November 4th, 2008. At the time, I wasn't a morning person, unless I'd been up all night filling a void that wrecked my life in the years to come. But that morning was different and I remember the mile long walk I took in the cold, drizzly, fall air to a church that was temporarily a polling station for the Presidential Election taking place between Senator Barack Obama (D) and Senator John McCain (R). It was my first time voting and I only did it because I felt strongly enough about my stance that I was ready to let my voice be heard through casting a ballot in the box. I waited in that line proudly, so much that every detail of that morning is one that I'll recall until my brain stops functioning. I sent my mom a text that morning, letting her know who I'd voted for and why. It wasn't meant to be a slap in the face to how I'd been raised or how my parents chose to vote. It was me, for once saying "This is who I am and what I believe in".
Every 4-8 years, the pendulum swings back in the other direction, thoroughly upsetting the other side of the country as was the case in 2008. As I watched in front of a TV as the election results came through that night, 7 years ago, I celebrated as it felt like the pendulum had moved in the direction that I hoped this country to go in. Now, I'm not going to sit around and debate how the last 7 years have gone or take shots from anyone about who I cast my vote for. I stand behind it now like I did back then. The reason why? Because in this 2 party system, we really get nowhere. You can vote Republican and for the next few years watch as the Democrats do all kinds of things to stop your vote from mattering. And in contrast, you could vote Democrat and watch in frustration as the majority controlled House thwarts attempts your party makes to move something forward. I voted that year, because I cared about our country pushing past some barricades that it'd been hung up on for awhile, namely the rights of a certain group of people who wanted the same that I was afforded, but couldn't because of who they loved. In 7 years, not a whole lot has happened besides a lot of bickering, typical political coverups and misleading information. But in a sea change move, the rights of my brothers and sisters who are gay were changed for the better, forever.
I talked yesterday about perception and with as much as I discuss my faith in this project, it may be easy to believe that I'm just another Bible thumping Christian who will beat you with the same book that I'm told to love you with. I'm not in any means a political expert, but I know how I feel about people and I know why I believe that way. My mission, my calling, isn't to judge or condemn. If it were, I'd have cast the first stone long ago. I don't care any more if you are gay than if you are straight, atheist or methodist, black or brown. The last I checked, our country wasn't going to hell in a hand basket any more now than it was 7 years ago. People need Jesus now, just as much as they did then and sticking your finger in someones face and telling them that they're going to hell because they're gay isn't going to do anyone any good. I voted for people and not for politics. I'd do it again in an instant, because "the God I believe in never worked on a campaign trail."