Reconciling Yourself to the Election Results (and to the People Who Voted for the Other Guy)

Reaching out to someone’s heart may mean reaching across the political aisle. Can you do that?

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7 Responses to Reconciling Yourself to the Election Results (and to the People Who Voted for the Other Guy)

  1. Linn says:

    I have a dear friend of almost 40 years who yelled at me for not voting for “her” candidate. I am not sure where to pick up the friendship at this point. I appreciate the reminder. I know I need to contact her, but I may give the election results a couple weeks before I decide to do so.

  2. Mary SchneiderMary says:

    How, Tim? How do I reconcile with my cousin who has straight-up told me that Mexicans are invading our country, stealing our jobs, and sneaking criminals over the border?
    How do I reconcile with family members who do not believe that my daughter should have a right to marry her partner? Or that her partner should not have the right to medical care that he needs? Who dispute his right to be who he is?

    I’m struggling hard this time around. Nationalism (America first) I can work with and agree to disagree with. Bigotry, racism, homo and transphobias? Those are a lot harder. I see people hurting because of these stances and attitudes, because of ignorance and hate. How do I reconcile with the people doing the hurting, without abandoning those in pain?

    • Linn says:

      Family members are the toughest. Mine are proud to live in an out of state county where 98% of the people are white. They tell me this all the time to get a rise out of me (( go to a Spanish-speaking church and teach mostly children who are not white and recent immigrants). I nod and politely say “you know I don’t agree.” If it looks like we can dialog, I am all for it. If they just want to yell the loudest, I walk away. A big knock-down verbal argument won’t change their minds, although I have noticed that my brother-in-law has pretty much stopped using racial slurs around me. Prayer and hope, I guess.

      • Mary Schneider says:

        My mom is breaking my heart. She’s so fearful and angry.
        Her church has convinced her that my state allows a procedure she can’t accept as a medical necessity under any circumstances as an “elective procedure.” She won’t hear anything against what they’re teaching her or any facts that don’t align with her views.

        I’m trying. She’s 88 years old and I’m not even going to try to change her political stance. It’s not worth the arguing. Fortunately she’s kept some of her other misinformed views to herself (so far,) but I can’t even talk to her about the journey my daughter and her partner are on and it hurts. I might be 48 but I still need my Mom.

        All I can take away from this is… I may have disagreements with my kids. I do, in times, with my son who leans to the other side of the political aisle on some topics. But I hope I never make them feel that I won’t at the least try to hear their sides, and hear their reasoning. I hope I’m never that headline “You’re No Longer my Mom” that’s circulating.

        I know that Jesus said there would be divisions, even among families. This isn’t a surprise. It’s just sad how easily it’s happened over things like basic civil rights.

        • Linn says:

          My dad is 88. We’re on opposite ends of the political and faith spectrum, but we can still discuss things, and I’m thankful for that. I am finding that, when no one wants to discuss, and it’s not a life or death issue, that sometimes it’s best to keep my peace. Certain things have a way of coming out, anyway, because they can’t be kept secrets forever. Also, often with older people, you may find that they were already aware, but not saying anything. I pray for when we get back to civilized discussion about all the topics on which we disagree.

        • Mary Schneider says:

          The hardest part has been seeing Mom losing opportunities to stay connected with her grandkids who adored her growing up. My daughter understands and I’m proud of how compassionate she’s been, but she doesn’t call her but very rarely, and doesn’t talk to her more than polite conversation in passing. She’s set boundaries around her own heart, and that’s how it has to be.
          With my dad gone and my ex husband’s parents fond but distant… Mom was the one grandparent she had that she was close to.

          This nonsense has caused real and deep rifts, and grief. I’m trying to find the common ground where I can, to try to preserve what relationships can be salvaged. I’m sick of feeling like I live in a battlefield.

  3. Wingfoot says:

    I think as with any relationship type, a major caveat needs to be given that if the relationship turns to abuse, while we are always called to forgive (in good time and never forced), reconciliation may be ill-advised and even dangerous.

    My sister’s friend (wife of a pastor) has been repeatedly receiving abusive emails and harassment from the church elders who levy accusations at her. (I suspect there is some good old fashioned misogyny mixed into what we’re experiencing, too.) We do not repay in kind, not the least bit. I know this is anecdata, but it also illustrates the divisiveness, and that firm boundaries need to be set, up to and including shaking the dust off one’s feet and leaving in the case of spiritual abuse from elders (and similar cases).

    [BTW, I love your blog, Tim. I lurk as a “liker” but not as a commenter. I’ve just been really struggling with the question of what it means to move forward as Christians when hatred has displaced reason and love. This same question has been plaguing me already when it comes to issues such as misogyny in the church, illustrated by the Aimee Byrd fiasco.]

    {note from Tim Fall: comment edited to elide referrals to candidates and parties.}

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