Respect the Process

I don’t write much about faith and politics. It’s not that I don’t think about those issues. I actually have very deep seated beliefs on both topics, but I generally don’t care to debate them in public forums. It just takes more of an emotional investment than I have available and takes away from the energy I can put into my home and family.

However, sometimes I get something weighing on my heart that I feel the need to share, and today is one of those days.

With this election looming… okay it is no longer looming. It is front center!! I hate to say it, but I dread today and tomorrow and whatever the outcome might bring. Whoever wins, I dread the dissent and mud slinging and name calling that will inevitably result.

Does it seem like it is getting worse? That our nation is becoming more and more divided? Or has it always been this way?

Many of my online friends are liberal, and I get treated to a lot of liberal rhetoric and often feel like the butt of their jokes. Facebook is the worst. I have resorted to unfollowing and even unfriending some who I find particularly offensive, and that saddens me. I don’t mind the thoughtful questions or sharing of articles that are informative. I’m always open to listening to the other side of the issues. But the jokes and jabs — they sting, I won’t lie.

I am weary of the insinuations and outright proclamations that those of us voting for Romney are ignorant, selfish and uncaring. I have well thought out reasons for my positions on the issues, and it certainly does not mean that I don’t care about the poor or women’s rights or diversity.

But I’m sure those voting for Obama feel they are treated unfairly for their beliefs too. It happens on both sides of the fence, I realize that. And I don’t approve of the jokes and jabs that defend my positions either.

Why can’t we just respect each other for our differing opinions? What ever happened to intelligent discussions and real debates? Not the contrived televised ones that don’t give either candidate the time or freedom to really delve deep into an issue… but a real debate between intelligent people discussing the issues respectfully? Did that ever exist? Maybe not.

So today as we vote, and a winner is announced and it comes time to move forward, it is my plea to everyone reading this today that we respect the process. When Obama won four years ago, I didn’t vote for him, but he is my president. He receives my respect and my prayers just like if my candidate had won. And that actually brings me to the point of this post.

I have read a lot about putting our faith and hope in our president, and that frightens me.

My faith and hope is in Jesus alone. There is no man, no leader on this earth in whom I put my faith. No matter who wins today, God is on his throne, and He is ultimately in control. I firmly believe that. I don’t believe God has a political party. He will work His perfect will no matter who is in political power. No matter who wins this election today, it will not shake my faith and hope because I don’t place faith and hope in our government and our president. Whoever takes the office of President of the United States and leads our country for the next four years will have my support and respect.

I urge anyone reading this post today to consider the effect your attitude about the president has on your kids and your neighbors and friends. We don’t have to allow this election (or any election) to divide us. Let’s respect the process and commit to support who ever fills the Oval Office this coming January. Who’s with me?

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32 thoughts on “Respect the Process

  1. Representing one of your liberal friends, but with exactly the same views on rarely entering the public forum with my opinions, the jokes and jabs, respecting the process, and above all putting our faith in God alone. You are wise, my friend, so wise. And, I respect your right to choose a presidential candidate that works for you! xo

  2. I’m livid right now. I feel the same way you do in this post. I’m tired of the mudslinging and just read a post on Facebook that said “If you support this homophobic, idiotic, self-oriented, bigot; you are officially 100% too stupid to be my friend. Take the liberty to remove yourself from my friends list.”

    This is a family friend of over 15 years.

    When did we stop respecting other people? I responded to this post the best I could.

    But those words of hatred just affected a long term friendship. How? Only time will tell. But those words stung.

    I applaud all those who stand for what they believe in – republican or democrat – because that’s what makes this country what it is… a democracy.

    1. Heather, this same thing happened to my Stepmother and because she “liked” a candidate, a dear family friend for YEARS posted on my Stepmother’s wall roughly the same thing that your family friend posted. And it affected their friendship. I’m staying the heck away from Facebook today that’s for sure :o)

  3. Bravo, Jo-Lynn! I understand exactly what you are saying. No matter who wins this election we are a country that is severely divided. And I think so many in the world are enjoying watching us turn into a bickering, name-calling, country. It’s very sad. I voted and feel proud of the candidate I chose despite the fact that most of my online buddies disagree.

  4. So well put Jo-Lynne – I couldn’t agree more. It’s sad that no one seems to want to find a common ground. It’s okay to have differences, but we should always try and find what we have in common more so than always harping on the differences. Someone I know in DC pointed out that perhaps a root of this issue is that it seems most of the elected officials in DC don’t really relocate there anymore (they work there in during the week but fly/drive home to their families on the weekends/breaks). They commute more, so there’s less of an opportunity for them to really mingle outside of the office like they did years ago, so they don’t get to know each other and find some common ground. I don’t know, but I do know that we need to start building bridges and working together again on both sides!

  5. You have said so well what I’ve been thinking for weeks. Why is it that both sides feel like they have to WIN? Because in the process, we, as Americans, lose. This is not a competition–it’s a country. Thank you for being brave enough to post this. I’m going to share it.

  6. I really appreciate you sharing this. I’m well aware of my personal viewpoints, and informed about who I vote for, but find that in social media I tend to be much more cautious about political conversation. You and I could sit down over a cup of coffee and discuss our views. Where they are similar, where they are different, and why we feel that way.

    Sadly the internet is a place many people use as their own personal soapbox (much like our politicians do during election season).

    That’s why instead I’m encouraging people to vote no matter their views. It’s important that we take it seriously, learn about the issues, and use our right to vote.

    I thought Andrea at http://www.lilkidthings.com had an awesome series on voting. She shared info from a variety of people, and I found it very interesting to read everyone’s views.

  7. I whole-heartedly agree with what you wrote. How did we get so off course and forget about manners and respect?

  8. “I didn’t vote for him, but he is my president. He receives my respect and my prayers just like if my candidate had won. ” This used to be a regular sentiment in the US and I think it is a shame that it has been forgotten by so many. I applaud you for this ideal and for teaching respect for those in positions of power to your children!
    In regards to the nation becoming more and more divided; I’ll whip my {useless} degree in Political Science out and tell you that it is a trend in our nation that occurs every so often and is usually followed by major transitions in party structure. It will be interesting to look at today from the future in the political perspective and see the resulting changes that are looming.

  9. Thank you SO much for this post! This is such a breath of fresh air (and sanity!) amid all the political bickering I have seen on Facebook, Twitter, ect. It saddens me that during elections, many if my Christian friends get so caught up in their political fervor that they forget we are supposed to be Christians first, and sometimes God works outside the box of our limited expectations. I have been following your blog for about a year and enjoy reading your viewpoints very much. Thank you again!

  10. Great post. I am guilty of being political on social media but I always tried to do it singularly. I didn’t mind sharing my views and I enjoyed hearing other views, but like religion, I would never consider trying to change or challenge someone.

  11. THANK YOU for this. I did my best to create a celerbratory environment for VOTING on my FB page yesterday. No mudslinging, no degradation. But it was all over FB, Twitter and the TV. I am glad it’s over. But I said this last night and truly mean it:

    “Regardless of who wins this election, I know it will be a victory for some, and a great loss for others. This does not escape me – and my heart goes out to ALL Americans today.

    Whatever the outcome: United we STAND.”

    1. I wish I believed that, but truly I feel that we are a nation very much divided. I think it is the social issues that REALLY do it, and I think that is a shame. I will put it out there… I vote based on fiscal and economic issues. When I cast my ballot, I’m voting for smaller government and supporting the small business owner. The social issues are tough, and I can understand both sides of that coin.

  12. Thanks for this post, JoLynne:) I think we need to put our faith in Jesus. Also, Whether we vote for the president or not or like him or not, he is still the president of the United States. When did people lose that respect for our country and our president? It makes me sad. I remember at Blogher people being upset about Obama’s adress at Blogher. I have never been in the presence of a president before other than watching on TV and despite my political beliefs, I was proud to be sitting in a room full of people being addressed by our president who validated the importance of the roles that we as the media and bloggers have in this country. Now After the election, my focus is on praying for him that he will choose the right path for this country and continue my faith in Jesus that he will continue to bless us all. I think everyone should put the energy spent on Facebook spewing negativity into rebuilding our beloved northeast and use the power of social media for something positive. Nothing said now can change the outcome of the election, so hopefully people can focus on more important things like helping others who need it and are struggling right now. Instead of Democrats and Republicans, right now we all need to be Americans.

  13. Jo-Lynne, thank you for this heart-felt and earnest post. Perhaps like you, my prayer on this morning after is “Our Father…Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” My candidate was not victorious, but I must remind myself that God’s ways are not our ways. And that is how I will move forward today and face my “friends” on Facebook. I have to disagree on the subject of respecting the president simply because he holds that office. Certainly I wish him no ill, and I will pray hard for him and our country. He has to earn my respect, however.

  14. I love that you shared this. I live in a super conservative area. I don’t fit in so well. I actually like discussing politics and the reasons behind why people are choosing to vote the way they are. I have found that I learn more from people with a differing viewpoint than from people who think and feel the same way I do. One of my problems is that when I ask questions I’m often seen as being argumentative or confrontational. I wish these were topics that we could all discuss calmly and rationally without the name calling and the “you can’t be my friend anymore.” Which really? Sounds like something my seven year old brings home from the play ground.

  15. I just wanted to say “thank you.” In the stressful zoo that this election season has been, your mainly apolitical blog has been a welcome respite, an oasis of normalcy and a reminder of the microcosm that is most of our daily lives.

    I’m a liberal, proud and committed. But I left behind the divisive vitriol a long time ago, and while I will post stuff on Facebook that states my beliefs and might even gently mock both my side and “the other”, I also post about how I love all of my friends, liberal and conservative, republican and democrat, and accept and respect their positions. I rejoice in Democracy and tolerance and freedom. I think that we all have reasons for passionately believing the things we do, and I believe that we are all patriots. I didn’t use to bandy that term around, but now I do. And I’m proud to be a patriot and love our country and support President Obama. And when the “other guy” (or gal!) gets elected, as will inevitably happen as it always does, I hope I have the moral integrity to stand up and say, “How can I serve this President, even if I opposed him/her, as well as our country and people?”

    Thank you, very much, for taking a similar stance and reminding me once again that people with opposing viewpoints often do have the same love and empathy and moral courage that I do. Your blog is wonderful, and so are you. God bless you, and our country, and our Presidents, current and future!

  16. I appreciate this post. I found it browsing your blog after I read your Christmas letter post. I wanted to comment on the “I have resorted to unfollowing and even unfriending some who I find particularly offensive, and that saddens me. I don’t mind the thoughtful questions or sharing of articles that are informative. I’m always open to listening to the other side of the issues. But the jokes and jabs — they sting, I won’t lie.” I was ridiculed for doing that this year. To me FB is a place for courtesy and connecting with those you love and enjoy hearing from on a regular basis. It was hard to log on each day during the elections and read what others had posted. Stressful actually. I, like you, have my faith in Christ. I pray for our leaders (no matter who they are) and that our Father will watch over us, protect us, and get us through anything.

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