Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What this election means

I'm hoping someone will look back on this post in a few years and say "boy, what a pessimist!" That said, I have a few thoughts and reflections on the election. Several people have posted things along the line of "God is punishing the US" or "His will was done." I can't agree with either sentiment.

First off, I don't think God needs to punish us. Sin brings its own punishment. When you swing the hammer at your own thumb and it hurts, there's no need to look to God to have brought the punishment upon you. The voters have shown that entitlements are more important than the freedoms written in our Constitution. We (collectively) will get what we deserve. Yes, bad things will happen to good people, and good things will happen to bad people. Read Job for a good theological basis for it all. Or for something more upbeat, read Genesis 37-50, especially noting Genesis 50:19-21:
But Joseph replied to them: "Do not fear. Can I take the place of God? Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve this present end, the survival of many people. So now, do not fear. I will provide for you and for your children." By thus speaking kindly to them, he reassured them.
So, if God will ultimately bring good out of the situation does that mean "His will was done?" No more than it was done to Joseph when his brothers plotted his murder. God does not wish us to do evil. Just because something happens doesn't mean God wills it, especially when the intentions of us sinners are involved.

These two phrases are used by some to justify anything they want to do (not that I think the people who posted this had this in mind, but in other situations I have seen this behavior). Abortion? Must be God's will, since it happens, therefore it is not evil. It's up to God to punish those who do such things. House burned down? He must be a sinner.

If we think of God as father, consider a similar situation with your own child. Little Johnny played with matches and burnt his finger. He blames you for it. Were you responsible? You might have been responsible if Johnny were 3 and you gave him the matches, but at some point you expect Johnny to take responsibility for his own mistakes.

So my reflection on the election is what the prophets have always said "Repent and turn to God." The death toll from this election will be in the tens of millions, but ultimately His will will be done. It is up to us to accept martyrdom, red or white. I know this doesn't sound very upbeat, but it is.

Mary, virgin most immaculate, patroness of the United States, pray for us.

4 comments:

Good post...great minds seem to think alike

I saw some graphs on the way people voted and I think this election was a failure of the New Evangelization. We were too busy preaching to the choir and got blindsided a bit. God'll bring good from it, sure. But we messed up.

Thanks Christie. I'll note that we can only preach to those who will listen.

I think Jeff Miller has some good insights into why the election went that way (and which he attributes to Al Kresta). Check out Pop Culture Presidency. Basically the premise is that the election doesn't indicate people voting their values, but basically that fantasy has replaced values as voting criteria. This really makes sense when you talk to people who voted for Obama about why they did it.

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