What will it take to help the United State move forward—its going to take all of us putting aside our pride, egos, and agendas to truly lift up the needs of the country. The speeches of President Obama, Governor Romney, and other elected officials have focused on the need to put aside ideologies, reach across the aisle, and move past the endless bickering of pro-this vs. anti-that. I pray and hope that these not just be empty words but bold invitations to come together as united states…as a united people.
It takes more than a president, a supreme court justice, and a congressperson to mend the brokenness of our community—it takes a nation of all of us, a nation of committed individuals who will work past party lines to help our nation thrive. We are all American first; our leanings towards democrat, republican, independent, or a supporter of Roseanne are secondary. Its time that we stop complaining that so and so is too liberal or conservative…its time that we stop following coerced political ideologies blindly that we fail to see reason and the bigger picture. Though the freedom to argue, disagree, and express our views is important privileges to be respected; with this freedom also comes responsibility and accountability. It is not only about upholding American values and protecting our civil liberties, we must also use these rights and privileges for the greater good of the country.
I will confess that though I am excited that President Obama has a second term in office (in addition to the other victories for marriage equality, reproductive justice, and Senator Baldwin’s election), I am also mindful that this excitement cannot deter the work that I and others need to continue. I hope those not happy with the outcome can have their space to vent and complain; however, I also hope that they do not get stuck in bitterness. Its easy for us to become complacent and stuck with ranting about coulda-woulda-shoulda, especially around politics. It doesn’t help the economy or education or foreign policy to bash and demonize the president and other elected officials only because we don’t like or agree with some of their perspectives.
I wholeheartedly believe that regardless of ideology, we all want what is best for our country for we all care for her wellbeing. We want to see people have access to quality healthcare that is both preventative and restorative…we want to see children enroll in an education system that truly prepares them for life’s roller-coasters and that forms the whole person to thrive…we want to see an economy that is just and creates opportunities for all people to have opportunities for economic wellbeing while also protecting the vulnerable.
To restore America and to help her move forward, it will take a nation, a community, a people who work together. Rather than letting our differing views bar us from working together, lets use them to learn from each other in order to be able to imagine and create ways to address the complexity of issues and reality. For example, though my journey between pro-life and pro-choice has evolved from being a March for Lifer to being vigiler with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, the prolife movement has taught me to fight for a system that truly cherishes and celebrates life. A system in which children and families have access to resources that enhance their quality of life…an education system that teaches comprehensive sexual education that instills respect for our bodies and responsibility for sexual choices…a healthcare system that affirms a woman’s and a family’s difficult choice to terminate a pregnancy rather than dehumanize, a system that helps individuals make the best decision for them that recognizes the complexity of their situation. It is also the prolife movement that has inspired me to advocate for a more just legal system that does not re-victimize survivors of sexual violence, that finds alternatives to capital punishment, and that ends the discrimination of transgender folk by ensuring the protections of gender identity and expression.
By sharing this I am not trying to flaunt that I am some form of enlightened being, because I truly am not. I seek always to learn and challenge myself to consider new perspectives. What I hope to show is that we can learn from each other, regardless of how different the media or society tries to depict us from each other. The president needs our help—help that must come from a place beyond seeing each other as enemies or adversaries. We have a prophetic opportunity to engage each other as fellow change makers, as people committed to justice—we are a nation of people willing to learn and grow together, willing to risk moving past the bickering and divisiveness of right vs. wrong, willing to recognize what is and how together we can make a difference. We are all Americans regardless of ideology or party affiliation, our pledge lifts up that we are indivisible. May this not be something we say without any thought, but a true intentional commitment to togetherness through our differences and common passion for healing America. Divided we accomplish nothing, united we are a force to be reckoned with due to our various gifts and insights and quirks. It is by living into indivisible that we tap into our incredible potential for thriving, wholeness, and overall awesomeness.
Que asi sea…we are all American, somos todos Americanos.