Thank God this damn election is over.
I know some of you are delighted with the outcome and some of you are troubled, and some of you are freaked out. Trust me, I understand all of that, and frankly, where I stand is uncertain. A lot of people I know and respect voted for Trump, and others I know and respect did not. And NO, that doesn't mean they voted for Hillary Clinton. It means their conscience couldn't permit them to vote for either. And NO, that doesn't mean that those who held their nose to vote for Trump didn't follow their conscience.
This whole cycle has been such a disgrace, and for so many reasons that have little to do with the actual candidates. There's been gloom and doom on both sides, as if choosing one candidate over the other will either destroy the planet altogether or condemn your soul to hell. The sad part of this was to see some individuals I normally respect suddenly turn into 21st century Pharisees. The judgmentalism got so thick, I could barely have a discussion even with other conservatives, lest they lambast me with admonitions and threats of hellfire and damnation. No exaggeration. I like discussion, but I resent being lectured or scolded.
One priest I really respect said recently that if you voted for the lesser of two evils, then you made a wrong choice because you still voted for evil. But, if you voted for a candidate based on a potential good outcome, then that was acceptable. Wise words. Were more people as understanding and clear-headed as he, this would be a much better world.
Instead, a lot of conservatives got caught up in a negative, and shall I say demonic vortex that shorted out their reason and any sense of compassion toward those with whom they disagreed. Sure, there are serious issues with voting for Hillary Clinton, but to stand on ones proverbial pulpit and point an accusing finger and question anyone's private spiritual life is unChristian and uncharitable. On the Cross, Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." If only more Christians would actually follow this sentiment.
These self-righteous hypocrites made me see why some liberals hate conservatives, to be honest. Heavy-handed judgmentalism is hard to take, especially when it gets wrapped up in religious rhetoric. It gets really old really quickly. I heard sentiments to the effect of saying "the REAL Catholics" or "the REAL pro-lifers" think this and that, as if a difference of opinion suddenly renders one not Catholic or pro abortion. As I've said before, this election is not a Zero Sum Game where if Hillary is wrong, Trump must be right, or if I'm not voting for Trump, I must necessarily not care about the unborn.
This kind of garbage doesn't actually help anything or anyone, and in fact, it's demonic in nature. The devil wants to separate us, pit us against each other, manipulate our feelings and fears and insecurities so that we start backbiting each other and alienating each other. I even heard stories of people's friendships breaking down over posts in social media. These are good people, people who are pro-life and generous and gifted and intelligent, now cat-scratching each other and throwing around accusations and nursing deep, emotional and personal wounds. All because of some Facebook post or Tweet or whatever else.
God help us if we're that petty. That's exactly what the devil wants, and if we don't start to fight back and reach out to each other, then we really are lost and it won't matter who is in elected office.
Therefore, my post election advice is as following, for both liberals and conservatives:
Our national problem is not political, but spiritual. As long as we live in a godless society, we will continue to have the Obamas and Clintons and Trumps of the world.