Voting like our lives depend on it

I am sharing thoughts from a letter that I never intended to publish. This person and I have exchanged many emails during the election cycle. He put me on a group mailing, and I requested that he remove my name. Today I received a private one asking me to listen to a sermon on YouTube, saying it would probably offend me. And it did, particularly a remark about Muslims. I responded that I listened to about half of it but had to stop. I wasn’t offended as much as sickened. His comment to me was that he understood that I said I didn’t agree with any of it, although he felt I did but wouldn’t admit it.

I made a mistake in engaging in this discussion today, although I did so because of being accused of not listening to the other side. He also told me that I should look at mathematics and not listen to Dr. Fauci, that he changed his mind too often. Who does that sound like?

If you haven’t already voted, please do so. Many are saying that our lives depend on it, and I agree. 

The following was part of my response to this man:

On Zoom, I enjoyed a great sermon and All Saints Day with communion today and felt very much at peace. After that, we had a presentation and conversation on racism which lasted over an hour because no one wanted to leave the meeting.

I am praying for peace in the country I love and hope that citizens will vote with an open heart that is in no way compromised by worshipping the rich and famous. I pray that someday you will see where the fake news comes from and understand the undermining of democracy this misinformation has caused.  Many deaths from Covid-19 would have been prevented if our leadership had implemented science over politics.

I look at those I know who live in God’s abundant grace and pattern after them, the people I see who are true servants. The ones who believe, as Kennedy said, ”not what my country can do for me but what I can do for my country.” Every day I hear from those who are cooking for the homeless, taking supplies to the food banks, contributing to the Deacon’s fund at our church so that they can help anyone in need, and checking with neighbors who are alone. Instead of arguing about politics, they put their beliefs into action. We never talk about the election in a group discussion. Because of the love shown, we don’t have to. One of the dearest in a group is from Taiwan, and she has parents and siblings there. She works for one of the giant pharmaceutical companies and has felt demeaned by the remarks about the Chinese. And she has especially worried about the false promise of a vaccine.

I think we are put here to love one another, to respect each one, to encourage and be present as a listening ear for those feeling lonely. I have joined every Democratic group on Facebook as well as other groups, including one for those suffering from emotional issues, so they have a way to vent. I contribute to a home in Little Rock for LGBTQ youth who have been kicked out by their parents, and I subscribe to a newsletter devoted to LGBTQ issues. I try very hard to practice Christianity though I often fail. When a person publicly mocks a disabled person, I think of a phrase from Al-Anon that ”your words are like a stinging bee.” The Jesus I know would never have acted like your president. Quite honestly, if Trump knocked on my door and asked to come in, I would only let him in if he was sick and in need of help. I would not allow his presence at my dinner table. 

He replied by saying perhaps we should just leave it here. I agreed.