There’s no debate…our future is at stake

Photo by Markus Spiske on

I almost didn’t write anything this week.

I was working on a piece about some work some colleagues and I are doing around new paradigms for faith communities, but I kept hitting brick walls.

The words just weren’t coming to me.

Then that debate happened.

Admittedly, I didn’t watch. I made up my mind months ago about who I would vote for, and I knew the level of divisiveness and vitriol would be more than I wanted to put myself through mentally, emotionally, and physically.

But I did keep up on Twitter, and watched the highlights (or lowlights, as the case may be) this morning.

I didn’t really want to respond. I didn’t want to just add to all the noise that’s already beyond deafening.

But I have something to say that I think needs to be said.

We are no longer debating whether one party’s policies are better or worse than the other’s.

Those are legitimate arguments to have. But if they weren’t already out the window before last night, they’re long gone now.

What we’re debating now is whether we will allow the U.S. to be run by an authoritarian president who embraces racism, white nationalism, and violence against his own citizens in order to hold onto power, or whether we will stand on the principles that unite us as a nation.

This isn’t any longer about whether Republicans or Democrats have better ideas for economic growth, foreign policy, infrastructure, employment, or any of the other usual political platforms.

And frankly, it isn’t about the religious convictions that often get attached to various policy positions.

It’s about right vs. wrong.

Good vs. evil.

It’s about whether all of our citizens will have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, or just the privileged few.

Or the ones with the biggest guns.

Steve Harper, a former professor at the seminary I attended, said it this way on his Facebook page today:

Last night left us, not to form an opinion about the debate, but to make a decision about our nation’s future, in much the same way Joshua called the Israelites to “Choose this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). It is not theoretical or vague anymore, if it ever was. After last night, each of us is left to choose exclusion or inclusion, darkness or light, death or life, hatred or love….gods or God. Our choice is called a vote.

I know a lot of you don’t like either of the choices in this election. Sadly, that’s really nothing new in recent election cycles.

But if there was ever a time to set party loyalties aside, and even to sacrifice political preferences for the sake of the common good, this is it.

Nothing less than our future is at stake.

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