Green: Let's get political
When I was in college, my university sponsored a beauty pageant each year. (It was really more of a poise and accomplishment pageant.) Each campus organization could nominate a contestant, so if a girl wanted to be in the pageant, she had to find a club to back her. It seems silly to me now, but back in the day, I really enjoyed those pageants. It gave me a reason to dress up in a super-fancy dress, get my hair and nails done, and act all prissy for the night. It was fun.
Instead of a single winner, the panel of judges chose six winners to represent the university. And by “represent the university,” I mean each girl got a two-page spread in the yearbook. I was in the pageant all four years of my undergrad. Debbie Dean and Mitzi McDowell won every year... they each had a 4.0 GPA and were great public speakers. Since I’m super competitive, I wanted to see if I could crack the pageant code for myself. Each year, when I wasn’t on stage, I hid in the wings and watched the other girls. I took note of what they said and did onstage, and what accomplishments the announcer read as they walked the runway. My third year, I made the top 12. My fourth year, I finally won the thing. In case you ever wondered, those pageants are a learned skill.
Here’s my point. In order to be in the pageant, we had to find an organization to back us. Once we won, nobody thought much about the club that nominated us... we each represented the university as a whole.
This week, our country welcomes a new president and VP. The road to the White House is a long one, and the successful candidate must find a party to back him or her. But once the votes are counted and a winner is declared, our president no longer represents a party. Instead, he serves our nation as a whole. Whether or not we voted for him, he’s our president. It’s time we stop looking behind us and look ahead at what we can do to bring unity and peace, pride and patriotism back to our land.
Red-party friends, if you felt hurt and offended by people publicly attacking President Trump and the Republican party during this last administration, it will be hypocritical to attack President Biden and Democrats.
Blue-party friends, if you felt hurt and frustrated, if you felt your voice wasn’t heard in the last four years, if you felt like your views, your beliefs, your values were not being represented, if you felt bullied and silenced, then you can have compassion for the way the other half feels right now.
We are not two teams. We are one: The United States of America. I urge you to set aside party preference and put the U back in USA.
It’s no secret that I am a Christian. I say this with all sincerity and after much prayer and contemplation. Christ didn't get involved in political affairs when He was on earth, other than to say, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's." If he attacked anyone, it was the religious leaders who used their positions for monetary and political gain. He spent most of his time simply loving people. If that's how He chose to spend his time on earth, I honestly feel I should follow his example. I believe we are called to be world-changers through this one concept: love. Remember, God chooses the weak, the lowly of this world, not the powerful. I'm all for democracy and will continue to vote my convictions. But I feel it's a waste of my limited time on earth to shout at giants when I can feed the hungry, comfort the hurting, and show compassion to those who've given up hope.
Many Christians feel it’s our job to shine a light on political lies. I disagree. It’s our job to shine the light of love in a dark world. Period. If there are lies and agendas to be exposed, they’ll be revealed in the presence of that light, that goodness, that love. We aren’t called to expose sin with a floodlight, but rather, to invite others into the warmth of His presence through love.
Maybe I’m a Pollyanna. Maybe I’m naïve and delusional. But I believe I’m right on this one. I’ve cast my vote. Now I’ll accept the results with grace and gratitude that I live in a place where I can speak my mind here without fear of political retaliation. I’ll pray for my leaders and show them the honor and respect due their office. And I’ll keep living my life, doing my thing, trying my best to follow Christ’s example of love.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone,” Romans 12:18.
Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly perfect children, and far-too-many animals. Connect with Renae at www.RenaeBrumbaugh.com.