Presidential Debates, Facebook Rage, Expectations & Response

As we know Wednesday night featured this campaign’s first Presidential Election debate. A lot has been said on the candidates’ performances and positions but I want to highlight the words of one person when he proclaimed, “This the most important election in our nation’s history.” We’ve heard it all election season, also heard it four years ago, and we’ll hear again in another four years. But that person was of course, the host of the television program that came on after the debate.  In fairness, he may have simply been quoting the CEO of the network who just charged the detergent company an exorbitant amount of money to air their commercial during the televised debate. Don’t feel sorry for them, they love this game.

Certainly this election is important. It does matter. Politics do matter. The truth is most things matter and because our lives are connected to one another, just about everything matters to somebody. So our responses to each other matter as well. In some ways, my Facebook friends’ position matters just as much as the candidate’s position.

It’s been interesting to observe (and participate) what happens on Facebook during any national issue, controversy or cultural moment. Some post their expressions of peace, hope, and wish a better life for everyone. Some attack, some defend, some defend as if it was their mother that was just insulted. Some offer helpful critique, some are really funny, some are really sad in an unintentional way, “If _____ wins, the country is going to collapse and the Martians are going to invade” (To be fair, I added the part about the country collapsing).

The “Likes” add up, the Comments get out of hand and in some cases, the only interaction we’ve had with some friends in months (or years) is an awkward and likely impolite interaction. We might say it’s better than nothing but what if our responses could be actually better?  I’d like to offer some very simple words here.

To the Obama supporter, be fair, avoid villainizing and let’s dialogue.
To the Romney supporter, be fair, avoid villainizing and let’s dialogue.
To the Other Party supporter, be fair, avoid villainizing and let’s dialogue.
To the Not Likely Voting, please reconsider. For no other reason, it’s a privilege that countless throughout the world would give their life for (and countless already have).

To the Christian, let us remember that government offices, state chairs, local officials, and leaders of any kind are not actually unseating God from His sovereignty. Meaning, if the term “Christ sits on the throne” holds any meaning for you, let’s be careful just how far we take our rhetoric. Creation will not actually be doomed if the candidate you dislike wins the election.  In fact, if it’s true that God can use anyone, the candidate you dislike may be God’s chosen vessel.

Among my hopes is that I will have the blessing of growing old before passing onto the next life. For me (and many) my hope is that the Church would allow God to work through us to bring change, restoration, salvation and hope to the world. Maybe if I didn’t believe in a God that is at work in this world, I’d respond differently to governmental politics. Maybe my expectations would be higher if I didn’t believe in a loving and merciful God that is sovereign.

These candidates are just men. Important men that matter, but still mortal. And our friends, whether they be on Facebook or across the table, are our fellow sisters and brothers in humanity and they matter, in some ways more.

So May we do our part this election season, may we do more than pull a lever and may we imitate treating one another with the love and respect God offers us.


  1. Had to tweet this one… Great post. I’m tempted o send it to a few specific people, like when I hear a good sermon and think, “Boy, so-and-so needs to hear this…” Great way to evade the more immediate, personal implications. :)

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