This has been a difficult election season. Many candidates, very different proposals for our future and, towards the end, a growing economic crisis. The tenor of the campaign took an unfortunate turn with much mud slinging, half truths, and racist undertones.
Right in the middle of all of this unfortunate political maneuvering were many Christian people. I received countless e-mail forwards about Barack Obama’s “evil” characteristics – from him being a Muslim (Thanks dad & mom for teaching me to love everyone and that there are faithful people in other religions), to his support of killing children, to his connections with terrorism. All of these unfortunate claims passed on as “truths” by people who follow Jesus. Add to these a series of position disaggreements that included claims that poor people are poor because they are lazy, healthcare is a responsibility not a right, and leaving Iraq is “surrendering” and we have in our hands fuel for the fires of hatred and division.
In spite of all of the rhetoric we elected Barak Obama as president of the United States forty years after the assasination of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Today we have reasons to rejoice! Not because a democrat won the white house, or because it was our canditate who won. We rejoice because of the historic milestone that has been achived in a country with such an unfortunate history of race relations.
As a pastor I have refused to take partisan labels and to publicly support a candidate. That has been and will continue to be my practice. Now I join the chorus of other Americans (of all political persuasions) in celebrating this important moment in our history where we show the signs of healing from the wounds of our painful past.
I will continue to work diligently in leading the people of God into faithful engagement with the issues of our time. I will continue to teach that the kingdom of God is not brought about by any political party but by the people of God. I will also continue to be an agent of reconciliation and a bearer of the good news to all people, no matter who they are.
Now as God’s people we have the duty to continue lifting up in prayer all our national leaders as they work towards peace, justice, fairness, and equality for all people here and around the world.