I know that right now we are a divided nation. This is not new or surprising and is not the result of the election. The truth of the matter is in the old saying, “United we stand but divided we fall.” This is not a letter about Trump but a letter from “my” heart.
As a Christian (please don’t stop reading just because I said I’m a Christian), I personally and continually deal with other believers in Christ who do not agree with one another on many issues such as the translation of the Bible, doctrinal beliefs or expressions of worship. I personally have been honored to walk with a large team of people from around the world that regularly come together under the core belief that we are family because we share the same Father and Savior, therefore we lay down our personal agendas and cultural/doctrinal differences in order to pray and worship our Savior in unity of heart. It is rich and beautiful.
I share that only to say that as a nation we share one common ground that we can stand united on if we are willing; we are all Americans. I am not merely being patriotic but rather longing to see our nation lay down our differences, our agendas and our demands for a moment so that we can come together as “One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all”. For all!
Eight years ago the republicans/conservatives in our nation experienced what you, my non-republican/conservative friends are experiencing now. We experienced a political defeat and it too was painful. It wasn’t about race but about our beliefs. What we fought for had been defeated just as has happened to you this week. There were not riots in the streets or any
media talking about our pain. It was as if our defeat was a silent pain that could not be talked about.
Though I did not vote for President Obama in either election, I personally wept eight years ago when the Obamas walked down the streets of Washington DC after he was sworn in because it was beautiful to see our nation embrace an African American president. Though he did not stand for the issues that I stood for, it was a moment of victory as a nation that I could be in unity with my fellow Americans on. I thought of the decades and decades of those who fought and died for civil rights and recognized that this was what they fought for. As the Obamas walked down the street that day, as our newly sworn in presidential family, I could recognize (in the midst of personal disappointment) that I was witnessing a victory and miracle.
Within every family there are differences; sometimes stark differences. Within every sport there is an opposing team or competitor. Within every religion there are different beliefs and views. And finally within every nation there are different political parties and beliefs that go to the very heart of the individuals that make up that nation.
Once again, for eight years I personally have had to live with a government leading our nation with beliefs and views that I did not share. Though I am aware that many in the “conservative right” did not always act becomingly or with integrity, I always sought to bless and not curse. If my core beliefs are Christian then I had to conclude that any action that violated God’s command that we “love one another” would be wrong. I am so very sorry for all of those who said that they are Christian but did not display love. I’m not talking about agreement of issues (beliefs) I am talking about love. Jesus displayed that when he befriended those who lived in a way that went against the Jewish law. He brought grace and love that crossed barriers of lifestyles and beliefs.
Today we ALL face change as we go into four years of a more conservative and republican government. We face it with a new president that has glaring faults, is rarely “politically correct” in how he speaks and has a past moral failures. Sounds a lot like many of us. For me, my vote did not come from a place of believing that this man was the most qualified or honorable, but truly believing that the issues that he stood for more greatly aligned with my Christian beliefs.
As an American, I too, should have the rights to live and exercise my values and beliefs in our great nation without being called a racist or facing persecution or prosecution. I believe in “justice for all” and yet in today’s world I find it difficult to see where my children and grandchildren can live free of judgement that says if we don’t “agree” then it’s a “crime of hate”. If our disagreement leaves the boundaries of love then yes, we are guilty of hate but can our nation and will you, my friends and fellow Americans who have passionate but different beliefs, allow us to live and be loved in this land as well? If love is your “cause” (this is a cause we agree on) then can we be loved too? Can we disagree with lifestyles without being called “haters” and racist? And can we who disagree act like Jesus and show love as well?
Will we allow this new president to walk with his family down the streets of Washington DC after he is sworn in as our Commander and Chief without screaming hate and murderous chants at them? Will people walk in personal integrity with a man who has not always done so? Or will they do the very thing that they claim to hate? Can we show love to the one that we do not agree with?
Hatred produces more hatred and since the desire of many who voted against Trump is acceptance for all then he is included in that “all”? Am I included in that “all”?
President Obama has called for unity and support, Hillary Clinton has asked for unity and support, President Elect Donald Trump has asked for unity and support and now I am asking for that as well. Not agreement but an extension of love. Unity as Americans rather than riots of hate filling our streets and cities. Words of blessing rather than curses of hate. I have spent eight years pleaded with those around me who share my beliefs to not speak hate or curses over our more liberal friends and neighbors. I, and many others have asked them to pray for our president and to extend love in the midst of disagreement. We can rally for our causes without killing and hating one another. The Bible says that without love we are merely a “clanging gong or resounding cymbal”. We are just noise! On either side, liberal or conservative, we are just noise when we are absent of love.
I know that many (on all sides; religious, conservative and liberal) will comment with hate, political views and anger against this letter but if these words can in some way unite hearts that have different beliefs then whatever anger that comes against me is worth it. I desire to walk in the greatest commandment and that is to love one another as Christ first loved me. He loved me before I believed in His ways and I want to walk like He walked.
God Bless America…land that I love!