The year was 1964. Before men walked on the moon, before computers were small enough to not need a whole room to themselves, before the I have a dream speech, and well before I was born. 1964, 44 years ago, was the last time a democrat (LBJ) won in the State of Indiana. Albeit a close victory, a mere 30,000 votes separate the candidates, last night showed a monumental shift in the Hoosier State. Not only was this guy a democrat, but he was a black guy with the name Obama. Maybe growing up you never experienced the racial slurs in our fair state...I did.
I'm not a raving Obama fan, but let me tell you what I saw last night. As I watched the growing crowd in Grant Park, just a stone's throw across the state line, I saw whites and blacks, Latinos and Asians, and a lot of young people embracing, joining arms and coming together unlike any election celebration I have witnessed before. And I saw a black man give a victory speech, something I never thought I would see in my lifetime. If you remove the political rhetoric and the fear mongering, and understand the significance of what happened last night...you might just shed a tear as I did. And I'm proud to raise my kids in a country that may well have proven itself larger than hate last night.
Now, for my fellow Christians out there who are struggling this morning, feeling that all hope is lost, that somehow this represents a moral low for the nation-that this may actually be judgement on America by a Holy God.....I offer this: live Christ. If you believe that abortions will go unbridled, then it is time for YOU to step in and mentor young women to help them make good choices. Surely, if this is God's judgement.....it is His judgement on His people, not on a Godless nation. The church has been so comfortable demanding morality from the polling booth, and like tickling ears-having our egos scratched by Republican candidates, that we have become irrelevant to our nation, to our neighbor, to whom God has called us to love.
We should not forget that in the last 40 years, only 12 of those years have seen a democrat in the White House, yet we conservatives want to blame the national moral decline on democrats. We should also understand that George W. Bush has probably been the most outspoken, Christian conservative president we have had in those 40 years.......and where has that gotten us? Check that, Jimmy Carter (D) may have been the most outspoken Christian president.
It also isn't lost on me that while Indiana voted D in historic proportions, due to the economy-135,000 jobs lost in the last 4 years, 10th in foreclosures and a jobless rate higher than the national average..........somehow we were suckered into voting for Mitch in large numbers because he created 50,000 jobs (net loss of 85,000 jobs) and he saved us maybe a net reduction in our taxes of $100. Something doesn't add up. But hey, we're Hoosiers.
We do need to pray......we need to pray for President-elect Obama and his family. For their safety-as a nervousness for him exists in the pit of my stomach, for a tenderness in his heart toward the things of God, for wisdom to lead us. We need to pray for our country. For the greed, corruption and selfishness of our generation to be removed, for the divisiveness created by our churches to change to "bleeding for Christ" as the author of Myth of a Christian Nation calls it..........in short-living Christ to those around us. And we must remember, God is not America's God.........nor does he have an (R) next to His name. He loves indiscriminately, just as He calls us to do.