAS WRONG THEN, AND I MIGHT BE WRONG NOW then I’m more committed to THINKING that I’m right than BEING right.
You cannot determine “what is true?” if you’ve already decided.
This is a time for every American to be centered, and clear-headed, and sharp-eyed, and to remember that the government exists for us, not the other way around, and be prepared to hold its feet to the fire. NO GOVERNMENT CAN EXIST WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF SOME OF THE GOVERNED, and it probably doesn’t take more than 5% of a population to grind a government to a standstill. We have far more power than you may want to believe. And if you want to give your grandchildren the very best chance to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities we have enjoyed, you have to be as awake, aware, and adult as you are capable of being.
ONLY if you can admit you might be wrong can you maximize your potential to be right.
Life is paradoxical like that. So yes, I will wish him well…on my terms. The twin questions: “Who am I?” and “What is true?” are critical here. The “Who am I?” leads “Who is he?” and “What does he really want?”
Well, I’ll tell you what I think he wants: I think his goal is to get his face on the fifty dollar bill. He wants to be a GREAT president, the greatest ever, by a YUUUGE margin. The most beloved, the most influential EVER.
All right. Then if that’s right, then I can pray that, whatever he originally intended, his values will align with what is actually good for America, and the world, whatever I thought, or think, or hope. I’ve been wrong before. I could be wrong now. And all that is necessary is that our country do well, not that I stay in my comfort zone.