My Facebook feed was littered with a lot more political posts than usual this morning.
One was an invitation to join an online prayer meeting to pray that Trump would win. A few posts later was a minister calling for people to pray that Hillary would win. Right after that was a formerly-religious individual calling for the Religious Right to f-ck off. Then came a very devout Evangelical woman recruiting people to join the Trump Movement promising that God is going to use him bring a new-found freedom to America.
You know it's very important when you need God (and others) to back your cause!
But these diverse posts got me thinking:
- For people who believe that a higher power is involved in national affairs, is God taking sides?
- If prayer really works, then do the prayers for opposing candidates cancel each other out?
- How does someone know that God is actually on their side?
- If one's preferred candidate loses does that mean that evil won and their righteous cause(s) lost?
- Does God even become entangled in the political divisiveness of American society?
- Would God perhaps step back in disgust and have us sort it ourselves?
- For spiritual people, is their well-being and peace centered in the next President or in the meaningful faith they profess?
It's all become quite confusing at times--even disheartening. I don't have the answers to the above questions, but I have lamented with friends our inability to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you".
Do we really dare to "love our neighbors as ourselves" anymore? Or does that only happen after national tragedies?
I'm not sure how prayer plays into getting someone elected but I do know that if prayer doesn't result in a restful, peaceful spirit within me then it probably isn't going to work nationally either.
When we manipulate religion and spirituality to further our political agenda, we are missing the point. Meditation, reflection, contemplation, and prayer are first tools to transform me internally, not to further my agenda of changing others externally. I can't change another, but I can perhaps do the soul-searching work of changing myself and hope that others do the same too.
So I will continue to unfollow some and even unfriend when necessary. I also will thoughtfully consider and engage those with whom I disagree, as long as the tone remains civil and respectful.
I think that's how we become better as a people and as a society: showing kindness to another, one person at a time.
So by all means, share your convictions and vote. And of course, be kind to one another while doing so.