By Alex Horb | Contributor
"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best . . . They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." - President-elect Donald J. Trump
This is just one of the many controversial things said by President-elect Donald Trump over the course of one of the most unexpected presidential campaigns in recent history. He won the general election but the result has left our country seemingly more divided than before.
Although both sides of this conflict strongly defend their stances, it is imperative that we all support our president and work toward becoming a more unified nation.
The mainstream media has lost its flourish after months of confidently proclaiming that Hillary Clinton would be the first female president. They are now desperately trying to make what they can of this alternate outcome. According to Fox News, violent professional protests have cropped up in many major cities across the country, with many protesters denouncing President-elect Trump as their new leader and burning American flags in acts of misplaced passion. Schools nationwide have pushed back exam dates and canceled classes to give students time to deal with their feelings. Many feel the next four to eight years will only do harm to a country already struggling with so much.
While these only represent a small fraction of the difficulties our country is going through, they reflect the emotional state of an extremely vocal group. This situation is a first for our nation, but I believe we will come out of it better than we did going in.
The events of the past year and a half have shown me an America I did not realize existed to this extent. I saw symptoms of a country with the worst racial tensions it has had in over 20 years, despite having elected its first black president in history. I witnessed a near unanimous media, under direction of the problematic governmental establishment, unite very unfairly against a single candidate. They called him homophobic, xenophobic, sexist, racist, hateful and a Nazi, to name only a few slurs. Soon I suspect they will add claustrophobic and arachnophobic to the list.
The media did their best to paint Trump as unfavorably as they could, attempting to sway the election through emotion rather than policy. I saw unprecedented levels of discrimination from the very same people who claim to champion tolerance. I saw controversy after controversy brought to light through outlets such as Wikileaks, which changed what I thought I knew of the American government. This election has been a turning point for our country, and my perspective has changed-hopefully for the better.
What I have seen as a Christian is an environment driven by sensationalism and fueled with criticism and negativity. These are not unifying forces and do nothing to further the love of God that we should strive to help others understand. We now live in a culture of labels and objectification. In our current society, it is acceptable to slander and self-victimize when the more appropriate course should be to empathize and rationalize. Tools of divisiveness will not improve our country. However, it is not too late for us to change.
Matthew 7:1-2 tells us, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (NIV).
I challenge you to do something different. Leave your comfort zone. Make someone's day. Support others rather than being critical or demeaning. Remember that we are all different and have undergone experiences unique to ourselves.
Nobody chooses to follow Christ because it's the easy route. Far from it. We choose to follow Christ because we understand what in life is truly important: our relationships with him. God is neither a Republican nor a Democrat. He may be Libertarian, but we won't know for sure until we meet him. Regardless, as long as we strive to make God the focus of our lives, we will remain united. We can all make a difference in healing this damaged country, and there is no better way to do so than through him.