Based on Based on Matthew 7:12-23
I’m writing this week’s meditation on the night that Democratic candidate Doug Jones defeated GOP candidate Roy Moore to become the new senator from the very “red” state of Alabama, where no Democrat has won a Senatorial election in over three decades.
Political pundits and experts are already talking about and analyzing what happened, but for me, the simple explanation comes down to what those who raised me on Wheeler Hill in Columbia, SC used to say – “God don’t like ugly!”
Doug Jones – a Methodist Christian who, as a United States Attorney, brought Ku Klux Klansmen who bombed a Birmingham Church and killed four little girls in 1963 to justice – ran a campaign based on unity, progress and mutual respect.
Roy Moore – an alleged child molester with a long record of masking bigotry, division and intolerance under an “evangelical Christian” rhetorical cloak – lashed out at his accusers and ran a campaign based on accusatory conspiracy theories with the support of Donald Trump and Steve Bannon, apparently believing that his “evangelical Christian” base would carry him to victory.
Mr. Moore held onto many of those in his “evangelical Christian” base – who care more about the “unborn” than about educating, providing health care and assuring a quality life and equity for the “born” – but their support wasn’t enough. A diverse cross section of good people in Alabama went to the polls and did the right thing on election day.
There’s a lesson in that electoral outcome for all people of faith. Many of those who cling to the label of “evangelical Christian” have interwoven Christianity with partisan politics and are willing to overlook ample and preponderant evidence of moral wrongdoing to elect candidates – like Donald Trump and Ray Moore – who will support their political agenda.
They’d do well – and we’d do well – to remember that the God who created us calls upon us to do not what’s politically expedient but to do what’s right, that the God we serve cannot be subjugated to any political agenda and that when we try to use God instead of letting God use us to do God’s will, we’ll find ironic and instructive reminders – in the political arena, in life and in our houses of faith – that those who raised me were right -“God don’t like ugly.”
Walk with the prophet who said that we should do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our Creator; walk with the prophet who said that justice and righteousness should flow freely and walk with the Jesus who said, “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me.”
When you do, you’ll find blessings, justice and victory; you’ll find grace, mercy and peace of mind and you can live out the words of a hymn of my Methodist faith tradition, “To serve the present age, my calling to fulfill; Oh, may it all my powers engage to do my Master’s will.”