Jesus loves sinners. This is one of his least-disputed characteristics across lines of belief, tradition, race, and politics. And I thank God for that He does! Because it means He loves even me, too.
When I first joined Facebook in 2010 (I’m not sure whether it makes me more of a dinosaur for joining so late or a hipster for taking so long, given my age), I considered the whole machine as essentially a joke. I saw people getting upset and provoking anger left and right. It was as if Zuckerberg had designed it as a way to keep the Thanksgiving table arguments going year round through the convenience of the internet. I treated it somewhat flippantly for a long time, then decided to also share pictures of my kids or other meaningful moments. In more recent years, I’ve taken it a little more seriously as a way to try to and engage in cultural issues with family, friends, and acquaintances. Even so, I experience what anybody else does when they share earnest blog posts or articles intended to provoke thought (rather than anger). Those who agree with the sentiment make that known quickly and briefly. Those who disagree poorly comment angrily or “unfriend” the original poster. Those who disagree well are few and far between.
Lately, I have sensed a distance between Trump supporters and everyone else that only appears wider and wider every week. Those of us who won’t vote for him are tempted to shy away for his supporters. (What IS the term for Trump supporters? “Trumpeters”?) We may wonder how they could knowingly continue to support that man after [reasons]. On the other hand, Trumpeters (I’m going with that one; it works for me) are tempted to shy away from folks like me, who won’t vote for that man. Maybe they think anyone so foolish as to prioritize [reasons] over [achieving whatever it is each Trumpeter hopes will result from his election] is a fool.
Put more directly, those who disagree over politics, whether left or right, whether Clinton or Trump or third party, are increasingly less able to argue amicably. We are less able to disagree in a loving manner. We are less able to put aside our self-interest (whatever that may be) and listen to the other person, to know them and to be known by them.
So I put the challenge to myself, and to anybody reading this: let us treat each other as Jesus would have us do, regardless of political or ideological lines. Christians, especially, take this to heart. Jesus had dinner with an embezzling, corrupt local tax collector and his friends (and what kind of friends does a person like that have?), and made known to them His love for them such that it changed their lives. Surely, we are called to imitate nobody less than Him.
To the Trump supporters, Jesus loves you, and so I will try to, also.
To the Clinton supporters, Jesus loves you, and so I will try to, also.
To the #NeverTrump (and #NeverHillary) crowds, Jesus loves you, and so I will try to also.