Many Christians are among those joining this chorus of hopelessness, doom, and gloom. It's almost as if we've been deluded into believing that a mere mortal who gets elected into a particular position of power is somehow a Savior (or the Antichrist). I don't deny that there are critical issues at stake in our political life. Nor do I want to suggest that as Christians we should not act on our deepest values in the public square. And I'm not saying that it doesn't matter who gets elected President. But some of the hand-wringing, doom-and-gloom rhetoric has, quite frankly, struck me as idolatrous.
I'm reminded that many Christians have lived and practiced the faith under far more dire conditions than anything a Republican or a Democratic Presidential administration can dish out. Indeed, many of them were imprisoned, tortured, and died for the faith. And that tragic scenario continues to unfold in many parts of the world today (see, for example, the website The Voice of the Martyrs). Even if one grants the argument that some conservative Christians today are making - that we'll see in the near future persecution and imprisonment for Christians who dare to publicly speak in favor of traditional biblical values against the current of "progressive" change - I'm not comfortable equating that possible scenario with what confessors and martyrs have and are experiencing.
Election day fell this year on the Feast Day of William Temple, the 98th Archbishop of Canterbury. While taking another look at his life and legacy, I came across the following quote from a sermon he delivered at the Lambeth Conference in 1930. It strikes me as appropriate for American Christians who may be tempted to take a turn to henotheism in the midst of our deeply polarized politics:
While we deliberate, he reigns; when we decide, he reigns; when we decide foolishly, he reigns; when we serve him in humble loyalty, he reigns; when we serve him self-assertively, he reigns; when we rebel and seek to withhold our service, he reigns - the Alpha and the Omega, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Please note: ad hominem slams against Republicans, Democrats, or anyone else will not be published!