People, I am going into dangerous slightly political waters with this blog, but it is something that has been on my heart for some time now and I can’t ignore it. I am seeing ridiculous behavior in this election that is teaching our kids a double standard when it comes to showing grace to others. I have waivered back and forth on whether to call this double standard out. It’s touchy to discuss politics, but this double standard is beyond who’s republican and democrat — it’s confusing our kids and needs to stop.
What does it say to our girls when we tell them to reach for the sky, and then insult a female presidential candidate because she has hormones and “if those hormones get out of whack and she has a hot flash she could start a war.” Are we saying, “Daughters you must always be on watch for your crazy hormones! Fear the hormones!”?
What does it say to our daughters when we tell them, they can do anything, but turn on the TV where our daughters hear people talk about women having no place in the Oval Office?
What does it say to my daughter when I tell her to speak her mind and then on social media she sees the female presidential candidate being called the Antichrist?
It goes both ways — our boys hear the insults too. We make fun of the male candidate’s skin color and talk about his crazy hair. So, let’s include all kiddos for the rest of this blog. They all deserve to hear our grace.
When our children are young we tell them to play nice, consider other’s feelings, and don’t call other people names. But they hear the adults insulting the president and the presidential candidates. So, essentially what we are teaching them is this — play nice as a kid, but when you are an adult, go for the jugular. If you disagree with someone call them stupid, idiot, hormonal and crazy. Insult their fashion sense, hair styles, point out their wrinkles, and tell people that they are sick. We are not teaching empowerment here, we are teaching oppression through fear of being insulted when people disagree with you. What child is going to speak their mind if they see the adults in their life attack someone’s personality or looks because they disagree with them? People, we can do better. We have to do better. We have to do grace.
Let’s debate facts, not looks — let’s debate ideas, not hormones. And for heaven’s sake, let’s not pretend like debates and insult hurling are the same thing. Where is the grace in this election? Yes, you can make tough points and be firm and still have grace.
Grace in an argument means you respect the person even if you strongly disagree with them. Parents, we have a great opportunity here to turn things around, show our children examples of inner restraint, positive attitudes and how to think responsibly instead of impulsively. Our kids don’t magically stop hearing us when we get into heated debates. They still have ears, they still form ideas and the ideas they are forming come from us.
Surely we as adults can rise above this fray. Surely we see how this sparring must look to our daughters and sons. We need to be more aware of our words. Words can build and destroy. Author and public speaker Glennon Doyle reminds us that God built the world with words, you impress potential employers with words and you express your life on social media through words. Words are life. Can we agree to change our words? Can we all stop with the ugly talk about the candidates in our communities, on social media, and in our homes? Can we keep to the issues and ignore the hair and hormones, and for the love stop with the antichrist talk? Women who speak strong opinions are not the antichrist. Hillary Clinton isn’t the antichrist. You, everyone, you read it here first. She isn’t the devil, so stop saying it. Neither is Trump, so stop saying it. And stop saying Hillary is tired because of her clothes, or Trump is unfit because of a fake tan. Neither of these things has anything to do with being President of the United States.
I will wade out of the political waters now. Resume your support for candidacy, just please do it with grace upon grace upon grace.