a backlash

The result of the recent presidential election was a shock to many people here and around the world. It seems like a pretty destructive (and self-destructive) choice. And it’s very sad, because it looks like many of the most vulnerable people in our society and around the world will suffer the most because of it.

It seems clear, though, that this choice of president was a backlash. The result of an overwhelmingly strong uprising of people who are angry and hurting and scared and resentful. And where did that come from? Some of it, certainly was a result of changes in our society and the world that no one will be able to stop or undo. But a lot of it was a result of changes being forced on people by their leaders. That seemed to be the main focus of the anger and resentment: the lawmakers in Washington. Of both parties. Lots and lots of people have been growing more and more upset by what has been forced on them by government. And the new president is their angry response.

But of course it’s not just the lawmakers that have produced this anger. Those people were put in place and given their powers by a great number of other people. All of these people have worked together to forcibly gather people’s money and enact laws that other people also have to follow (whether they agree or not). That kind of thing pretty much always produces some level of anger and resentment. Looking back over the last decade or so, there’s been lots of signs that a response like this might be coming.

Most people think it’s okay (even necessary) to force others to do the “right” thing. (“Right” being determined by those in power, “the majority” in our case.) But Jesus didn’t do that. And he didn’t teach his followers to do that; quite the opposite. Jesus insisted that people do good only by their own free choice.

But we (in our “Christian nation”) instead imitate every other nation and, whenever we can, we force our neighbors to do what we think is best.

And they grind their teeth and scheme for their opportunity to do the same favor for us.