I didn’t vote for President Obama. I almost did, but in the end I voted for the candidate that better reflected my position on the issues. When Obama became President Obama, I wasn’t thrilled. I didn’t celebrate. And, honestly, I resigned myself to disliking and disrespecting him. Here and there I would feed the flames of opposition with some conservative talk radio or something on Fox News, and when I got a chance, made sure to tear him down. This was how I planned to get through his term in office. But, I’m growing weary of this same old song and dance, and I’m seeing that as a follower of Jesus and as a citizen of this country I am falling short of my calling.
I have witnessed a phenomenon in which President Obama cannot do anything right in the eyes of many who stand on the right. I have heard the same people who commended Bush for sticking to his guns when much of the country opposed him, turn around and criticize Obama for not listening to the people while he worked to enact unpopular policies. I have heard otherwise reasonable people argue that Obama is really a Muslim even though he is a confessed Christian and has spoken about his faith in Christ openly. I have watched (a few) conservative Christians give reasons as to why Obama may be the Anti-Christ. Then we have the birth certificate thing, which is a joke. Thankfully, that was put to rest when the birth certificate was revealed. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “Obama hates America.” The bottom line is that many people have chosen to hate this man, and unfortunately, many of them are Christians.
Does it have to take a terrible tragedy like 9/11, or the killing of a common enemy like Osama Bin Laden to bring the people of this country together? Is that really what it takes to get those who disagree with the President to look up to him with respect, and support him? Is that really where we’re at? While the country is divided on issues of policy and morality, where are the Christians to lead by example? Instead of hating the President as our enemy, shouldn’t we instead be loving him and offering our prayers for him and our other leaders?
Which is a greater witness to the person of Jesus Christ, joining in on the day to day Obama bashing, or offering our genuine prayers and support to him even when we disagree with his policies?
I think it’s time for Christians, namely conservative Christians, to acknowledge our deeply ingrained pride and hatred directed at liberals, and above all, President Obama. I’m not saying our positions on the issues are wrong, that’s not at all what I’m saying. All I’m saying is, we’re not serving anyone but ourselves when we engage in this bitter banter. It’s time we felt uncomfortable in the service of those we oppose.
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6: 27-36)