Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Lessons Learned

I stayed up late until it was clear that something had gone terribly wrong in our nation. My first reactions were probably rather immature. Revolution? No; using violence cannot be the way. Fighting evil with evil assures an evil outcome. Running? Plenty of progressive Anglicans in Canada. No; my children and my grandchildren are here. Although I have never been so ashamed to call myself an American as I am this morning, this is still my home, and I will not give her up without a fight. I'll stay, learn from this lesson, and, if there is anything left four years from now, do what I can to remove the extremists from the White House and Congress four years from now.

No doubt in the next few days the call is going to come out for reconciliation. The same call has been made within my Church recently. If this means caving in to right-wing extremists, you'd better just ship me off to Gitmo right now. If it means respecting the office of the President, that may be necessary. But don't ask me to respect this man, or the Republican party. I cannot find anything worthy of that respect.

So what are the lessons learned? It came down to moral issues. How in the world people came to the conclusion that Bush is more moral is beyond me. Probably the abortion issue. Sorry, but separating that out from the other sanctity of life issues is not very good ethical thinking, as far as I'm concerned. 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians have been killed as the result of this President's actions, which were based on blatant lies. If he had not been President, or if he had told the truth, these people would still be alive. This is a man with commendable moral fiber?

Here's the lesson, Democrats; you cannot ignore the religious left. To be quite honest, seeing all the negative comments from the party regarding Christians during this campaign, some of us were inclined to consider ignoring you. Here's the truth that the Democrats seemed to miss; I am a Christian first, and an American second. My first allegiance is to another kingdom. And most Christians I know, on the right and the left, hold those same priorities. You can put together a strong intellectual and emotional argument, but if you leave out the spiritual component, your message is not going to even get heard by many Americans.

Another lesson; the Republicans were better organized. They took a couple of decades to put together this well-oiled machine. They learned from their mistakes. We have to do the same, starting today.

And the final lesson is that every one of us, myself included, have to get up off our rear posteriors and get to work. I think it is up to us to be the advocates for those who are going to suffer under this regime. We cannot stop shouting about the immorality of this war. We must stand up for the poor who are going to be ignored even more during the next four years. We have to show compassion for the sick and suffering, who have been abandoned by their elected leaders, who owe their allegiance to those who placed them in office; corporate America.

Demi just called and we discussed Canada again. It is tempting. Who knows what this twisted man will do as a lame duck. But I'm inclined to believe that all things work for good. That's the Christian speaking, not the American. I find myself much more critical of some of the assumptions I held just yesterday. I am more motivated to work on the grass roots level to protect those who will be the victims of this election, and not trust in a political party to do it for me. I am chastising myself this morning for making the mistake of thinking that any human institution alone can ever address the roots of evil in this world. I may have lost my faith in the democratic process, but find my faith in God strengthened. That may be the most important personal lesson I've learned in the last 24 hours.

Having said that, let me make one final comment; Obama in 2008!

J.

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