The morning after

It’s weird to be elated and outraged at the same time.

I spent yesterday GOTVing all day long in Indiana (which spent most of the evening being a narrow McCain victory but has since flipped for Obama) (!) (the first time Indiana’s gone with a Democrat in 44 years).  Last night, my wife and I headed to downtown Chicago and joined in the truly awesome elation:

It is tempting to want to attribute this victory to the will of God.  After all, our God is a God of abundance, and the victory, for the Democrats, was certainly abundant.  Every Sunday, and quite often more than that, Christians pray unto God: “Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.”  For the last eight years, many of us have cried out to the Lord, praying that God would lay hands upon our national and global leaders and change  – change them.  We want God to be involved in our political process, especially when we sense that it is not going according to God’s plan.

And yet, if we attribute the stunning political victories to the will of God, we must also assume that it was God’s will that Proposition 8 has likely passed this morning.  Proposition 8 sets the appalling precedent that anyone can be targeted for the removal of existing rights.  Anyone!  Who’s next?  All that is needed is enough money and advertising to eek out a narrow majority.  This is frightening, un-American, and it is shameful that religious folks were heavily behind it.  Surely it is not God’s will that Ray and Bob, who have been together for 16 years, helped raise me as part of my church family, and were finally allowed to marry this summer and receive equal rights under the law, should endure retroactively becoming “unmarried” and lose those protections.

This election is clearly about what people are able to achieve, rather than the manifestation of God’s will. Accordingly, with the election of Barack Obama as president, my faith in the ability of Americans to govern ourselves has been restored.  And with the passage of Proposition 8, my faith in many of my religious sisters and brothers in California has been broken yet again.

It’s weird to be elated and outraged at the same time.


5 Responses to “The morning after”

  1. Fran Says:

    I have the same mixed feelings of pure joy and also despair over prop 8.

    Don’t even get me started on the “Will of God” and why Jesus might have wanted me to fall down the stairs.

    Anyway- time to focus and bring justice where we can.

    Starting in California. California?!

  2. littlebangtheory Says:

    Tom, Fran, I’m afraid that the passage of Prop 8 affects me so deeply and personally that I can’t even grasp the joy of President Elect Obama’s existence.

    How sad is that??? A monumental moment in American history overshadowed by my own miserable self-absorption.

    I, a Faithless Heathen, have no right to ask you two to pray for me, but will instead ask you to pray for the safety of our new President Elect. I think he’s going to need it.

  3. Tom Ryberg Says:


    I’m really saddened by what California – especially many religious people in California – have done to you and so many others.

    I believe we will overcome this, and we will overcome it soon. Their margin gets smaller and smaller, and cannot be sustained. Nonetheless, it is a very painful, personal attack in the meantime, and I’m ashamed of my home state for doing it to you.

    I hold you and all others adversely affected in my prayers (whether you like it or not!). I also especially lift up those who would do harm and hatred unto you, that their hearts may be changed for the betterment of all, especially when we get the votes over their wishes next time.


  4. God and Election 2008, cont. « Reflections on faith, politics, and society. Says:

    […] Comments Tom Ryberg on The morning afterlittlebangtheory on The morning afterFran on The morning afterBARACK OBAMA FOR PRE… […]

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