We took Ella walking in the middle of the night last night, so I didn’t get my daily dose of Jon Stewart, so, when I got home tonight, Ginger and I watched last night’s episode of The Daily Show, which included this report from John Oliver at both McCain and Obama campaign rallies.
The clip made me laugh (“Oh, that was an unfortunate time for a slip-up.”) and it made me sad; sad, because Oliver is right that our biggest commonality as Americans appears to be our fear and we appear to be mostly frightened of each other.
I don’t know what to do with that. So I guess I have to say it got me riled up a bit as well.
2 Timothy 2:7, as I learned it years ago from the King James, says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” That doesn’t sound like much of anyone I hear talking about this election, Christian or otherwise. We seem to be running scared to the polls, afraid of what the other side is going to do to America.
The problem is we seldom make good choices when we’re scared, election year or not.
It’s news to no one, unless you’re here for the first time, that I’m going to vote for Barack Obama. But I’m not voting for him because I’m scared of John McCain or Sarah Palin. I disagree with them on many things, I don’t see them as the best choice we have this time around, but I’m not scared of them or of what they might do. Things are going to change, regardless of who wins. The government is going to do some things I like and some things I don’t regardless of who wins. America is going to have to cope with its changing place in the world regardless of who wins. But America is not who gives us a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind. To allow fear to control our votes is not to vote for, but against. We rarely say, “Yes” out of fear; we say, “No,” hoping it will keep us safe.
When we go vote, may we do so with a spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. May we be mindful that those who are voting differently are not enemies to be feared, but fellow citizens to be regarded, regardless of how they choose to see us. May we not run scared, but move with intentionality and resolve. And may we never run into John Oliver when he’s doing interviews.