Who here is sick and tired of hearing about Trump?
I sure am.
This election and presidency has been by far my least favorite (which I guess doesn’t say much, since I’ve only been of voting age for the past three elections, but still).
I have never had so many friendships hurt and ended because of a president. I also never saw that coming. Back during Obama’s elections in 2008 and 2012, there were definitely disagreements. I’m a conservative Christian, and I was going to college in Ann Arbor, Michigan – a very liberal city. The difference that I saw back then was this: We’d have a debate, get emotional sometimes, but then we would cool off. It would die down. We’d all still be friends.
I never in my life thought that I would have people stop talking to me because I voted for Trump. I never in my craziest dreams would have expected people to call me the hideous things I have been called in the past several months. All of it is so ugly.
People have told me I must not be a Christian, because no Christian would vote for Trump. This hurts me to my core, because Jesus is my main reason for living. No matter who I vote for, I will be voting for an imperfect person. In this particular election, both candidates have made unspeakable mistakes in their pasts. I voted for a sinner. Trump is a sinner. Hillary is a sinner. I am a sinner. And I am a Christian because I know I need Jesus. We all need Jesus. Trump, Hillary, even Obama need Jesus. Whether or not they believe Jesus is their sole Savior is not something I can judge. My faith does not rest on Trump; my faith rests on Jesus, and that is what makes me a Christian.
People have told me I am a racist. Ouch. Yeah, I am white-skinned. I have golden-brown hair and blue eyes. I speak only English despite three years of Spanish classes. And although I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, I never had a black kid (or a student of any ethnicity) in my class growing up, although my grade school is a little more diverse today. We were just a bunch of white kids with no background and no culture. I saw people of different ethnicities, but I didn’t have much contact with them until I went to college. I remember watching the movie Ruby Bridges when I was a kid and crying my eyes out for her. In college, remember going to an African American church to purposely immerse myself in a culture where I stood out as the minority (and I remember the overwhelming love and acceptance they offered). I remember my first black friend in college, and the pain she suffered with sickle cell anemia; I remember watching her say her vows at her wedding, where she continued the African American tradition of “jumping over the broom.” Although I am white, although I grew up in an area of America that is not particularly diverse, I am capable of empathy, and I am capable of loving others, whether they have many similarities to myself or many differences.
People have told me I am anti-woman. One person even called me a rapist. I normally try to not let words hurt me so deeply, but this time, I was wounded. As someone who suffered sexual assault for nearly three years, I believe teaching people that “no” means “no” is important. As someone who attended a court case on child molestation for one of her friends, who prayed to hear over ten counts of “guilty,”I think justice is important. As someone who has three close friends who were raped and raped brutally, I believe it is important to teach people to keep their hands off. As a mother of a daughter, I believe it is important to teach boys to respect girls with both their actions and their words. I am not a rapist. To call me a rapist is to diminish that word and make that accusation diluted when it comes to someone who is truly a rapist. Do not throw that word around lightly. Has Trump said reprehensible things to women? Has he done horrific things? I cannot say for sure what exactly he has said or done, thanks to the media being so ridiculously quick to spread rumors before fact checking, but I do believe Trump is guilty of not respecting women. Believe me, I felt shame when I checked the box next to his name on that ballot. Believe me, as I walked into our city hall, all I could think of was the name of the boy who ignored my “no” all those years. I don’t like supporting anyone who has hurt someone else so deeply and intimately.
When it comes to refugees, I don’t even know where to begin. On one hand, I fear for our country’s safety, but on the other, I am sick with worry and grief for these people. I think of the mothers and their children, and I look at my daughter, and then I can’t see her for the tears in my eyes. I’m torn.
So why did I vote for someone who clashes with some of my deepest convictions? If you read my previous post, you know.
I recognized that this election was life and death.
I used my vote to defend life.
Please don’t fault me for that. Please don’t cut me out of your life for that. Please don’t call me anti-woman or anti-black or anti-Jesus or anti-refugee.
The thing is, all those people are suffering – women, refugees, blacks. But the death toll for the unwanted unborn is 100% (except for those who survive by a miracle). The unwanted unborn are starved to death, burned alive by chemicals, or torn limb-from-limb. And it needs to stop. These innocent infants are among the most defenseless of our people, and I chose to use my vote to defend them. I simply could not vote for a woman who condones partial-birth abortion. I could not do it.
(Photo from 2017 Walk for Life)
Many of my liberal Christian friends believe that there are other ways to decrease abortion – and they might be right! But I firmly believe that saying something is wrong is important if it is wrong. I firmly believe it is an oxymoron to say, “Abortion is wrong, but let’s keep it legal.” I think we need our laws to reflect morality, and then we need to offer assistance that also reflects that morality. We need both. We need both the liberals’ and conservatives’ ideas on this issue if we are going to save lives and help women.
I don’t expect you to agree. I don’t expect you to cheer me on. I don’t expect you to become pro-Trump. I’m not asking for any of those things.
I just ask that you respect me – me as a person. I ask that you try and understand that I made the decision that I did out of love – love for the unborn who have no voice, love for the woman who is suffering PTSD from abortion, love for the minority who is targeted by abortion.
I ask that you recognize the reasons I couldn’t vote for Hillary are just as valid as the reasons you couldn’t vote for Trump.
America is very diverse. I think it would be a rare, rare thing if everyone you loved shared your perspective in the exact same way as you. That’s why it is so important to learn to love people with whom you disagree.
If you voted for Hillary, I still respect you. If you are pro-choice, I still respect you. I will not call you names. I will not accuse you of being things you are not. I will not cut you out of my life. I will listen to you.
To be clear, I do not want to use this post to talk about the several reasons I didn’t vote for Hillary. I do not want to use this post to trash talk Trump. This entry is not meant to turn into a debate at all because I am not trying to get anyone to agree with me.
What do I want you to take away from this post?
To love each other. Love the liberal. Love the conservative. Love the democrat. Love the republican. Love the refugee. Love the women (through respect). Love the unborn.
(Gasp. Yes. Love Trump. By that, I mean pray for him. Pray for him to succeed, to learn to be a good leader, to say the right thing and to learn when to be silent. Pray for him to grow in wisdom. Our country depends on it. You don’t have to like him. You don’t have to agree with him. You don’t have to vote for him in four years. But stop spreading news before fact checking. Stop calling names and making fun of physical appearances. Stop doing anything you would teach a kindergartner not to do. When Trump does or says something you disagree with, speak out against him in knowledge and truth, not in hatred and name-calling and rumors.)
And when I fail to take my own advice to love those whose beliefs conflict with my own, I simply ask you this…. forgive me.