Guest column: Obama re-election isn’t worst news for America

I have always hoped to use this space as a community exchange of ideas, rather than just my voice day after day.

To that end, my goal is to share this space with community bloggers on a host of faith issues — you pick it. It is an idea that our editorial page editor, Scott Fisher, has great success with every Sunday in Viewpoints.

But first, I need an audience, so that has been my short-term goal. We are getting there, slowly but surely.

An unidentified Catholic voting effort is shown in this Associated Press photo.

When Scott came to me a few weeks ago with a faith opinion piece by Tim Leiphart, I was intrigued. It seemed like a great way to get this started, so we agreed to accept submissions from Tim, 49, a pastor’s son and 25-year resident of York County who lives in York Township.

Tim — who is also a published author, certified biblical counselor, owner/president of TCL Investments and Air Force veteran — delivered his first opinion piece last week on the election results.

Here are his thoughts on the re-election of President Barack Obama:

I’m a Christian and the elections didn’t turn out according to my plan or my prayers. So what’s up with that? Wasn’t God listening? I had to reflect on this a bit because often with disappointment comes distorted thinking.

I jumped online and saw some of the very disturbing and un-Christian-like responses put forth by several of my fellow believers. Hmm. I didn’t think those were the right ways to react to wrong things – if they were wrong things; not so sure that the bigger Plan might not intentionally overshadow my small manmade plan.

I thought a little more. Prayed for three and a half minutes.

Flipped through a couple pages of my Bible. The final resolution to my dilemma is this: Tuesday was a great day for Christians. This is an opportunity to test our faith; to determine if we really believe in a sovereign God who is in control of all things; to decide if we will obediently follow the command to pray for those in authority over us; to practice loving those we might consider unlovable … ultimately it’s a chance to walk our talk.

This is not our home but we do currently live here and it matters what people see when they look at us. Imagine if real Christians occupied this so-called Christian nation. It would look a whole lot different than it does now. But the final chapter hasn’t been written.

What if this president turns out to be the best one we’ve ever had? It could happen. Or is the following verse just a smarmy platitude that we quote without conviction when others are suffering?

“With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). Or maybe this is all designed so that I become a better person. Yikes.

My thanks to Tim for bringing another view to the blog today. Respond to his thoughts in the comments section below.

My thought is the election was a disaster for social conservatives, who poured enormous resources into defeating Obama in the name of religious freedom.

But beyond that, the religious right encountered defeat at almost every turn. Democrats held onto the Senate – and the power to confirm judges – and Wisconsin elected the nation’s first openly gay senator, Tammy Baldwin. Same-sex marriage proponents won on ballots in four out of four states, while marijuana for recreational use was legalized in two out of three states where the question was on the ballot.

“Evangelical Christians must see the 2012 election as a catastrophe for crucial moral concerns,” wrote R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“DISASTER,” David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network wrote on his blog. He later amended the comment to: “COLOSSAL DISASTER.”

For the first time, evangelicals must consider whether their positions on social issues such as abortion and gay marriage are turning off more voters than they are attracting.

What are your thoughts on the future role social conservatives will play in charting our national course? Was this election a referendum on evangelical issues?

And if you have thoughts to share in the form of a guest blog, email me at jhilton@ydr.com, or call me at 771-2024.

About John Hilton

I grew up in Susquehanna County, Pa. and graduated Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism/political science in 1998. After working for nearly three years for a weekly paper in upstate New York, I came to southcentral Pennsylvania. I spent 13 years as a reporter and editor for The Sentinel in Carlisle and joined the York Daily Record as religion reporter in September 2011.
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One Response to Guest column: Obama re-election isn’t worst news for America

  1. Amy Chisholm says:

    Perhaps social conservatives should stop to consider that the reason God didn’t answer their prayers last Tuesday is because he answered the prayers of Democrats and liberals instead. It may just be that God is with the majority. Alas, I know it’s silly to suggest that social conservatives would ever consider such a possibility; it goes against their fundamental belief that people who don’t share their religious beliefs are Godless, lost souls.

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