Today we tackle the subject I’m sure you’ve already heard much of: the election. What we have to say is not an opinion about who won, for we are writing it even before knowledge of an outcome, nor who we think should have won. Here, we wish not to talk politics or political figures, but people. Here are our ideas and reactions we thought may be beneficial to share, and though we are young, we ask you to listen to what we have to say- age, as we have learned over the course of these past few months and debates, does not necessarily mean a lack of or possession of knowledge.
At the moment our country is facing difficult divides, and almost every American is burdened with the fear we are about to break. However, we as a country have spent so much time blaming our difference in opinions that we have neglected to remember and reflect upon two things. These two overlooked things, we believe, are integral to society.
This is the first: our difference in opinion should not be looked upon in lament, but celebration, for not only is it a sign of our unique freedom and an opportunity for growth, but a moment to revel in God’s magnificence, for He has created each one of us with our own, entirely unique mind. Every person holds their own strengths, their own faults, and their own way of seeing the world. This is not a cause for discouragement, but one for awe and gratitude for ineffable beauty. Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of this very country, stated that “difference of opinion leads to enquiry, and enquiry to truth.” Differing opinions are a chance to grow, see new angles and fix problems you may not have been previously aware of. However, for this to work, all of us have to put away our pride and make space for the possibility that we might be wrong. We are all finite and fallen, and none of us alone know the right answer; we all have blindspots and weaknesses. As a group, however, we might be able to come a little closer to a right answer. Your faults are another’s strengths, and your strengths are another’s faults.
Second, it is not our difference in opinion that is tearing our country apart, but how we deal with those differences. It is not a disagreement that divides us, but the people not willing to cross over the divide, even for just a moment. It is not an actual divide in opinion, but the anger towards people of different ideas, who create a divide of people. All of us, no matter if we are ecstatic, indifferent, or devastated by the outcome of this election, have to be able to love one another, to hold back our judgement and approach one another with understanding.
The most important thing to remember, the idea that can keep our country together when opinions are divided, is this quote by Thomas Jefferson: “every difference of opinion does not mean a difference in principle.” The person you disagree with most politically you may find you have the most in common with. We cannot point fingers at the opposing side and scream “monster!” We cannot determine the virtue of our brothers by the man they did or did not vote for, and we cannot accuse those who differ in opinion of having no compassion, for we ourselves lose our own compassion the moment we do. The truth is that everybody, whether liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between, wants what is best for the country- everyone just has a different idea on how to get there.
As the election comes to an end and a candidate is picked, we are not called as followers of God to divide ourselves over these human people. We are not called to the red or blue side, we are to look to the Lord above, he has us in his hands. His Will will be done and we will pray for the future. He has a plan and we must trust in it. Dividing and separating ourselves about this is not necessary, the temptation to give into hate should be resisted, we as christians should pray for whoever becomes the leader of our country. Jesus did not slander the name of Caesar, and we should follow in Jesus’s example. If the candidate you voted for won, do not boast or rub it in the faces of the grieving. If the candidate you voted for lost, have knowledge of a greater plan and God’s ultimate control.
We have to take up the hands of those we disagree with. We must listen to one another without anger and speak up when the times call for it with respect. We must acknowledge our differences and love each other anyway. We must keep the opinions we hold, but see each other as one. Love is the only way we are going to get through this. We can love a person without loving their idea or everything about them. Understand that over any president, any king, any ruler, God rules above them all.