thatmom

real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

enough with the mourning, let the dancing begin

Sixteen years ago as the election results poured in, showing a swift victory for Bill Clinton, I draped the Bush sign in my front yard with black bunting. Sadly, he didn’t disappoint us and my children’s generation spent their teen years thinking that it is appropriate to hear their president talk about his favorite kind of underwear on national television, information that seemed quite benign once Monica Lewinski’s name became a household word. We had come into a new era, one where the darker side of the 60’s was now on stage and running the free world, elected icons of the feel good generation.

Yesterday’s election win for Barack Obama is a little different. We are a much less naive America. 9-11 has shown us that we are a vulnerable people, that our planet is really quite small, that those things that divide us as human beings are fewer. In spite of the huge differences I have with this man when it comes to my worldview, enough of them to make me run to the other end of the ballot as though my very life depended on it, I am amazed that we have a black president, only one generation after water fountains and the good seats on the bus were off limits to a person of color. For this possibility alone we can be thankful.

But I also think there is another silver lining underneath the cloud many of us feel hanging over us today. I believe that the oppressive anti-family policies that are certain to be introduced by an Obama administration, some of them likely to be passed into law, will cause many parents to reevaluate what they really believe about being moms and dads, who they see as responsible for inculcating values into their children, what those values actually are and should be, and where they will take us in the future, both as a nation and as a people. And I think this is an opportunity for Christian homeschoolers.

You see, the flip side of the 1960’s liberation movement is that we learned that it is ok to question authority, that just because someone is in charge doesn’t mean that he has all the right answers. It was this attitude that challenged the abuse of minorities, that first gave women the right to vote, that originally gave us a form of government where every American can have an opinion and write about it on a blog!

It is also that very mindset that is such a part of who we are that will cause so many more parents to join the millions of homeschooling families who have already questioned the authority of a government school system to teach revisionist history, perverted sex education, and secular humanist religion disguised as science to a dumbed down generation of children. And in the process, as families take back those days and hours and invest in building solid relationships with their children, the real “change” for America will happen.

This is the first time in my life where the president-elect is younger than me. I guess that puts him in the “whippersnapper” category. And being on this side of “whippersnapper,” I can tell you that time passes quickly. All too soon another election cycle will begin. Policies may change but our sovereign God never does. In His infinite wisdom He has placed Barack Obama in the White House and He tells us to not be afraid because He promises that He goes before us, He goes with us, He will not leave us and He will not forsake us. (Deut. 31) He also tells us that ALL good things come to those of us who are called according to His purposes, which is to bring glory to Him. (8th chapter of Romans)

As Christian homeschoolers, we can rest in these precious promises and can use every opportunity to promote the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. We can invest our lives in faithfully raising our own children for God’s glory alone. And we can seek to show love to others, ministering whenever we are able, giving a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name, living out His very commands because we understand the source of real change. We know the true One, Jesus Christ, who can turn a heart of stone to a heart of flesh. We may be floating on a receding wave, but in reality we are riding high on an advancing tide. Let’s seize the day!

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12 Comments»

  sensiblemom wrote @

This a great post. Thanks for sharing this perspective that sees beyond this election cycle. Charlotte

  Cindy K wrote @

Karen,

A few years ago, though my skin is about as white as it can be, I attended an AME church for awhile. The teachings were fantastic and rock-solid doctrine, and the worship was just my style. I was greatly ministered to there.

At the church, I would always notice four old ladies with silver-gilded hair that sort of sat together in the same quadrant of the church (You know how we end up in our unofficial pew/seat assignment). When I watched the news on TV this morning, hearing how Oprah said of the gathering in Chicago last night, “We’re gathered here in the name of hope,” this image of the old ladies jumped into my mind.

I thought of the mighty prayers of those grandmas. I thought of the prayers that grandmas all over the country if not the world are going to pour out for Barak Obama, their man in Washington. And I KNOW that the gates of hell cannot prevail against only those four old ladies who gathered together in the Name of Jesus. God’s going to have His way with Barak Obama. I’ll stack the prayers of only those four old ladies at the AME church who gathered in the Name of the Lord up against that crowd in Chicago who gathered in the name of hope any day of the week.

God is at work, and his works are always good — for a future and a hope. I rejoice to see what He will do in the lives of us all, particularly what He will do with our new President-Elect. (Psalm 19)

  Kathleen wrote @

Yes and amen, to the Spirit of God at work in people’s hearts.

  Debbie wrote @

Wonderful post. Thanks for putting thing into perspective.

  Corrie wrote @

Great post, Karen,

Cindy K,

You had me standing on my chair and cheering by the time I got to the end of your comment! (Well, on the inside!) Amen! God is still Sovereign and I am much more at rest knowing that those 4 prayer warrior Grandma are pouring out their prayers before the throne of Grace.

  Talia wrote @

Karen, you won one of my give-away prizes! go check out my latest blog to see what. 🙂

GREAT political blog by the way. Amen!!

  thatmom wrote @

Talia I am so excited! You have no idea how much I love birds right now…I want them everywhere! This little treasure will be going in my bedroom, which is pink, too. (Clay says that he doesn’t care what color the walls are, it is dark most of the time he is in there!)

And I am looking forward to your new baby, another sweet little girl. BTW, I hope you take the quiz so I can know which actress you are!

  RichardD wrote @

Thanks for this post, Karen. I appreciate and agree with most of what you said. However, I disagree that we have come a long way since the racism of the 60s.

Martin Luther King’s dream was of a world that saw a man “not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character.” Now Barack Obama has been elected and folks who I never considered tainted by racial lenses are saying such things as, “this is a great victory for our African American brothers and sisters and we should rejoice with them” (Mike Huckabee), “I am excited for my black friends who never thought they would see this day come” (Sean Hannity), ” and “I am amazed that we have a black president, only one generation after water fountains and the good seats on the bus were off limits to a person of color. For this possibility alone we can be thankful” (ThatMom).

I understand the desire to rejoice with folks who believed (justified or unjustified) that they have been held down due to their skin color. But to rejoice with them on the basis of skin color is not a departure from the racism of the 60s – it is a reminder that we really have not changed since then. We simply press our racism in a different direction that we once did.

  RichardD wrote @

Karen – BTW: I’m not calling you racist. Nor am I calling Sean Hannity or Mike Huckabee racists. I just think that we all (me included) have latent racism down deep in our bones and we need to get past this way of viewing each other.

  thatmom wrote @

Richard, I agree that the color of someone’s skin should NEVER be the determining factor in choosing a president, a pastor, a husband, or whomever. BUT, compared to 40 years ago in America where it NEVER could have been possible, I still say it is amazing that we do have an African-American president.

I also think that at some point those people who supported Obama simply because of his race and what they think his policies will do for them, are going to be not only greatly disappointed but may find themselves further disenfranchised because his failed policies will be equated with his race rather than simply because they are bad policy.

  Cindy K wrote @

Richard,

I have to disagree with you in some sense, though I see what you’re saying. We should be color blind, but to say that the color of one’s skin has no bearing at all ignores too much history for me, and apparently for many others as well. If being anti-racist qualifies me as racist, I’ll take my own chances proudly wearing the title. There is racism and to say that me and mine have been unaffected by it would be terribly naive. I have always identified strongly with persecuted populations of people, and unfortunately in the history of our own young country, the color of one’s skin plays a significant role in which groups of people were persecuted. I believe that is why I enjoyed attending the AME church for a time and working with intercity churches in DC: I identified with their experience of having been stereotyped and persecuted unfairly for aspects of self that they could not change (and would not choose to do so). It’s sad that we’ve used such a superficial indicator to scapegoat and dehumanize a whole race of people, but that is very much our history and it is still modern history for some. (I’m friends with a retired Detroit cop who still gets pulled over IN DETROIT several times per year when driving the Lexus with his very caucasian wife in the passenger’s seat. That kind of thing that I would like to see not exist very much does exist, and it makes me angry.)

I’ve observed the awesome changes regarding racism in my own family. When I went off to college in the early eighties, I had a family member confess to me that they were relieved that I didn’t stop bathing and washing my hair because my roomie was black (or “colored,” per the Western PA vernacular where they had a camp literally called “Coontown” for people who came to do seasonal work). A respiratory therapist that I worked with in Eastern PA once told me that I was one of the few people that treated well at work. He was literally persecuted in the early eighties because of his skin color in our smaller city with a then very small minority population. When he visits family in Philly, he always carries his driver’s licence in his shirt pocket when he makes the trip, because he still gets pulled over at least once in his “nice car.” (BTW, no one in Philadelphia in that day really cared what color your skin was as long as you did your work well and were not a crook.) No one in my family makes these stupid comments anymore, and I no longer hear the racist commentary in the rural areas where I grew up. Things have definitely changed in 20 years — and for the better.

For my friends who carry their drivers licences in their pockets when they travel and for all those in Louisiana for whom I wept because of the bitter racism that I witnessed while I lived in that hotbed, I am blessed by any vindication that they might find in Barak Obama’s nomination. I am regretful however, since I find the color of his skin to be among his very few appealing qualities. On the grand scale and in the grand scheme, this is quite superficial, but it does carry a great deal of significance for me because of the racism I have witnessed and my dear friends continue to experience. I’ll be even more thrilled in years to come when I talk to my friends, hearing them comment that they’ve noticed that the police no longer pull them over “for no reason.”

We have not arrived as a country, but the single fact that a non-caucasian can win the presidential election is a powerful and important milestone. It sings of John’s account on Patamos: “Worthy is the Lamb who has redeemed us unto God by His Blood out of every kingdom and tongue and people and nation.” Though America is not the church in any sense, I think that it is these principles of Christianity that our society has borrowed from the Bible. Though I think we will always have the distinctions of economics separating groups of people from one another, this election signifies that skin color is no longer a limiting factor. That was not true 30 years ago. For that I give God glory, for it shows that we have torn down some walls, and I’d like to think that this is because the Christians in this country who came before us knew that if God was no respector of persons, we should not be either.

  Ariane wrote @

Thanks thatmom & Cindy K for acknowledging the racism that has plagued this country and still does, and how amazing it is that we have come this far to elect a president that is half African (and therefore considered “black’ in the U.S.).
Dr. King, in saying a person should be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin, talked about the world as it should be — but that does not make it wrong to acknowledge that we are not at that ideal yet, or to talk about the reality of where we’ve come from. Just 20-30 years ago it was impressive for black mayors to be elected. and just 40-some years ago black people were not allowed to vote in much of the South.
This election has shown we have made enormous progress; yet it is still very hard for a black man to get a taxi to stop in many towns in the U.S., and they still get stopped just for driving a nice car. And tragically, there are reportedly many deluded, angry people joining racist hate groups, and Obama has gotten more death threats than any president-elect in history.

It is a long, gradual process on all sides, and on the whole I think each generation is a bit less racist as we get farther removed from the shameful degradation of the Jim Crow era, and more accustomed to seeing people of different races interacting with respect.

Cindy, that was a beautiful post about the AME church and the power of those praying grandmas. I too think God will have His way with President Obama.


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