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We have a new president-elect. His name is Barack Obama (I wonder if there’s anyone in the civilized world who doesn’t know that name?) and he’s a black man.

The news really played that up last night and at first I was annoyed by that being the lead item, but the more I think about it, the more important I think it is. Most of us grew up after the fight for civil rights, so it’s not as much a part of our perspective, but it really wasn’t all that long ago that black people couldn’t vote, couldn’t eat in the same restaurants as white people, weren’t regarded as equal people. We’ve come a long way and we’re better for it. The sense of hope and possibility this election gives to millions is incalculable.

I was annoyed by that aspect at first because when I look at Obama, I don’t see black or white. I didn’t think of him as a black man running for president; I thought of him as a liberal running for president. I didn’t approach this election as a referendum on race, but a test of values, of principles, of belief, of life.

I watched the thousands of people celebrating, tears streaming down the faces of some, delighted grins spreading across the faces of others, and for a while, all I could think about were the thousands of babies who will never be able to vote, who won’t ever see the light of day because we just elected a man who is very much in favor of their destruction.

I listened to him speak and I wondered what he will say when he has to face down those who are pure evil, who don’t care about hope and change, who are done talking and want to wipe us out.

I hear people talk about healing and working together and reaching across the aisle. I’m all for it, as long as “healing” isn’t code for “you have to do what we want because we won and you didn’t.” On the economy, on health insurance, on the environment, yes, let’s work together and move forward. We’ll disagree, but we can talk about it and try to work it out.

There are other issues, though, where we will not be able to work together. There is no compromise between life and death. There is no gray area between truth and error.

Pray for our president. Respect him where you can, work with him where you can, work against him when you have to, influence him for good. And remember, he’s just a man.

America is still an extraordinary country. We didn’t just fall off a cliff because we elected Obama. We did that a long time ago from a moral perspective. But we’re still blessed to call this nation home, blessed to have the freedom to disagree with our leaders, blessed to raise our families here, blessed to live out the Gospel every day in a multitude of ways. As they say, God bless America.



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