I didn’t vote for Obama, but you won’t hear me bad mouthing him. You won’t find me asking my Facebook friends if they are “happy now?” I won’t delight in the downfall of our economy and eat salted peanuts with a Diet Coke while I heckle the Commander in Chief.
If the White House called me today and asked if I wanted to visit the president himself, I’d buy a new dress and book a flight. While Obama didn’t get my vote, he does get my respect.
Some of you are asking why? So, while I usually avoid political posts, here are my reasons.
1. You don’t talk smack about the Prez.
Call me old fashioned, but there are certain positions that hold honor. The office of the President of the United State is one of them. While Pres. Obama and I differ on many policies, he still holds a position of honor, and I will treat him with the respect he deserves.
2. It’s a rule.
In our house, we have a rule – we lift others up, not tear them down. My kids (and myself) are often guilty of throwing out words that bite. But we try to live by the Lift, Don’t Tear rule.
Sometimes we need reminders. This rule doesn’t just apply to the president. It applies to the lady on the PTA board that drives you crazy, to the older gentleman who stops you in the store to tell you your kids are misbehaving and to the person in the drive thru line that won’t pull up far enough (even though there is clearly room) for you to get close enough to the microphone to order.
3. You don’t talk out of two sides of your mouth.
Here’s the thing. I’m a Christ follower and proud of it. I share Bible verses on my Facebook status. I’m a Christian writer and speaker. How could I preach Jesus out of one side of my mouth and trash Obama out of the other?
Jesus said it like this:
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” John 13:34-35 NIV.
This verse could be read as “In the same way I loved you, you love President Obama.” Is it easy to love people you don’t agree with? Not always. Not usually. But that is what makes us stand out. That is “how everyone will recognize that you are [Jesus] disciples – when they see the love you have for each other.”
4. I’m truly praying for the President.
I actually believe in the importance of praying for the President – as evident in my position on the writing team for the Presidential Prayer Team. When you say, “Pray for the president; our country needs it more than ever…” and then bash that same president for which you’ve requested prayer, it sounds disingenuous. Just don’t do it.
Pray for the president’s success. Pray for his family. Pray for him to draw close to God. Pray for his wisdom. But don’t bad mouth him.
It’d be like me raising my hand in my Bible study group and asking for prayer for a neighbor who is an alcoholic. But continuing my request by saying, “I honestly think he gets what he deserves. I’ve warned him of the dangers of alcohol. His daddy was a drunk and he is just following in his footsteps.” Would you take my request for prayer seriously?
5. I’m following the advice of my Mama.
Your mama probably said it, too. “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” It won’t kill me (or you) to keep my mouth shut. So when you say something or post something online, ask yourself first, “What is this actually accomplishing?”
Now that doesn’t mean I’ve been silenced from speaking my mind on Obama’s policies. If you ask me about my stance on abortion, I’m surely going to let you know how I feel about it. But that doesn’t give me an excuse to take pot shots at Mr. President.
Civilized people in a democracy can agree to disagree without slinging mud and wearing hate. Can’t they?
It all starts with you and me.
I didn’t vote for Obama, but he is the leader of the United States of America. And I’m an American. Doesn’t that still mean something?
And if, by chance, you are reading this President Obama, you didn’t win my vote, but I hope we can be friends.