Black and White, Beware

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” -Mark Twain.

by Gary

People scare me a little. People scare me alot around election times. I love the political process. I spent my college years studying it and still believe we have the best system ever devised or implemented. I love being a participant in history, which is made every time we vote, whether our candidate wins or not. But here’s where I become concerned.

When I talk to most people, they believe the choices are black and white. And I’m not speaking of race here. I’m speaking of attitudes and perceptions. I’ve always said that you should never, never take advice from or side with a person who thinks that things are black and white on choices.

john-mccain-barack-obamaIf a person has a choice to make between two candidates and they paint one candidate as completely good and the other candidate as completely bad, don’t listen to that person. They’re closed minded and unwise. Wisdom is always able to see the good in all people. Someone who goes on and on about Bush being a bad president without being able to tell me one good thing he has done (and vice versa) is a person who isn’t wise and hasn’t really kept up with the issues. Every president has done good things and bad things. People too unwise to acknowledge that should never be listened to. Even if you believe the good or the bad is outweighed by the other in a certain president, that doesn’t let you off the hook intellectually so that you can just focus on the one you find most definitive. A wise person sees both good and bad and can speak about both. An unwise person can’t.

If someone tells you that Obama is going to be a terrible president and ruin everything from morals to the economy and they can’t also tell you his good attributes, then don’t listen to that person. Likewise, if a person tells you only good things about Obama and how he is the future of our country but they can’t be realistic enough to name his shortcoming and deficiencies, then don’t listen to that person.

I voted for McCain because Obama’s inexperience is concerning to me. I’m still concerned. But I’m also excited to see what the future holds. Obama is a bright guy who strikes me as honest and who has glorious things ahead of him, and he’s also a flawed man who has failures ahead of him. He’s like the rest of us; each of us glorious and flawed. So the actual person holding the office of president isn’t a black and white issue either. America won’t be great because of any one man just as it can’t be ruined by any one man. Someone who places blame solely on the president for America’s problems is unwise and probably driven by emotions. The President is the icing on the cake. It’s icing that gives the cake it’s appeal at first glance but it’s not the heart of the matter. It’s the cake that holds the icing up, giving it some place to stand. It’s not the icing that pulls the cake up to itself.

Any president can create appeal in some or fail to create appeal others. He can inspire one group and not inspire another group. But the black and white of it all is that the cake strengthens the icing much more than the icing strengthens the cake. So now my question is, can you stop pretending life is black and white and show enough courage and integrity to be the cake?

Let’s support President Bush as he finishes in office and thank him for being a servant to our country. Let’s congratulate McCain on being a statesmen and servant. And let’s support President-Elect Obama as he takes office and trust him to be a hard working, well intentioned servant to our country. If you can’t be wise and mature enough to hold to all three of these challenges of support, then you’re probably still seeing life in black and white, which may be the worst discrimination of all: failing to see the good in everyone.

Any thoughts from you on all this?


And as as a bonus just for the fun of it, here are my favorite status statements that my friends posted on FaceBook over the past two days since the election. Take the time to read them. They’re worth it and give you insight into people’s minds and hearts, which is good and bad. I didn’t clean up any spelling, wording, cursing, etc. I believe some of these statements to be wise and some to be narrow minded, unwise and rude:


…knows that GOD put obama in the office for a reason .we all need to pray that he leads our country right ,and stop being mad.there is nothing we can do.

…hopes that he is proven wrong.

…is wondering if Pres. Bush wouldn’t mind just going ahead and moving out like…I don’t know…today-ish? I don’t feel like waiting til January. Thanks.

…is extremely saddened by the fact that a socialist is going to run our country. Prepare to be taxed into oblivion, Americans!

…is hey, people! We didn’t elect a new God, just a new President! Have faith!

…is saying be careful what you wish/vote for, you might just get it…

…loves that other countries like Obama and wanted him as our president..that makes me feel safe! Not.

…is pretty excited bout the new president we have finally truely shown we do not have descrimination….well mostly! change is awesome so exciting and different!

…is paranoid in Bb minor.

…is slightly embarrassed by some of the reactions.

…is glad the Republican Party is being forced to purge itself of the crazy religious zealots in favor of sound judgment and intelligent leadership.

…is wondering how many more unborn babies will loose their lives. We need to pray for the US as never before.

…is finally able to sleep now that Obama is President.

…respects the process, the players and the people. God reigns and America elects.

…is sad, disheartened, and a little scared of the days to come.

…hopes everyone gets what they voted for.

…All white people must report to the cotton fields at 7am tomorrow for orientation!

…is feeling November blue.

…thinks both of them were rotten choices.

…has bigger problems to work out than caring about the new president. After all..This world is not my home!

…has lived through the administrations of LBJ, Carter, and Clinton. He can survive Obama and so can you.

…is dropping out of school. I dont need work, Obama can just give me money.

…is moving to austraila.

…is glad we live in a country where we get to decide who are leaders are going to be even if they aren’t the ones I picked.

…has never in her life felt more tired or defeated./Cringing as I watch the american dream being destroyed from the inside out.

…come on it can’t be THAT bad, i mean, he’s just the anti-christ 😛

…is holy SH*T! change is good…but not this kind of change…the way of life as we know it will not exist once he’s sworn in.

…is disappointed in his country.

…is hoping that this “change” is actually good for America.

…is wondering how long it will take the Obama voters to regret their decision.

…thinks President-elect Obama should appoint Bill Clinton as Sec. State.

…thinks everything is gonna be alright. So freakin’ give it a rest, fellow Christians.

…thinks the results suck big time, but hopes that Obama will prove us nobama fans wrong.

…thinks people are going to be disappointed in 4 years.

…walks a little taller and prouder today. Those were some GREAT speeches last night!

…FINALLY supports her president.

…is thinking we can atleast prove to the libs how much Obama can eff up the economy.

…holy crap…..Indiana is blue…..unreal.

…got the world’s hardest, longest, most unsolicited bear hug from a euphoric Obama supporter tonight. Afterward, I had to ask for my ribs back …

…reserves the right to say,”I told you so.”

…is irritated with people more so than the election results. Freedom of speech and opinion does NOT give you the right to be rude. PERIOD.

…is Barack and Roll!!!

…has an itchy trigger finger.

…is aggrivated. I just ♥ the fact that a man who refused to put his hand over his heart during the NATIONAL ANTHEM is now going to be the Commander in Chief..

…I am listening to my new president and I’ve got goosebumps all over.

…is depressed about the ignorance that was expressed in the voting booth.

…is thinkin…. God bless president obama./ yes im a conservative, but i mean that in the most sincere way.

…is not emotionally attached to the election!

…is super glad that Obama/Biden will lead this country into a golden age…but truth be told anything’s better than Bush/Cheney.

…is happy that America finally has a competent president and believes that even facebook threats against a president’s life are ill-advised. FYI.

…Extended Forecast: Dark Clouds Hanging Around DC for The Next 4 Years.

…is hoping people are listening to McCain’s concession speech–profound and kind. He’s a great man! Go Obama!

…is so glad we get to see this day!!! It is so great to be in this country right now!!! HOPE IS HERE!!!

…is mad at Obama, the day after he’s elected the writer of Jurassic Park dies. Coincidence? I think not!

…is wondering if Pres. Bush wouldn’t mind just going ahead and moving out like…I don’t know…today-ish? I don’t feel like waiting til January. Thanks.

…is loving on black people.

…is *insert some political comment here*.


1 Comment

Filed under New Thoughts

One response to “Black and White, Beware

  1. purduepetty

    Thanks for the post Gary. I couldn’t have described things any better. So I didn’t try. I have been overwhelmed (good and bad) at the same things you’ve noticed. I decided to discuss the landscape of the election and people’s reactions in the teen class last night at church. Many of them have no interest in politics, but I had a feeling they are being fed a LOT of information (black and white stuff) from teachers, fellow students, and even parents that may not be exactly healthy for a young Christian mind. Even without the general interest in the election, they are still very impressionable and form opinions without doing their own homework. After some initial discussion, I found the situation to be much worse than I anticipated. So we dove in.

    Many of the kids told me the class helped a lot, so you might want to consider it if you haven’t done something similar already. I’m guessing I’ve upset some parents though. Just a guess. We didn’t discuss policies or who I voted for or any of that, just tried to disspell some rumors on both sides and then do some Bible study on what we should be saying or doing as dual citizens. (See Romans 13, I Peter 2, Acts 5, and Matthew 22). There have been some things said on Facebook that really blew my mind from what I thought were more mature people.

    Oh, and I love that you included people’s status’. They may not like it, but hopefully they’ll step back and realize that their words don’t go unnoticed (even mine, lol), and their representative status as disciples for Christ must take precedence.

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