It is so difficult for me to hold my proverbial tongue on Facebook. I see people posting their very legitimate yet misinformed opinions about things that are very near and dear to my heart and every one of them begs for a response. Each one of them beckons for me to give a dose of logic like it’s some sort of social media Narcan. For those who don’t know, Narcan is a drug administered to intervene the symptoms of an opiate overdose. This scourge on our society that we call social media has served as a catalyst for a very unique cultural shift.
My rule of thumb is that if I wouldn’t do or say it in line at Starbucks then I shouldn’t do or say it on social media. That doesn’t mean I don’t have some harsh opinions sometimes, just that I don’t say them or act on them. When a non-Christian relegates Christians down to nothing more than their stance on abortion or gay marriage, I’ve got some choice thoughts for them. How about when someone assumes that a Trump supporter is racist? Or one of my favorites: If you’re a Hillary supporter then you’re an ignorant feminist. The truth of those thoughts though is that their stated opinions are either misinformed or spoken from previous hurtful experiences. The bottom line of our current social media based climate though is that we are intolerant, egocentric, and arrogant. So are we really surprised when our candidates reflect those values?
I can’t say it enough that I am thoroughly disappointed in America right now. The Presidential candidate I voted for will not win and I know that. Yep, that’s right. I “threw away” my vote. I voted with a heavy heart because I know America deserves more than what’s being served up, even though our culture is the soil in which our candidates have grown. I waited in line for an hour and a half hoping for some sort of inspiration on who I would vote for. Nothing came to me. I found myself standing at the ballot box, looking at my options and waiting desperately for another one to magically appear. Again, nothing came. And so I did the only thing that my conscience would allow: place my vote based not on fear but on the hope that this election will serve as a cultural AED.
I don’t know who will win the election, nor do I know who will get appointed to the Supreme Court in the next few years. To be completely candid it does make me a little nervous. Here’s what I know though: elections are inconsequential if we do not demand better. Here’s a few ideas on how to demand better:
Social Media: Stop making rude comments on Facebook. Politicians many times act as a thermometer, not as a thermostat. They only reflect the cultural temperature around them. It’s up to us to set that temperature. Ephesians 4:29 says:
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
A dude named Paul wrote that almost 2,000 years ago as a reminder to an otherwise good group of people that they need to play nice with the other kids. If only Facebook was around back then…
Publicly Defend Life: Yes, this does mean abortion. But it also means the single mom who feels like there is no other option. It means the homeless person under the bridge. It means the kids in your area who are in foster care. It means sitting with the addict-neighbor who may not live past Christmas without an intervening friend. It means buying some extra groceries for your co-worker who is struggling to put food on the table. It means encouraging a friend who is walking through a hard place. Being pro-life is about so much more than just babies. Find a need around you and then fill it. This is what pro-life means, so act like it. Jesus once summed up a story about helping those in need by saying:
I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me. And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.
So, publicly defend life like it’s your job…because it kind of is.
Get involved in politics: Don’t let the current state of our culture freeze you in place. Don’t let the giant in front of you overcome the potential within you. Nothing is achieved or attained through sitting still and cowering in fear or uncertainty. The world needs bold leaders who are brave enough to overcome the doubts of their own qualifications and make a difference. This is where I’m at right now. I am not overly qualified to hold office. I don’t have all the answers, nor do I have any political connections. But I know I have to do something. And so, in 2018 I am committing that my name will be on the ballot.
So in conclusion, the world is in dire need of hope. But the Presidential election is inconsequential unless all who are capable get up and demand more from ourselves, each other, and finally, Washington D.C.