Some context: Bush wins again, under the specter of voter fraud (Carter said no, so I believed him later.) I write an open letter to my friends about the disappointment. In 4 short years, perhaps a conservative blogger might have written a similar letter to his or journal friends.
Dearest, dearest friends:
I’ve read all your comments. Some of them are angry, some of them hopeful, some of them reconciling. I’m so, so sorry about the way things have turned out. Obviously I’ve been thinking long and hard about this, of course, and I’ve been trying to see some purpose. To that end, here’s a conversation I had this morning.
Me: I know that this isn’t your fault. I know that we’re responsible for our own destiny. I know that you even gave us a good option with a fairly visionary, although not perfect man. I can’t help but feel disappointed and disillusioned.
God: Well, you know, I care about you all. It’s very hard watching you go through the motions of trying to make your peace with your existence, but I don’t mandate in politics. You have to make choices for yourself, and learn from both the good things and the bad things you do.
Me: But God, half of us don’t want this! Almost half! What about us?
God: What about you? You made an incredibly good showing. You showed them that you had a voice. You have not yet lost. I know that this is hard, but no one ever promised you that it would be easy. Catherine, you know that. Your life has not always been an easy one. However, haven’t I given you a good gauge to know what’s right and wrong?
Me: But God, I’m so tired. Sometimes I’m so tired, and I guess what I really wanted was a break. I just wanted to put this into someone else’s hands for a while.
God: You know, sometimes that will happen. You should take care of yourself. Only I can be on all the time. You’re not alone in this. You can take a little break. You’ll see.
You must, however, continue to labor for good in the world. It’s one of the reasons I put you here. I will not ever give you something you can’t handle. Do you see what your work is?
Me: Well, yeah. To keep teaching, to watchdog my legislators, to stay involved in the fight for justice and peace, to…
God: I’m proud that you think that way, and you know you must keep going. I just wanted to remind you of it. Let me tell you something else that I think you need to hear. You will never make your peace with this, you will never be satisfied. Your respite, even if Mr. Kerry wins, will be temporary, and you will have to question even him. Remember, you didn’t like his chapter on education, did you?
Me: No. But what about our place in the world? What about all those people who voted for Bush? What about the war?
God: The war saddens me more than I can say. But you know, the people who support it have their own journeys to make. I can’t chose for them.
Me: At the cost of others lives!?! Mortaging the futures of our children?
God: Listen, I know. It’s free will. That’s a hard road to walk, and my creation makes mistakes, lots of them. That’s why I depend on people like you, Catherine. Do you see that?
Me: Of course! But sometimes, I just can’t stand it, and I have to say so!
God: Vent away, then. I’m God. I’m listening. I can take it. Tell them all to vent. Tell them, however, not to give up hope, even if the election’s outcome isn’t what they want. There’s been a great awakening about relevant issues. That’s why you’re here. Tell them that. To talk about the things that matter. Get the word out, Catherine. I gave you the gift of writing. Get the word out. My creation needs you too, to make others look at themselves. It’s no good unless we learn from each other, and ultimately respect each other.
Me: I’m so damned angry and upset!
God: Yeah. That’s human. It’s okay. Just don’t lose sight, okay? Just don’t give up.
I’m sad. I’m angry. I’m stunned. I’m disappointed. I have terrible thoughts and opinions about why we put Bush back in office, hardly a foregone, but likely, conclusion. I wonder what’s going on in the minds of people in this country. I’m disgusted.
Now I’m going to be humanly pissy for the next few days. I’m not ashamed. It’s natural, and I accept that. I do, however, have a moral core and compass, and I’m on a mission.
As Peter Jackson’s film Dead Alive says, “I kick ass for the Lord!” Politically, you’d better believe it.
I’ll catch you all at the next war protest against Iraq. I’m not shutting up. I know we need to come together as Americans, but we also need to TALK ABOUT THESE IMPORTANT THINGS. WE CAN DO BETTER, even if many of you seem to think that the status quo is acceptable. It’s not. It’s just not.
For the record, I’m DEAD PROUD to be a liberal Christian.