Two days following the election, I rejoined a men’s Bible study at the parish church I attend. One of the other members is an interesting fellow I’ve known for many years. We both have law degrees, so I suppose our sense of camaraderie flows at least in part from the way we think about things. After we finished our discussion of this week’s Sunday scripture readings, he asked me a provocative question. During our closing prayers and petitions, I mentioned the hardships and losses of those still suffering from the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy who are, as I am writing this, under another weather siege popularly referred to as a nor’easter. Many are still without heat or power, and the losses are almost incalculable.
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The question my friend asked me was why did I think BHO won? Given my expression of great disappointment and emotional upset during our meeting, I knew he was not asking this from a political perspective. Rather, he was inquiring about a supernatural or spiritual perception. Naturally, I paused for an instant, somewhat astounded by the astute nature of his interrogatory.
I told him about a liberal acquaintance on Facebook who prayerfully asked on Election Day that God’s will be done and that He select the best candidate as our president for the next four years. I responded to her post by pointing out that it was not God’s will that would be expressed after the last vote was counted. Rather, I opined that the selection of the president would be an expression of the free will of those who cast their ballots either way. She thanked me for my opinion and stated that she hadn’t really thought about it in those terms.
It was not God’s will that the master of opaqueness was awarded another four-year term. That resulted from slightly more than fifty percent of those who voted and happened to be in the right states that tipped the electoral college in his direction. His take of ballot casters constituted just under three million more popular votes than Mr. Romney received. God’s hand was no more in the results of this election than it is when a psychopath enters a crowded movie theater armed to hilt and mows down scores of innocent film buffs. Sometimes circumstances collide in unexpected ways that result in a bloody massacre or, in the case of last Tuesday’s election, a horrid ending that has many, including myself, gravely concerned for the well being of this once great nation. For the first time ever, I use the adjective “once” to describe the state of our country.
As we left our meeting room, I continued to express my perception in an effort to provide some sort of answer to the question he initially posed. I want the reader to understand that I am not a far-right religious fanatic. Most Catholics are not, at least not the ones I know. Nevertheless, I told my friend that I think he won for a variety of reasons, some objective and some less so, the latter being steeped in questions of faith and personal beliefs. I mentioned the shredding of our moral fabric and the relativity of right and wrong that currently permeates our families, schools, and other public institutions along with new generations of citizens who expect something from others instead of deciphering what they might have to offer.
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