By Chuck Colson
Over the last few days, I have been besieged with calls from Christian friends in deep despair over the election. I understand the feeling. The President-elect, along with his newly strengthened allies in Congress, opposes almost every pro-life and pro-family position conservative Evangelicals and conservative Catholics have fought for so hard.
The election was tough in another way, as well. We lost some good friends in Congress. I think particularly of Robin Hayes, an outstanding Christian Congressman from North Carolina. And Marilyn Musgrove from Colorado, who courageously led the initiative for the marriage amendment and was targeted by gay activists, who spent $14 million dollars to defeat her.
But as I told the hand-wringers who called me, we must never despair. It is a sin to deny the sovereignty of God. We just have to learn how to live differently. But I’ll talk more about that in the future.
First, this is the new President’s hour. And we should be praying for him. Major decisions which affect the welfare of us all are in his hands.
Second, we ought to take pleasure in the joy expressed by African Americans over Obama’s election. They have fought hard for civil rights, and now one of their own is President. I was moved to tears myself election night watching Jesse Jackson standing in the crowd, alone, tears flowing down his face. This can be a good thing for the United States of America.
We should also be pleased at the jubilation around the world at the election of America’s first black president, which has smashed the stereotype of America as an oppressive white superpower throwing its weight around. This could build unprecedented good will for us among many other nations—nations with whom we must cooperate on many important issues.
Third, this may be a teachable moment for all of us. Ever since the 1960s, liberal political leaders have built their power bases by telling minorities that they are the exploited victims of racism.
Tragically, many African-Americans feel, rightly or wrongly, that there is nothing they can do to help themselves except to elect politicians who promise to pour money into their communities. All these politicians have done is feed the grievance mentality and stay in power; the poor remain as poor as ever.
Obama’s election shatters that delusion. How could any young African-American any longer believe that he is destined to a life of crime and poverty simply because he was born black? Obama’s election demonstrates that America truly is the land of opportunity for every citizen regardless of the color of his skin, the circumstances of his birth, or the community from which he comes. If this new attitude takes hold, I could see us rebuilding the pits of despair and depression that many inner cities neighborhoods have become.
Having said that—I have my differences with the incoming President and the majorities in Congress—and I, for one, will continue for one to fight hard for the unborn and for traditional marriage, among other issues.
So don’t give up, or retreat into your sanctuaries, as some are suggesting. Stay tuned to BreakPoint. I’ll be back in due course with some strong ideas for us on how the church ought to now live.
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|For Further Reading and Information|
“The Day After: Pray for Our President and Our Nation,” BreakPoint Commentary, 5 November 2008.
“The Solzhenitsyn Challenge: Restoring Public Courage,” BreakPoint Commentary, 4 November 2008.