Growing up in my own family of birth, the worst mortal sin was stupidity. In raising our own somewhat precocious children, if they called each other stupid, my husband would ask the offending child, “Who’s stupid?” And the child had to say six times, “I am stupid.” Frankly, I was never really comfortable with that, because I would rather be beaten that told I was stupid, so I probably would have taken a beating rather than having to say,”I am stupid.” And yes, I have often thought that people, who do not see the world the same way I do, are stupid…….or to be politically correct, mentally challenged. Two things have challenged me on this: One, I was told after extensive testing in a two year program for preparation for ministry that I had two personal areas problematic for ministry. One: I test high enough on IQ tests that I probably always thought I was right in differences of opinions and the reality is that no one is right all the time, no matter how smart they are. Two: I over react defensively and emotionally to people, ie. I was oversensitive.
To be honest, I still struggle with both of these tendencies, but at least now, I struggle with them.
I still consider calling people “stupid” violence. And when, in spite of knowing I could be wrong, I think people are stupid, I try hard to: one, take into consideration that their personalities and life experience may be very different from mine and within those limits their responses may make sense. Ignorance is not stupidity. Stupidity is not curable, but ignorance is. But many people have to learn the hard way, by personal experience, not theory. In many ways, our educational system does not provide learning approaches that are effective for many, maybe even most, people. And our political system is so dependent on having access to huge amounts of money, that they don’t feel represented. Then along came “Jones”, Trump. Someone, who shares their fears that are less scary when expressed as anger, with huge amounts of money and the indifference to the establishment’s opinion that money can buy.
Read Michael Moore’s suggestions of how Democrats should respond to this challenge. It’s an eye opener and a call to change.
I had a somewhat amusing, slightly terrifying thought this morning. God loves both Trump and Hillary equally and unconditionally. God loves because of who God is, not because of who we are. I’ve always said God has terrible taste, because God loves everyone. God loves sinners and saints, the smart and the stupid, the kind and the cruel, the sane and the insane, the crook and the law-abiding. Boy! That means if God has His/Her way, heaven is going to be as diverse as earth. I guess I better start forgiving a lot of people, so I can fit in with all of the above. I find I can forgive people if I can picture them as a child with a childhood that was unbalanced between love and the reality of there being consequences of our choices. Often, too much love and no consequences has pretty much the same effect as too little love and unrealistic expectations. Both are impossible to outgrow without the grace of recognizing both God’s love and the consequences of our choices. The present friendship and cooperation between Bill Clinton and the Bushes show how the responsibilities of the office of President obviously challenge Presidents to outgrow their limited viewpoint. So, regardless of whom you vote for, pray for both of them to experience God’s love and be freed to become the person God created them to be, whether they are in or out of political office.