Becky Says...

November 2004

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November 7

Several things about the recent election are on my mind.

We've been informed that the election's main issue turned out to be morality. Those who think it is only the utterly church-going religious right who reelected President Bush are missing something. There are those who think his moral stands are correct not because they think God does, but because they are homophobic or close to it, or are against any abortion for whatever reason.

Some of those thoughts exist completely independent of a belief in God.

While I'm on the subject, please, please do not assume that all people who identify themselves as Christians believe exactly the same things. Because I can guarantee you we don't.

My way of being Christian is largely based on my Lutheran upbringing. But there's a heavy dose of independent thinking in there. Do I expect all the Lutherans to agree that my independent thinking is a good thing? Nope. I also don't care. They are welcome to have their opinions, too.

Next thing: this is the first election where the results have made me cry. Only one time, so far, but it was a damned good cry. Those tears are what let me realize I was really, truly grieving over this. Over what might have been. Over a better economy. Over a swifter conclusion of the debacle in Iraq. Over a clearer separation of church and state.

My issues and outlook on those issues happened to go along well with those of Senator Kerry and Senator Edwards. I truly thought Kerry was the better man for the job. And I'm stunned that more people didn't agree, but I attribute that as much as anything else to spending a lot of time with like-minded people.

We will, in the course of things, get back to the business of getting along. Many of us, including me, have already congratulated the winners. At the same time, it is insensitive to those of us whose hopes have been stepped on to ask us to put on a cheerful face and pretend that we aren't hurting. It is insensitive to tell us to keep our pain to ourselves, especially if we happen to have online sites. It is insensitive to ask us to keep from grieving a very real loss.

I won't go into a small group of people, online or off, with unknown political affiliations and moan about the loss, but when I'm with like-minded people, I will join in speculating on ways to get through the next hurdles. Ways that do not include being quiet, by the way. Nor, in my case, do they involve moving to a foreign country (though a long vacation to somewhere might be pleasant).

This is my country, and I love it. I also love my home state. While I'm not pleased that North Carolina wound up being a red state, I still care about, respect, and deeply admire my fellow citizens. But in keeping with the notion of spending time with like-minded people, I would tell you to go look at an election results map showing our counties. I live in Orange County, and we are blue.

Red states, blue states, whatever states, I will not be driven from my home. Nor from my beliefs.

Text copyright 2000-2004 Becky