We Are Better Than This

This, unfortunately, has been a long overdue post that I've just now found the right way to articulate.

I haven't been very political since late last year. This is due to the fact I have passionate friends on both sides of the issues. I'm happy to say I have not lost one friend, but have gained many. I choose not to judge but to learn. I'm fascinated still to this day why many of his supporters stand behind him. Today I'm writing from several perspectives. The perspective of a businessman, a Christian, as someone who champions diversity on multiple levels, but most importantly, an American. While I tend to favor logic, this is such a heartfelt issue, I ask you please keep an open mind. We're all human and we're all in this together. We need each other.

If it's okay for me to take the next few sentences to vent, I'm going to do that. My frustration comes from a place of concern for my country but also my fellow Americans. How have we ventured so far off to abandon character and integrity? How did we get to a place where the leader of the free world openly promotes divisive behavior? How has our authority on the world stage been reduced to laughter and mockery when our administration speaks? As I watched the Ariana Grandé One Love Manchester show yesterday I couldn't help but think, "This. This is what we should be focused on." In a world where terrorists target almost every major event, we have the leader of the free world starting a twitter war with a comedian. Where is our focus? Where is the priority? Where is the compassion and deep concern for humanity? Where has our understanding of perspective and the respect for that perspective gone? Have we been paralyzed by social media and the 24hr news cycle so much that we've forgotten what it means to stand side by side with one another when terror strikes? Are we not better than this?

For those that are deeply hurt and concerned by our current political climate, you understand where I'm coming from. For those that do not understand, I'd like to start an open dialogue. As a White - Christian - Privileged - Southern - Male, I'm more than aware why 45 has so many supporters. I attended his rally – I understand. Hear me out, I get both sides. What I do not get is the inability to see perspective. To those in support of the current administration, have you acknowledged, even remotely, what those in the LGBT community, the African American community, immigrants in fear of deportation, families who rely on ACA for medical assistance, or friends living overseas are going through? To balance, my liberal friends, have you considered the reasons so many are in support for him? Now, I'll make a bold statement and say a defense for 45 is diminishing quickly. His actions in recent days make it hard for the most loyal supporter to continue. Gridlock isn't an option, we've had it in our Country for years now. As a community, we must find a way to acknowledge our differences but work together to create a better America.

From a Biblical Perspective

The Bible teaches that God calls followers of Christ to honor those in authority. Paul addresses the importance of honoring our leaders in Romans:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (Romans 13:1)

Paul then explains that governing authorities are “God’s servant[s]” and that God gives us authorities for our good (Romans 13:4). Peter also calls Christians to “be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution,” and he calls this act of honoring our leaders “the will of God” (1 Peter 2:13, 15).

In issuing these calls, Paul and Peter were not pandering to the government. In fact, many of their governing authorities actively persecuted the church. For example, Peter acknowledged that his readers might suffer for doing the right thing (1 Peter 3:17). Both Paul and Peter called believers to honor governing authorities even though these same authorities often opposed the church at every turn.

In the same way, we should honor President Trump and our governing authorities. Does honoring President Trump mean that we must agree with him at every point? No, scripture alone forms our convictions. Does it mean that we must blindly obey him? No, our greater authority is Christ himself. Does it mean that we ignore his faults or mistakes? No, because John the Baptist rightfully pointed out his leader’s public sin (Matthew 14:3-4).

Rather, we should honor 45 (and others in authority) as a posture of the heart in obedience to Christ. We acknowledge the importance of his position. This has personally been a tension point for me, but also a reality check. While he doesn't have an ounce of character, I still must respect the office of the President.

The Harsh Reality

This sucks. There is no way around it. From my perspective his decisions are wrong, he's stoked fear in millions of Americans, and has made us the laughing stock of the world. Whether you are in support of him or not, there is no denying that his actions both small and large have generational impacts unless they are undone.

How do we fight this?

  1. First thing's first, know who your elected officials are. Call. Call Again. Call again after that. We must make our voices heard to those with authority.
  2. Vote. We all must vote. Now more than ever, our vote matters. Locally and nationally. Be ready for local elections and let your voice be heard.
  3. Educate. Now more than ever it's hard to hold a civil conversation with someone who so passionately disagrees with you. I've found the best way is to approach it from a place of heartfelt discussion. Be open-minded and actively listening to the other persons' concerns and questions. I've found trying to see life through their lens helps with empathy and compassion regardless if you agree or not.

Like many of you, I'm at a loss for words. Each day it's something new. We cannot stand by, we cannot just type, or tweet, or facebook we must take action. There is so much more I could say, so much I didn't even touch on, but at the end of the day it's about action. I've selected a few creative resources that you can participate in to let your voice be heard. The most important this is that we do something. We are better than this.