After the Alabama US Senate race, I saw several articles claiming that sanity reigned. But I have a difficult time taking a sigh of relief. The other guy won by about 1%. Let that sink in a moment. And if the write-ins had voted for Moore, then he would have won. I’m not sure that qualifies as sanity reigning.
A 1% victory means that an accused pedophile was just a few thousand votes away from being an US Senator. That’s really close in my book.
As much as the articles on news sites want to declare that there was unity and rationality, there isn’t. A 50-50 divide is not unity. We have two sides in a battle who can’t and won’t accept a common definition of what is news and where you can get facts from. And the casualties are those of us who look at both sides in the battle and quote the Stealers Wheel song – “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right. Here I am. Stuck in the middle with you.”
And we’re being run over by extremists who are telling us that we have to choose sides. Yet, we look at these options, and we just shake our heads in disbelief mostly because the hypocrisy of the parties is astounding.
So how do we go forward? I start with prayer. I pray for Doug Jones. He has his work cut out for him. To connect with the people of Alabama who mostly voted for him because he wasn’t Roy Moore. I also pray that he doesn’t become a pawn for a political party.
I pray for Roy Moore – that he would go into retirement and not be heard from again. I pray for the voters – that they see themselves as something more than just having their identity attached to political party, or even nation, but as children of God.
I’m also a believer that prayer changes things. And that starts with me. So I start with prayer. And I write. I’m open with my doubts, my cynicism about politics and partisanship. I’m open with my opinions. That doesn’t mean that I’m always right, and quite possibly I’m wrong more often than not. I’m okay with that. Being right isn’t what’s most important to me. It’s walking with people in their struggle to make sense of the world.
How else does prayer change me – It means I pray for those I don’t like. It means my trust is strengthened in God. It means that I keep following Jesus and his way of relating to the world. It’s a much better option than anything the world has to offer.