Don’t gloat — Don’t despair

On Nov. 8th, 59+ million Americans voted for Secretary Hillary Clinton.

On Nov. 8th, 59+ million Americans voted for President-elect Donald Trump.

To put these numbers in perspective — with 4.5 million people in Louisiana, that would mean that more than 12 Louisiana’s voted for Ms. Clinton and more than 12 Louisiana’s voted for Mr. Trump.

Several weeks ago, in a Blog entitled “Nov. 9th” I speculated that on the day after the election the sun would rise in the east and set in the west and that the earth would continue to journey around the sun on its prescribed orbit.  I was correct.

And now …. and now …. what is next, what do we do?

President Obama and Ms. Clinton set the tone on Wednesday.  Obviously disappointed, obviously surprised —- both promised cooperation and a smooth transition of power — and this transition of power in a smooth way is a hallmark of our society and our history.

For me, the divisions in our nation — perhaps unseen, but not hidden — for decades have been brought to the light.  Again, 59 million v. 59 million.

Ms. Clinton won the popular vote and Mr. Trump won the electoral vote.  Division.

52% of Catholics voted for Mr. Trump.  48% of Catholics voted for Ms. Clinton.  Division.

But the divisions are there among people of different educational levels, income levels, genders, races, religions, sexual orientation, —- in ways more than I know.

Over the past two weeks, our local paper published “letters to the editor” from people talking about how a good Catholic should vote — or how a Christian should vote.  Divisions were highlighted among people of faith….especially around the subject of abortion.  Evidence of division.

Today —- this day — I heard from an employer who had a Hispanic employee tell him that her husband had been “harassed on his job” by people telling him he needed to get ready to go back to Mexico.  I read a FB post from a mature young, Black woman sharing her fear — by recalling days when she was followed around a store at the Mall when her White classmates were not.  I hear a young father tell me about his son asking if his friend who is a Muslim would have to move.  THIS IS REAL …. right in Lake Charles, LA.

I encourage those who voted for Mr. Trump to celebrate — but not to gloat or rub salt in the wounds opened by the campaign.  We are a divided nation that says, “one nation under God” each time we pledge allegiance to the flag.  Let’s not see more tensions created by yelling, braggards.  Let’s not see  a smoldering fire fanned into flames.

As an American, Mr. Trump is THE PRESIDENT-ELECT of my country.  Mr. Trump is my President.

I encourage those who voted for Ms. Clinton to be sad, to grieve —- but not to despair or to fight in the streets.  We are a divided nation that says, “one nation under God” each time we pledge allegiance to the flag.  Lets not see more tensions created by yelling insults and predictions of apocalypse.

We worship a God, who says  —– Be still and know that I am God.  We will soon proclaim that Christ is King — that no earthly leader or political party or political philosophy will save us.  We renew our faith in an ever present God who loves us all —- and who says that the test of our faith is NOT WHO WE VOTED FOR ….. but how we show our love for another.  It is not about what we say —- it is about what we do.

One nation under God — or a divided nation under God?

On election day I helped to host a luncheon for the International Students attending our Charter High School and their host parents —- 3 students from Thailand, one from Germany, one from Serbia, one from Spain, one from the Czech Republic, one from South Korea, one from Colombia, one from Spain, one from Taiwan, one from China.  They looked “different”, they sounded “different” —- but all had dreams of a better tomorrow.  These students are the children of someone — they are here entrusted to us for education and protection.  I feel responsible for them.  My faith and my duty compel me to support them and care for them.

And in the same way —- there are people in my town, your town — entrusted to me, to you by God for education, protection, health care —— an OPPORTUNITY for a better tomorrow.

As Christians — we are taught and challenged that we show our faith, “by the way we love one another.”  THEY will know we are Christians —- by our love, by our love.

I voted for Ms. Clinton.  The American people “spoke” otherwise.  I have friends and family members who voted differently than me.  After a campaign that focused too much on personalities and NOT ENOUGH on issues, I must let these differences dissipate and move forward.

Malachi [3:19-20] tells us that the proud and the evildoers will be stubble.  For those who fear the Lord, the SUN OF JUSTICE WILL COME FORTH and bring healing rays.

Luke [21:5-19] reminds us that everything of this earth —- even political parties — will one day disappear.  In the midst of wrangling and fighting — not a hair of our heads will be harmed —– if we are faithful to God —– AS WE HEAR GOD.

I will stay away from FB for weeks to come.  I will watch 30 minutes of the news in the morning and 30 minutes of news in the evening.  I will read our local paper.

In a few days I will not spend much time talking about the election or worrying about what is happening in Washington.

I will spend my time and my money on things that are important to me.  I will pray daily and share Eucharist weekly.  I will make a difference where I can —- and move on where my talents are not appreciated.

The Lord has come to rule with justice —- if we act with justice.  The Lord comes to rule the earth.

There is no reason to gloat —- there is no reason to fear.  Human beings have cast votes.  A human being has been elected President.  We pray for our President and those who will work with him and for us.

We will influence the system as we can — realizing more than ever the diversity within our nation, the flawed human system, and the omnipotence of God.    Let us persevere in faith — and thus, we will be saved from harm and for the world to come.




About thegospelforliving

Retired Catholic Priest - now serving the community as a paralegal and charter school consultant.
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