my friend wrote a really good post today about politics and being political in today's socially networked culture. after i read it, i happened to head over to facebook and stumbled upon a post by a friend from college in which she made a slightly political comment in regard to her vote, couched by the disclaimer that she was aware her honesty might cost her some 'friends'. i internally applauded her boldness, but at the same time lamented the fact that the simple act of being straightforward might cause people to dislike her, think differently of her, or make negative comments in her direction.
my wife and i often discuss the merits of using facebook to attempt to accomplish anything of real import. even more specifically, we often talk about the silliness that is trying to convince someone else of something on facebook. in the early days of my social network life, i remember attempting to wade into political and social debates, only to find that people i hadn't talked to in years were all too ready to not only disagree with me - that's fine, isn't it? disagreement is an important ingredient in the casserole that is life - but to disagree with me in a way that called in to question my discretion, my intellect, and above all else, my faith.
at first i was flummoxed, and then i was mad, and then i was tired, and then i was quiet.
and generally speaking, that's okay with me. i don't believe facebook is the place for genuine, healthy, and life-affirming discourse. on the other hand, though, there is some part of me that bristles at the idea that i might not say for whom i voted because i don't want to deal with what others might think or say about it. isn't that giving them more control over my life than i should? as a citizen of this country, i'm proud of the fact that i can vote at all. as a person with a brain and a conscience and a desire to contribute to my society, i'm also proud of the man* (in this case) who, in my estimation, best represents what matters to me most.
as a Christ-follower, i believe that good things and bad things will continue to occur, irrespective of who becomes the next POTUS. i also believe that i have a call to declare the way things will be in the Kingdom which has already made its presence known, and which will one day be the reality under which we all live. in that Kingdom, there will be no one who thirsts or hungers, no one will be afraid, and no one will have the need or the drive to hate or use fear to control.
in this in-between place, though, i'm content to be civic-minded without being civic-centered, and i'm also content to let everyone else attempt to do the same thing - or not, if that's what you prefer - without feeling the need to attack or judge or disparage. you vote in the way you want, and good on you for doing your best.
in all things, peace - s.