Worries and concerns

This is a post that is just about me expressing what I am concerned about. I don’t know what to do with it. I’m not asking anyone to do anything or looking for any responses. I’m just using my blog to express what’s going through my mind and what I’m concerned about.

People ask me what I think about the election results. I have a couple of reactions – contradictory reaction.

1. I’m relieved that things went at smoothly as they did. We all expected the results to take awhile and they did. There was no violence as some had predicted. And it appears that the accusations of fraud are empty – all of the cases filed have been dismissed and there is no evidence of fraud. Fraud in a national election is pretty much impossible to do because our system is based on counties handling elections.

2. I’m concerned that we have a deeply divided nation that contains a large segment of people who have no interest in healing the divide. That is not healthy and it will not end well. It is dangerous and is a danger for all Americans.

I’m concerned about the refusal of the current administration to begin to accept the reality of a transition of power. The GSA is not doing what it should do. The replacement of top DOD officials with people who are apparently loyal to the current administration at this point in the administration is not encouraging. The fact that very few of elected Republicans have publicly acknowledged the results of the election out of fear of angering Trump’s base is concerning.

The rise of alt-right “social” platforms like Parler, MeWe, and Gab is concerning. Gab is home to several far-right and alt-right groups which contain neo-nazis, white supremacy groups, and other groups like this. That’s not hyperbole, it’s been reported on. One post from Parler that has been shared called for conservatives to kill two liberals each in order to take care of the problem. Regardless of the platform, these are people that no one should want to be associated with. This isn’t about partisanship, this is about human decency. This is concerning.

Continuing to see campaign signs and flags of candidates remain up is concerning. Hearing contradictory arguments about counting votes is concerning.

Seeing signs remain up that support a certain candidate with the phrase “F*%$ your feelings” and “No more Bullsh*t” is concerning and frankly disgusting. Since when did we become so crass and arrogant and wear it with a badge of honor? These are slogans that an empire would be proud of.

We are in a third wave of COVID, with no end in sight. Hospitals are getting flooded. ICU’s are getting crowded. Deaths are on the rise. And there are still large segments of society that think this is a hoax or some kind of political ploy designed to supposedly restrict people’s freedom. I’m concerned that we are suffering worse than we should because of there are too many who are willfully stubborn to accept reality and actually give a damn about other people’s welfare and health.

It would be quite easy to add in plenty of other concerns – things like racial tensions and racism out in the open, poverty at high levels, everything that has to do with homelessness, domestic abuse that is not even being talked about, and families that are so divided over politics that people are picking loyalty to party and politician over family ties. What the hell is wrong with people?

I’m reminded of a passage of Scripture.

“Jesus answered them, ‘Beware that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, “I am the Messiah! and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs.”

This comes from Matthew 24:4-8. I don’t post this in order to scare people and make some kind of claim that we are in the end of days. I’m not a big fan of theology that is based on fear.

The reason this passage came to mind is because of what Jesus is talking about – Fear, rumors, uncertainties, and concerns. Those things are going to happen, says Jesus. I think if Jesus were to address these things today he would say something like this: “Chill, this stuff is going to happen. Don’t fall for the conspiracy theories or the crappy theology about a vindictive God who is going to ravage the earth. That’s not how God operates.”

Concerns are a part of life. And what will be, will be. It is out of my control. That doesn’t mean that I just act like nothing is wrong. There is plenty wrong with the world and in our nation today. No election result would change that. The question is this – how do I go forward in spite of the concerns and challenges that we face?

I think we follow Jesus’ example. We pave a way forward, not fighting these things, not ignoring them either. But not giving them legitimacy. Jesus never gave Rome or the Temple authorities legitimacy. He paved a different path and people followed. People followed because it was a path with a future, with hope, with a vision. It was a path that led away from violence and anger. It still is. It is the path we are called to take. Especially in the midst of concerns and worries. Let us journey on that path together.

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