I voted yesterday, on an absurdly warm fall day on the prairie. I have an election hangover today, after the wall-to-wall coverage, and also from the absence of political ads and news tickers constantly bombarding me from RSS feeds, etc.

It was my 2nd presidential election vote. Likely it will be my last.

I woke up this morning and began to read the reaction from friends—people I respect, people who are intelligent and capable folks, and many of them are saying things like this:

“we need to pray EVEN HARDER today—pray for our country” “God help us—we are an abomination” “Prayer Warriors stand guard!” “This is the same as the oppression in Jezebel’s time” “We need to safeguard our Christian values”

I am baffled to hear this kind of sentiment. First of all, why is NOW the moment we need to begin to pray in desperation?

Because before Obama we loved our enemies, forgived as we have been forgiven, gave what we had to those in need, considered others better than ourselves, right? Maybe I’m with Sarah Palin—is this the real Bush doctrine?

Second, since Obama is president is it only now that we are going to become a nation in rebellion to God FOR THE FIRST TIME? Now that he is president, are we going to BEGIN alienating and ignoring the poor and marginalized? With Obama, will we now START to practice trade that forces the greater part of 3rd world countries into abject poverty and thus creates space for political and religious extremist group to recruit them for terrorist acts, and makes desperate prostitution that allows HIV and sex slavery to be commonplace? Now that Obama is at the helm, will we REALLY become the “nation of infanticide” that aborts at will with no real thought to human life, circumstances, etc? Correct me if I’m wrong, but did the abortion issue change at all in the last 8 years under a pro-life president?

And finally, if John McCain had won would there be people dancing “undignified” like David before the ark because the time would finally have come that God returned to the White House and America repented and became a Christian nation?

We are a nation built on capitalism, which functions best when some people have a lot and some people have nothing and those with a lot are encouraged to hold on to their wealth and invest it in becoming wealthier. That’s reality. Our economy works best when we are buying things we don’t need with credit we can never repay. We’ve been doing that since well before this president and will continue to do it well after. The poor have always been central to God’s heart, but have been barely noticeable to the government of the US, regardless of the affiliation or position of the commander in chief.

I have learned a lesson the hard way, something I knew in part but now see in full: the followers of Jesus cannot place their hopes and apocalyptic leanings on the man who wins a democratic election in the United States of America. If so, we’ve revealed our true allegiances and shown Caesar to be the object of our hope.

Barack Obama will not die and rise again. No he can’t. John McCain will not subject all other powers to God. That’s the real straight talk.

Until Christians in our nation realize that following Jesus is not contingent on our political leaders. Christianity does not disappear and faith is not diminished absent a governing party that “supports” our ideals (the whole “love your enemies” thing seems difficult in a time of war, no?).

Just ask Christians in Eastern Europe, China, etc.

I’m officially resigning from Maggie’s farm. Consider this my 4-year notice.

 

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