Yesterday was rough. If you choose not to step in the shoes of why people may feel that way, then, please don't continue reading.
Yesterday was hard because people I love and care about deeply woke up to the fact the trajectory of their lives would be drastically changed. Certain people see those mourning this next season of America as "whiny", "a generation that's never been told 'no'", and I even heard "victims" used. But, I can only imagine that if things hadn't gone "your way", perhaps you'd feel something similar.
Let's start with this: I am not a whiny Millennial that thinks I'm the victim of a rigged election or something "that's not fair". I'm not throwing a tantrum because I dislike the way the results of the election played out. I am allowed to be bummed out because I'm a human, not a robot.
Yesterday opened my eyes to people using Christianity to question my vote, as if somehow Donald Trump is the Way, the Truth and the Life. I was questioned for using my vote to support a "abortion promoter" with "Illuminati devil worshipper" followers. I'll be the first to shout from the top of mountains that I am imperfect. I do my best to shine my light, and be an example for those around me. I was raised in the Church of Christ from about the age of 9, around people that mostly hold quite conservative viewpoints, and that's okay. But, I'm here to tell you it IS possible to be a Christian and NOT vote Republican.
The Bible teaches that there will always be sin in the world regardless of the laws of the land. Am I going to be able to control every aspect of every person's life? No. Am I going to be able to control someone else reaching Heaven? I don't believe so. It's not a jump in my carry-on bag sort-of-thing.
Jesus was humble and kind. When he ate with the sinners in Matthew 9, he didn't approach them shouting their sins. He sat with them and ate. James 1 talks about being quick to listen and slow to speak. There's a problem in our culture right now. We don't listen. We're so eager to be "right" and say "you're wrong" that we close our ears, and in turn our hearts, to what others have to say as if they are "less than" because they are different or sin differently than we do. Some Trump supporters tried to encourage me yesterday by saying he wants unity among Americans, but I'm hesitant because his campaign message embodies and empowers a "say whatever you want" culture. Let me tell you something, in case your Mama didn't teach you this….just because you CAN say something doesn't make it OKAY to say. His open lack of respect is not something I can cheer on from the sidelines because I don't see that developing collaboration...ever.
Ultimately, my decision not to choose Trump had NOTHING to do with religion.
It's simple. I can't stand behind someone who throughout his campaign had proven to me that his mindset was not actually centered on making American great. America is great because we are each unique and bring different perspectives on culture, religion, food, clothing, etc. He doesn't celebrate that. He wants us to fear what's different. His message is about building walls and singling out. For the record, I'm not scared of people fleeing their country of violence to make a better life for themselves. I don't see a leader who will be open to working with other countries in a positive, productive manner. It doesn't come down to religion for me. It comes down to being a decent human being, and innately knowing when there are lines you can't cross. You shouldn't want to cross.
I also acknowledged that my vote isn't just about ME. It's about people who aren't like me at all. If you made a decision to favor that Trump was "pro-life", how did you blatantly ignore that he openly judged people on their race, religion and gender? How do I look at my friends who are Mexican (or insert any other minority here) and say "Don't worry. This was a good thing for you."? How do I look at my African American friends and say "While president of his real estate company, the Justice Department sued him for quoting higher rates to African Americans based on race, but don't worry. You'll be fine."? I won't. I'm not going to reassure them he's going to make it easy for them because I'm not convinced he will. It's one thing to have a different point of view on certain policies, but it's entirely illogical to defend the type of statements that escape his jaws.
So, please don't hold Jesus over my head and wave your finger at me over Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice because I don't think He'd be so hyped on Trump's lifestyle choices, career paths or foul language. People are going to make decisions in their own lives that I have NO control over, including decisions that no written law will ever hinder.
So, what now? Because, Trump was selected as our next U.S. President.
I'm focusing on what I CAN control.
There is a fire in my belly, and I pray there is one in yours too. Just because I'm sad about what could have been, doesn't mean I've lost all hope, and it doesn't mean I'm a whiny victim. I feel more ignited than ever before. I want to do good, spread love and help those in my community because I worry that our new leaders do not share my vision. I am going to pray they prove my assumption wrong. One thing I'm not going to do is buy into this message of fearing differences. If someone I know has an abortion, I'm not going to look at them like the scum of the earth. If a stranger on the street is wearing a hijab, I'm not going to look at them as a criminal. If I hear someone speaking another language, I'm not going to tell them they need to go back to their own country. If I find out there are refugees nearby, I'm not going to shun them. I'm going to keep being me. Because, those things have never been part of my character. I'm going to show these people that I'll fight for things they need. I am committing myself to volunteering for causes I believe in to make an impact on what and who is around me. There are laws that may soon pass that will hurt those I care about, but I'm going to help those people in whatever ways I can be it big or small. That's what I'm committing to. I'm going to gather my tribe, and do good things.
So, that's how I'm at peace today. I know that light and love will prevail.
Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Beginning," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore
p.s. - now, back to my regularly scheduled programming...up next MY EUROTRIP! <3