56/365: This Also Happened…

I took this picture on Tuesday, but to be honest I haven’t posted it because I wasn’t exactly sure what to write. As part of—what I assume to be—the minority that was neither elated nor depressed by Obama’s victory, it feels a bit awkward (and increasingly irrelevant) to sound off on election day, but here we go.

Where angels fear, etc.

Actually, the most irritating thing about the political process for me is the rigidity of the two-party system and the way the issues themselves often take a backseat to the TALKING about issues. I hate the random assignment of causes: Republicans wave angry signs about “Big Government” and then demand that we spend lots of taxpayer money legislating the use of recreational drugs; or legislating who can marry whom; or what kind of healthcare options a woman is entitled to. Democrats are angry when middle-aged Republican men say horrible things about rape victims and abortion, but I haven’t noticed many people (there are, of course, some) pointing out that pregnancies from rape might not be such an issue IF WE DIDN’T HAVE A CULTURE THAT NORMALIZES RAPE.

Sigh.

And I was trying so hard not to drag out my soapbox.

But, no, I’m not particularly upset about the election. I’m not jubilant either. We have a long road to go before we reach economic recovery, and we need to take a cold look at our budget. (Ok, but I do find this baffling: if we are so anxious to balance our budget why is it so difficult to trim military spending? Do you realize the United States spends 41% of the world’s total spending on defense? This is beyond insane. I say when you have enough explosives to blow up the planet, it’s probably time to think more carefully about how you care for your old people. Grammo before ammo, friends).

But if we’re talking about things that get me going… I do find the fomenting of despair and panic quite troubling.

So too the over-earnest pleas to “PRAY for our country.” As though there would be less need to pray for our country if Romney had won. By all means, let’s pray. But let’s pray for our country, not at her. That’s just rude.

There seems to be a strange childishness among American evangelicalism today. We want a political party, a president, a pastor, a law—anything that will take the burden of morality from our own shoulders. We do not want to be responsible, so we pretend that if the government decides to legalize abortion then the government is somehow the responsible party. Not the woman who gets the abortion. Or the man who had unprotected sex with her. Or the doctor who performed the abortion. Or the society that refuses to address the ongoing gender inequities that make it so difficult for a woman to succeed as either a parent or an employee, never mind both, at once, alone.

We are, in fact, raging spiritual codependents who find it easier to tear our hearts out in spectacularly public fashion than to do the quiet work of growing up, accepting responsibility for our own morality even as we recognize that God never called us to be responsible for the morality of others. In general, I think we want to hide from responsibility because we don’t know how to accept the correct amount and refuse the rest. It’s all or nothing with us.

This, of course, is just my opinion, but it’s based on my own Dark Night of the Soul shenanigans this summer, which pretty much boiled down to the same thing.

So, carry on, Americans, and fire off those articles of doom, my fellow Christians. That is, as Britney would attest, your prerogative. But it’s also my prerogative to be about as happy today as I was at this same time last week, to save my outrage and euphoria for another day, and to be weirdly preoccupied by the crusty boogers in my daughter’s nose.

If you could refrain from Facebook updates that suggest I’m a blind dupe of Satan, that would be awesome.

But if not, no worries. I’m getting faster with the “Hide Updates” feature.

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3 thoughts on “56/365: This Also Happened…

  1. Let’s pray for our country, not at her. Completely agree. And I am also part of the minority that was indifferent. I was more upset about how people were reacting on both sides. Hate how divided we are as a nation.

  2. Sigh. I’m getting very done with politics. It’s a false Messiah. Whatever you stand for. I’m pro-life. But I’m pro everybody’s life. I’m pro the life of unborn babies here, but I’m also pro the life of people oversees, even the ones who’ve committed the ultimate crime: disliking America. There’s one political party that does a great job of talking about taking care of those people across the ocean, but that party also loves to push for, pay for, and protect stuff like ripping babies limbs off. The other party does a great job of talking about taking care of babies, but that party also sees it as their sacred, noble duty to systematically hunt down and blow up people who don’t like America, and in the process, blow up a bunch of other people, too, who may even be (gasp!) ambivalent about America and just want to get to the market to buy food for their families. And the really frustrating thing is that neither political party actually does anything but talk. We’ve just gone from one of the most conservative presidents ever, who did nothing about abortion, to one of the most liberal presidents ever, who did nothing about war. I think our country is in decline and that bad stuff is ahead, but that would have still been true if Romney had won. It’s time for each of us to examine what good we can do in our own little corners and stop looking to the government to save the day, as if they even could. Jesus is my king, and the only Messiah I will ever need.

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