Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Reconciliation is Hard

So far this week I've attended Monday Lunch Group (Monday), a Religious Education Ministry meeting (Tuesday), and have Bible Study coming up (Wednesday). No matter what the topic or agenda of the meeting, we seem to be still in the mode where something will come up that turns attention to last week's election, and still tears, anger, grief, and unresolved issues are barely skin deep. One person at the meeting last night commented that she was all set to be a gracious winner and offer reconciliation to others until the election broke the wrong way, and then she suddenly found that her reconciliatory intensions few out the window. On the home front my own wife Jo has retreated from the TV altogether and refuses any overture to "come and look at this".

Our niece Sabrina Tavernise has been on the science and medicine desk at the NY Times for well over a year, but she was called onto the political beat to take a look at the wreckage among friends and families that was left in the wake of this election. One of her articles appears in this morning's edition. Here's an excerpt ...

Matthew Horn, a software engineer from Boulder, Colo., canceled Christmas plans with his family in Texas. Nancy Sundin, a social worker in Spokane, Wash., has called off Thanksgiving with her mother and brother. Ruth Dorancy, a software designer in Chicago, decided to move her wedding so that her fiancĂ©’s grandmother and aunt, strong Trump supporters from Florida, could not attend.

The election is over, but the repercussions in people’s lives may be just beginning as families across the United States contemplate uncomfortable holidays — or decide to bypass them — and relationships among friends, relatives and spouses are tested across the political divide.

Democrats have dug in their heels, and in some cases are refusing to sit across the table from relatives who voted for President-elect Donald J. Trump, a man they say stands for things they abhor. Many who voted for Mr. Trump say it is the liberals who are to blame for discord, unfairly tarring them with the odious label of “racist” just because they voted for someone else.

“It’s all one big giant contradiction in my eyes,” said Laura Smith, 30, a small-business owner in Massachusetts who was attacked on Facebook by a relative for voting for Mr. Trump. “She’s saying to spread the love,” Ms. Smith said. “But then you’re throwing this feeling of hate toward me, your own family member.”

Complete article at NY Times

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