November 9, 2016, 9:00 AM

After the Election

Those who know me probably also know that I'm a Democrat. I have tried hard to keep politics out of the pulpit, but I do preach a tolerant message: that God has a preference for the poor, the marginalized, and the outcast. In light of my understanding of the Gospel - the good news of God in Christ, I offer this response for those who are sad, disappointed, or frightened today, and ask any who read it to be charitable...

Searching for the right words, the right prayers, the right response. Not sure anything is quite right, now. I'm disappointed. I'm shocked. I'm afraid - for friends, for the poor, for Americans who are Black, Muslim, Hispanic, LGBTQ, Native, female - that "civil" has become outdated and rare. That "rule of law" may become "what the corporation wants." That my retirement savings will be wiped out in the pending market crash (again). That when morning comes and the light dawns, when the waters rise and the storm clouds gather, when the pipelines break and the land shakes and the earth dies, no one will care anymore...

"Out of the depths we cry to you, O Lord." 
Then I remember, these may well be *our* worst days, but we've faced "worst days" before.

Stand up. Stand up. Stand up. Be the refuge others will need. Preach the Gospel of love beyond measure, of hope beyond fear, of power beyond strength.

Do not fear to love. Do not fear to be beloved. Do not fear the power of any power on earth to harm, for God is stronger still. And the realm of heaven is within us.


November 10, 2016, 3:28 PM

After the Election, Part Two

Well, we’ve now experienced two elections – for a new bishop and for a new president.

Things sure are exciting around here.

I’m still trying to sort out my own feelings and reactions to the local, state and national elections.  There were some real surprises – especially in the presidential race.  All the pundits thought Mrs Clinton would win, and I do mean all.  And yet, it didn’t turn out that way; instead we are looking at Mr Trump as our next leader.  I’m not going to try explaining that – obviously there were undercurrents most people missed!

But I do want to focus, for a moment, on a few thoughts:

One, some will rejoice and others will mourn the outcome.  What each of us feels is valid.  So I ask you to please honor the joy or the sorrow of your friends.  Don’t gloat and don’t throw things.

Two, some are relieved and some are frightened.  Again, what each of us feels is valid.  So I ask you to please honor both relief and worry.  Don’t crow and don’t accuse.

Three, Presiding Bishop Curry reminds us “the time will come to bind up our wounds, to overcome our differences, to reconcile with each other, to reach out to those who differ with us, and to be Americans.  One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

He also quoted from Robert Fulghum’s book, All I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, to remind us to:

Share everything. 
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t hit people.
Play fair.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. 

It’s good advice. 
I would also like to honor the fear of our GLBTQ friends and neighbors, that the elevation of Gov. Pence to the vice presidency might threaten a return to the days of closets and condemnation.  We still haven’t forgotten the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  We remember his desire to move funds from HIV prevention to “conversion therapy.”  We know that he has opposed anti-discrimination measures designed to protect GLBTQ persons from losing their jobs or their homes. 

Again, these feelings and this fear is real.  I have already seen reports of suicides by GLB and Trans individuals following the election.

But Mr Trump has a different history regarding GLBTQ, than Mr Pence.  He has been much more accepting, publicly, than many Republicans, and opposed measures that would discriminate.

I would hope that these views will be clearly stated and upheld by Mr Trump.   We badly need that support. 

I’m distressed at reports of recent racist attacks on African Americans and Muslims, as conducted by some of his supporters.  I hope he will say something about that as well, because it is unacceptable

It is difficult for me to be calm and dispassionate, as I am sure it is for many of you as well this week.

Let us remember, though, what we have been told, time and again, and to do our best to live in accordance with:

Do not fear.

Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

God is the rock of our salvation; and God will save.

Breathe.  (OK, that one’s not in the Bible, but it’s still good advice!) 

Let’s remember who and whose we are, and “love one another as Christ has loved us” as best as we can.  Stand up for the lost and the least, help out where we can.

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