Five things I like about the election…

That have nothing to do with the results.

1. Every voice was equal.

For one night, every single person who chose to vote had exactly equal say in who became president (I mean except for the fact that votes in small states technically count for more because of the electoral college, but aside from that).

But regardless of how much money or power or education you have, you get one vote. Barack Obama got one vote. The janitor in the white house got one vote. The CEO of Goldman-Sachs got one vote.

A lot of people spent a lot of money and made a lot of speeches. But when it comes right down to the actual process by which our leader is chosen, not one person gets more say than anyone else. Power is laid to the side in recognition of each individual human voice, and their equal worth. And I think that’s kind of beautiful.

2. Pomp and circumstance

I’m ready for the inauguration guys. There’s something about the tradition, the highly ceremonial nature of it. Like graduations, which always make me cry. I feel a sense of hope, a leaning into the future.

And it’s a little bit like the Olympics, which always make me feel proud to be an American, in spite of myself. I enjoy the music, and the briskness of Washington in January, and the uneventful repetitiveness. It reminds me that I’m grateful to have a government that will carry on peacefully.

3. The election is over. 

And the country said: Amen.

4. The graciousness shown by both men last night.

“I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady, and their daughters.

This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation…Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work, and we citizens also have to rise to occasion…and we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics.”

-Mitt Romney

“We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight.

Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs…These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.

But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future…a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being. We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag…this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations.

-Barack Obama

4a. The way they love their wives. It’s just so sweet. Romney’s especially got me just a little teary-eyed.

“I also want to thank Ann, the love of my life. She would have been a wonderful first lady. She’s — she has been that and more to me and to our family and to the many people that she has touched with her compassion and her care.”

-Mitt Romney

“And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago.

Let me say this publicly: Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation’s first lady.”

-Barack Obama

5. Oh the jokes…

When I got home last night, my roommate and I spent a solid hour reading tweets and facebook posts to each other while Dance Moms played in the background. I appreciated the laughs, both intended and otherwise.

RT @brendanpittman: My twitter feed is celebrating and my Facebook feed is threatening to secede or move to a forest.

Fact. So I just hung out on Twitter, cause it was happier there.

2016 Presidential candidates all simultaneously announce their campaign slogans: “Oh hi, Ohio.”

Did he just call Joe Biden “America’s happy warrior.” That’s weird. And awesome. And weird.

Does Karl Rove know he is basically enacting a liberal fantasy of Karl Rove Reacting After Losing An Election?

Nobody f[*****] with Big Bird. #Election2012#FantasticBeastsAndWhereToFindThem

I like how “God is sovereign” when you don’t get your way..how about you put your hope in Him in the first place instead of a man#jesushope

Dang it! Now I don’t get to use my “In Case of Republican Victory” Tweet: “DAMMIT JERRY!”

But here’s the question: Will my Griz shirt bring good luck to seven-fingered Montanan Jon Tester? We need an odd number of senate fingers!

“Whether you’re Nobama or Probama, we have Mobama” hahaha

Romney: “Where’s my concession speech?” Proud Speechwriter: “I didn’t write you one, sir.” Romney: “Don’t be cute. Write the damn speech.”

IF ONLY SOMEONE WOULD LIVEBLOG THE ELECTION. #lastone#ipromise

So that was fun. Thanks, Twitter.

Meanwhile on Facebook…

“I got 99 problems and Obama is all of them.”

Happy Election, Y’all!

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We can be Christians and ____ : a defense of ACU’s Optimist

This afternoon, one of my Facebook friends posted a link to the website of ACU’s student newspaper. The article featured was an editorial response to comments the newspaper had received after endorsing President Obama for a second term. If you would like some additional context for this piece, I encourage you to read that article, the endorsement, and the comments.

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Before I’d finished the response, I had to close the window. I spun out of my chair and walked back along the hallway toward the copy room, to make some coffee, clean the table…something.

The fist behind my ribcage quickened, and I could feel the blood pounding red, agitating my limbs, wanting action. But why? What’s another internet fight between Christians? It’s the daily routine: offense, anger, pride and biting speech filling up the comment boxes.

But these are my Christians. This is my school. Just a few months ago, I would have waited with my friends after chapel as the lines thinned, slid my card, stepped, haltingly, down the stairs under section K and grabbed my own copy of the Optimist.

So I went back to the computer, read the editorial, read the comments, readied my own response, rallying myself in support of the college students being virtually berated by 40 year old alumni.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…

And then this comment:

Tell me “How can one be a Christian and a Democrat [?]”

that saved a wretch like me…

It’s a phrase thrown out so easily, repeated too often: how can you be a Christian and…

And call yourself a republican?
And align yourself with the democrats?
And spend billions on the weapons?
And support the rights of gays to marry?
And encourage women in roles that contradict scripture?
And cling to a broken hierarchy?

I once was lost, but now I’m found…

Can’t you just hear the condemnation, the indignation dripping off those words? You can’t live out two contradictory identities simultaneously. So surrender your faith or admit defeat. Because you cannot possibly be a true disciple of Christ and ….

Because I am a Christian. I know what God wants. So how can we both claim the same God?

was blind, but now I see…

Because when we teach an inerrant, get-it-right-or-you’re-going-to-hell theology, we end up with Christians devoid of humility, unable to admit uncertainty lest they condemn themselves.

Twas grace that taught my heart to fear…

And when we preach a God born in 1776, tied irrevocably to the Manifest Destiny stretched between Washington and Washington, we end up with Christians who worship political parties, terrified that the wrong vote will oust God himself, banish him forever from these shores, like a deposed king.

and grace my fears relieved…

It is not enough to rail against the vitriol and the hatred. It is not enough to plead niceness. We need a better theology, a theology that can handle our disagreement.

How precious did that grace appear…

So we can be Christians and…

Because I believe in a God who is not threatened or empowered by political parties or policy makers. I believe in a God who does not need the President of the United States of America to be on his side. I believe in a God who existed long before Jefferson made his declaration and will continue to exist long after North America has devolved into the Hunger Games.

the hour I first believed.

Because I believe in a love that will not be weakened by my inadequacies. I believe in a deep, incomprehensible love for this mess of a planet that will not be thwarted by my endorsement or my vote or my ideology.

And because I believe that if I give everything I have to walk beside my God, to love with mercy, and to seek justice, that God’s grace is sufficient for the rest. Even if I get it wrong every single time.

I am not threatened by our disagreements. I am not frightened by Fox News or The Optimist’s endorsement. I am not afraid of admitting that I might be wrong. Because I believe in a grace that will cover the insufficiencies of our reasoning and a God that will not be stopped by them.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.

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