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.
so true..too true…too often i see this in conversations i have where people tell me what they are against rather than what they are FOR. we do this with faith as well. more people know Christians for the things we are against – the things we are afraid of – rather than what we are for.
i might actually listen to someone from the other side if they bothered to tell me something positive about their candidate rather than ripping on the one i’ve chosen…
Milton, I am also troubled by how much fear we have of each other these days… Obama supporters are truly afraid o a McCain victory and vice versa. Even my daughter encounters this in her high school conversations on the issues.
Our next president has a monumental task ahead of him. He… whoever he is… will be in my prayers every day. May be show that spirit of power and love, and unite us and bring us out of our fear.
The worst thing, IMO, about fear is what follows, which we are also starting to see. That would be the hate.
It’s always so nice to come here. I feel like I’m sittin’ on the couch with dad getting good solid wisdom and advice, as I sip delicious cocoa and have a lovely snack.
I am actually going to describe the clip in my sermon on Sunday. I’m preaching on Psalm 107 and how we need to rely on God and on God’s steadfast love, not on the “magic” of politicians to save us or the fear of them to destroy our world. (I wish we had a screen so I could show the clip)
What you said. No need to say it much.
Anxiety and fear are powerful allies for politicians. It’s probably accurate to say that most Americans are not that afraid. But the fringe on both sides tends to be pretty, well, fringy. Always has been that way. Always will be.
Your sentiments are so insightful and ring very true to me in these past few months.
Good post, Milton. Thank you.
I don’t see the same scripture that you do though. Is 2 Timothy 2:7 correct? “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.”
I apologize for picking nits…hey, it’s cold up here!
Coming into freedom out of fundamentalism, I feel ecstatic that I can truly choose this year; I don’t HAVE to vote Republican because I follow Christ. I CAN vote Democratic and still love Jesus! Woo hoo!
All that being said, part of my desire to vote FOR Obama is to vote AGAINST the fear-mongers that try to persuade gloom, doom and the end of the world should he be elected. It makes me so stinking mad.
That’s not a good reason to vote.
There must be a better way.