Columnist: We all come from the same creator
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 15, 2016
I’m writing this article on the morning of Election Day. No matter who is chosen, as President-elect, whether Clinton or Trump, the question is, what happens after the final ballots have been counted and verified? How does a nation that has been so fractured and polarized by political differences and discord come together in the best interests of all Americans. That will be the major task before all citizens, politicians and political parties. And I may add, that should also be the initial critical mission of our President-Elect. The failure to make this effort on the part of the next President and his or her followers will only result in a deepening of the division that already exist in our nation. Such inaction can only make matters worse.
Of course, there are no easy answers to our current American predicament. And I certainly don’t have the answers, but for what they are worth, I do have a few suggestions. First, remember that America has faced tough times before and come together afterwards! There is not any of us, alive at that time, that was not affected by September 11, 2001. The happenings of that date have simply been imprinted upon our minds and hearts. I’m talking about the pictures and sounds that we will never forget-pictures and sounds of immense human suffering, hijacked airplanes, buildings in ruins, pictures of terrorists, heroic firefighters and law enforcement personnel, courageous citizens, memorial services, a nation under attack, a nation in prayer and a nation responding.
Immediately following 9/11, there was a great coming together of all Americans. And in American history, there have been multiple other happenings or events that brought Americans together. The point is, we can come together yet again.
Second, we can get our theology straight! Jesus said,”0ur Father…” (Matthew 6:9). We all come from the same Creator.
But how do we know that this “Fatherhood” includes everybody rather than just the Twelve disciples or the present Christian community? How do we know that all created humanity is included? As one scholar observed, “The answer depends upon Jesus’ total outlook.”
Jesus understood that God makes the sun shine on the Syrian and on the American. He causes the rain to fall on the atheist and on the believer. Is God not “the daddy” of us all? Every person is included because he/she is a child of God. Here we are speaking of the universal “Our.”
Therefore, since God is “Our Father” our oneness as brothers and sisters resides in our being part of His family.
Third, we can be considerate of the feelings of others and practice civility in the public arena! Many people would agree that the recent political campaigns, which have been a bit long, have been less than average in expectation. Too often, differences of opinion, belief, position, platform and party have resulted in arrogance, accusation and anger. Blame and ridicule have raised their ugly heads so often that truth itself has become a causality.
And what has happened in the political elections has happened in numerous other areas of societal life. The attitude of “my way” or “the highway”’ has assured that proper discourse has become the victim.
But here I am suggesting that one of the places to begin societal healing is by showing respect to those who differ and by extending kindness in the public arena.
Fourth, we can understand this “Thanksgiving” as a special time of gratitude, forgiveness, and reconciliation both with God and our fellow Americans.
During one of the darkest periods of the Civil War in 1863, Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation was a call to love one’s enemies. He urged that God’s “gracious gifts” be acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.
Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation resounds again at Thanksgiving 2016. In acknowledging God’s “gracious gifts,” let us include one another.