“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” -Matthew 22:36-40
Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.
Elections, as far back as I can remember have always been ugly. This election was by far the ugliest I have seen in my lifetime. From the primaries to the final draw, it was a race dominated by division and fear.
After the primaries we were left with two candidates. One representing everything wrong with government and politics. The other was a perfect picture of everything wrong in our society. Both sides ugly.
Many of us voted for one candidate simply to keep the other out of office. I did. I cast my vote afraid that the devil I didn’t know might be worse than the one I did. The outcome didn’t favor my vote.
I’ll admit that I was heartbroken. The election of the devil I don’t know revealed a darkness in the heart of America. One divided by racism, sexism, xenophobia, and other very ugly prejudices.
I wanted to call up every non-white, non-christian, non-straight, non-male friend and family member I had to apologize. I wanted to hold everyone I knew with severe health problems who could very well lose their access to healthcare coverage. I had voted with every single one of them in my heart, but it wasn’t enough. I felt on the verge of tears.
I took a day, grieved, and battled fiercely with hopelessness and loss. In the end I emerged with a renewed spirit.
There is no question that our nation is plagued by evil. The result of the election exposed the ugly prejudices and fears which are alive and active in our nation today. We can see with clarity the fractured nature of our society.
We can give up. We can fly into a rage. We can riot and commit heinous acts of senseless violence.
Or we can be a burning fire of love, life, and compassion willing to extend ourselves to those blinded by the dark, bringing them into the light of understanding and hope. The answer is to live the ideals we claim lay at the foundation of our being.
I, a Roman Catholic, live a life committed to faith. Committed to a God who is love and commands that I live by love. That love is not silly emotional idealism, not limited to those who believe as I do, but an action taken to care for those around me. Speaking up for those whose voices are being silenced. To provide, where I can, for the needs of those who are without. To treat everyone with the dignity that comes with being created in God’s image.
I don’t need a government to legislate my behavior towards others, and thank God for that. The devil I don’t know seems to want to legislate that I treat my neighbors who are different than me like second class citizens. Fuck that nonsense.
Be a light. Treat others with the dignity and respect they deserve. Regardless.
If we can hold fast, if we can stand together, if we will let our light shine, we will be as stars burning bright in the darkness. Do this and the result of the election means nothing. We can still press onward towards something better.