August 2, 2016

I Get It, But I Can't Do It

This year's presidential election has my head spinning!  You, too?
My father was very politically minded and would argue loudly for the 'best' candidate, in his opinion.  But my mom couldn't have cared less and often did not vote.  I would often hear her accuse him of voting party lines regardless of who was running.

As a young adult, I often found it hard to discern which candidate was the best choice and felt the need to vote as an idealist.  As an adult, I find myself leaning more toward looking if I vote my conscience (which none of the candidates are really speaking to) am I burying my head in the sand?  Am I making a choice that will do no more for the future of this country than make a tiny, little, soon-to-be-forgotten statement whose only purpose will be to sway votes to the opposite side of the party line rather than defend them?

I get it.

But, it's not that simple.  It's not about which candidate, it's about the future!  It's about the legacy we leave behind.  It's about the issues.

As a grandma, I can see so much further into the future than I could before. What will things be like for my grandkids?  Will they be able to live in freedom?  Or will we be so far gone that they won't be able to be free in this country or any other?  Is that why America, the greatest country on earth, doesn't seem to play a part in the book of Revelation?  Does the downfall start here?  What is our responsibility?  Does it even matter?

So here I am, stuck in the middle between my head and my heart.  More like somewhere around my neck where I feel the pressure to do the right thing.  And I really want to.

If we vote outside party lines, I know what that means.  She, who shall not be named, will be our next president and we'll all be wondering why our religion, which has taken a few hits under current administration, is now being persecuted right here on American soil, more than ever before.  Churches and Christian schools closed because they are made to conform to government standards. Freedom lost.

We'll be crying over the audacity of a panel of supreme court justices, waffling on the edge of equal representation now, which will be overturned and strengthened by possibly 4-5 more seats during the next presidential term.  These appointments, for life, may last the rest of my lifetime and beyond. That's something that should make everyone sit up and take notice.

And then there's the global warming.  I'll be the first to say that God has given us a gift in this delicately balanced earth.  We should take care of it.
The present Commander-in Chief implemented law that has had a huge impact on our local and state wide community.  The coal industry has been hit hard by emission standards that had to be met and that means that companies who run on coal fired energy had to make some hard choices.  Many of them have or will be closing because the cost to change to another fuel source is too great.  Not to mention the folks who harvest coal for a living!  Many people say that this is a win because emissions are responsible for climate change.  But it was a loss to many and a personal issue for our family.
Meanwhile the Marcellus gas sites are taking over the landscape in both rural and forested wilderness areas baring acres of ground for their set up and operation, as well as injecting the ground with chemicals that are harmful to water supplies and wildlife, not to mention humans.  And its hard to tell how far this contamination goes when rain water carries it into the water sheds that feed the streams and rivers that flow through our land.  How is that better, Mr. President?
But unless you are completely off the grid, driving a horse and buggy, leaving zero carbon foot print, can you really point fingers?

And I can't look at my little granddaughter and say that in any way should abortion be glossed over as a non issue.  How could anyone think it's okay to do that to an unborn child even if studies show that the numbers are down from where they were?  I guess that's part of the issue.  We know from her own words that the female candidate from Arkansas thinks that unborn children have no constitutional rights until they leave the womb.  How scary is that? I get that there are special cases but those cases shouldn't be law for folks who just don't want the responsibility of their actions.

Maybe one of those aborted children would have grown up to be the one who finds the answers to global warming!

You may say that life will go on regardless of who's in the White House.  And I'm sure it will but you may not like the direction it takes.  Is God in control?  Of course He is!  Can we overturn His plans for this country?  Nope!  But what about the responsibility we have?  The mandates He's given us about honoring our leaders and following their laws?  We can have an impact on what that looks like for the future by casting our vote.  Withholding your vote because you are not thrilled with either party candidate is not the answer.  Look at the issues for the future. And then humbly pray.

I get the whole idea that evangelical leaders throwing in their lot with the candidate on the right seems totally wrong to some and that millennials are feeling like our generation doesn't get it.  But I think you are missing the point.  My generation has lived through all of the things you have experienced in war and change and progressiveness for ethnic groups and women.  There were wars before you and there will probably be wars after you where people fight for this country, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice.  For those and their families I humbly say, "Thank you!"
The past century has seen so much change and for all the good things, there will be bad...abuse of power and inventions, privileges and rights.  Progress is good and with it responsibility is required.  So I get that you feel your generation thinks it has the most to say and that any one older than you who holds to some of the old things instead of wishing for so much progress is outdated and looking back with rose colored glasses at a time when things don't look so good to you.  But we have experience you don't have.   We've seen things and lived through times that you will never know except from a history book and there's something to be said for solid values and simpler times.
I get what you're saying but I can't agree with all of your conclusions.

When evangelical leaders choose a side, you feel abandoned.  But maybe they are trying to make you see that the changes in the next presidential term are going to be much more far-reaching than you realize.  Idealists will be further from reach than ever if you don't vote, vote for independents or vote left in this election even more than elections past.  Maybe you don't agree that voting for the candidate on the right is a sound moral choice.  I get it.  But I ask you to seek God's voice on this.

So how does that look on election day?  Is it worth making a ripple in the pond that will soon be absorbed into the shore or do I want to be part of the wave that may not be all of my ideals in one but looks a far cry brighter than the other choice?  WWJD?  I'm not sure so I'll certainly be praying about all of this until I cast my vote.

I'm just touching the surface here but these are things that I'm pondering.

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