Saturday, November 15, 2008

I am in turmoil over the recent election. I feel like I've been stabbed in the gut and the wound is gushing uncontrollably. I'm grieved that my fellow Christians throughout America voted for the man who's going to sign into law the Freedom of Choice Act. It is very difficult for me to come to terms with the reality that so many Christians throughout America rejoiced when the future signer of FOCA won and will be leading our country. It literally makes me sick to my stomach to think about it, but I obviously have dear friends and loved ones that voted for him.

I want to weep. I am weighed down by the reality that some of my closest and dearest friends see this issue so completely differently than me. I feel like a wedge has been inexorably smashed through the intimacy I feel with them. I do not have many intimates in my life, and the few people that I open up most fully with are those with whom I feel a shared fundamental view of the world. For me, that fundamental view stems from the belief that all of us share the image of God, that there is no greater or more awesome part of the universe than our fellow neighbor and that the call to treat our neighbor as ourselves stems from this most fundamental view of who our neighbor is. We share this in common: God knew us before we were born, and every child is knit in his or her mother's womb. And in that womb is something miraculous that begins at the very moment of conception. It is sacred and eternal and is the most precious thing in the universe. All that is good about us, all that is noble about us, all that calls us to seek after God stems from the very image of God in all of us. I thought I shared this same strength of feeling with all of those who I am most intimate with, and it is a shock to my psyche that I don't. It has rocked my emotions and my intellect and I'm still reeling from it.

This is all very recent and still very raw, but I need time to process all of this, and that probably means I won't be spending much time with some of my dearest friends until I do. This may sound all high and mighty, but that doesn't matter to me. The bottom line is that I need to grapple with what it means for me to know and understand that some of my dearest and closest intimates don't share this same view as I do, or as strongly as I do, or in the same way that I expected them to. I am slowly becoming aware that, whether I like or not, it has a very real bearing on the depth of my friendship with them. And this is not a conscious choice--it is an automatic reaction that is happening within me, and I don't like it, but I need to process it and figure out what the hell is going on within me.


Anonymous said...

I hear you Dan.
It is really frustrating when other well meaning Christians give all life issues the same weight. A war that can be debated as being just or unjust does not hold equal weight to the slaughter of the unborn. The Catholic Church even says that there is such thing as a just war. The death penalty is not equal to the slaughter of unborn. No other life issue comes close to the importance of fighting for the rights of unborn humans. I would like to challenge any Christian who disagrees with me to spend some time praying outside of an abortion clinic during business hours. If our president elect was openly supportive to the killing of Jews or Asians then these liberal Christians would be outraged and by no means would be able to support him. Why does thinking get so cloudy when the human is not yet born. Do these liberal Christians not really understand that the unborn are humans...innocent humans?

I'm with you Dan, and I understand why it hurts so much to listen to dear friends be so wrong on this issue.

Dan said...

Scott, you'll always be my friend too, and I'll shout that from the mountain tops. What's going on with me is within me, and it's disconcerting for me to be so effected by the outcome of an election. I'm wrestling with it, and as with everything, it all has to do with me, not you or my other friends who voted for Obama. All I know is it's going to take some time, but it certainly has rocked my world in completely unexpected and surprising ways, and I don't feel like I have much control over how it has effected me. In some ways, I'm standing outside of myself, trying to view what's going on within me as dispassionately as possible and I'm having a hard time making heads or tails of it, and I think it's going to take me some time before I can embrace my friends like I once did. There's a barrier that's been erected, and I suspect it's been erected by me, unconsciously, but it's there, nonetheless, and that's what I have to deal with.