From the classroom to the telephone, I've been hearing some pretty gloomy sentiments since the election on Tuesday. What I've heard has been coming from the Evangelical demographic. On top of the general doom and gloom, here's what I've heard:
That the world's coming to an end.
The election of Obama is the beginning of the end times.
Obama may be the anti-christ.
We better pray for Obama because we're living in a depraved time.
What are churches going to do with people who voted for Obama?
I've found myself speechless in the face of such reactions and words, not only because I find Obama's election to be an incredibly uplifting and historic moment, but also because I believe that we're in a time of immense hope and opportunity. Not at all the kind of picture being painting of the end times.
I disagree with these doomsday prophecies for two reasons:
When I look around, I don't see a "depraved" generation that signals the "end times." I see a generation rising up full of character, dreams, and immense potential. I wish you could meet some of my students. They are so bright, intelligent and hard-working. I know that where ever these students end up they are going to make their sphere of influence a better place, and as a result the world will be a better place.
I wish you could also meet the people in my church, Mosaic, who are changing the culture around them through their art: film, music, spoken word, theater.
I wish you could look into my daughter's big blue eyes and tell her that the world she is growing into is a doomed place.
No don't! That isn't fair, not to Noelle, or any of the students and young people who are poised to lead in the future. To them the world is as bright as it's ever been, a wide open canvas ready to be whatever they make it.
I find the doomsday prophecies hard to stomach for one final reason, they steal the beauty of this moment in US history. We are standing in the middle of an amazing milestone in our country's growth. Another wall has fallen, another chain has been broken and I find Obama's election to be quite redemptive. Something that has happened today that would have never happened fifty years ago. I am so proud to be alive this moment. I'm so proud to be American.
I find the doom and gloom talk coming out of the Christian camp, distasteful. We of all people should be rejoicing and celebrating beautiful moments. Instead, we are warning the world that God's wrath is coming, the recession is his judgment, and the election of Obama is proof of the end of things.
I can't escape the image of two kids playing. One wins, one looses. The looser, rather than being disappointed and moving on, turns the whole thing spiritual. He shuffles away grumbling, "Now you've done it! The world's coming to an end!"