An american flag atop a chainlink fence as the sun rises over a hilltop. In the wake of the 2016 election, the depression was palpable, but it was more than just defeat. People felt as though they'd lost someone, or something. In this post, writer and author S. Wyatt Young expounds on what that thing is.

The Trumpy Blues, and How to Cure Them

I awoke this morning to a palpable depression in the energy around me. I didn’t need to interact with anyone to feel it. So many around me were sad, grieving the loss of someone…or something. Things weren’t any better when I went to class this afternoon. Our professor was so depressed he couldn’t teach, and so our class spent twenty-five minutes talking about the election.

As I sat observing and meditating on what I was seeing, I realized that people were literally feeling as though someone had died. Even my family snapped at me when I reminded them that I saw Trump’s victory coming back in August. (Please know that I didn’t care who won, but I know human nature enough to know well in advance who would. More on that another time.)

I continued to reflect on what I was observing and feeling in the energy of those around me as I moved from Administrative Law to Evidence, and only then did I realize that peopleĀ had lost someoneā€”or, more properly, something.

If you’ve ever read the Old Testament, you see this pattern inĀ ancient Israel: falling into the worship of idols, repenting, and returning to a relationship with Yahweh. We look back on these ancient humans and wonder to ourselves how they could’ve been so ignorant or naĆÆve, bowing down before manmade chunks of wood.

But we don’t have a leg up on the ancients. We do the same thing. Sure, our idols aren’t made of wood, but we still put our hope in things and people other than God, and that’s exactly what an idol is: someone or something, other than God, in which we’ve placedĀ our hope.

For the last year-and-a-half, I’ve watched men and women, young and old, black and white, rich and poor, Republican and Democrat, Christian and non-Christian, put their hope in America instead of in the King who sits on theĀ Eternal Throne.

Last night, as the votes were tallied and the election results poured in, the false godĀ in which so many peopleĀ had put their hopeĀ breathed its last. The heart-rate monitor flatlined. Their idol died. The idealistic utopia that people believed America to have been was exposed as a fraud. She never existed. America is and always has been a sexist, racist, and bigoted nation. Nothing about the last hundred and twenty years changed that, and last night, people saw America for what she really is.

If you are one of the people who put your hope in America, please hear me when I say that I’m sorry for your loss. Truly. I’ve put my hope in many false gods over the years, including America, and I know how much it hurts to lose them. I know the feeling of lossĀ and theĀ hopelessness that comes with that.

My hope and my prayer is that this election will serve as a wake-up call to feminists and advocates for equality. Your methods are not working. You cannot continue shaming your opponents; you must learn to love them. While our instincts are to hate and shame the rapists and the white supremacists, we must take our cue from the One who toldĀ us to love our enemies and to pray for those who oppress us. We must remember that he did not save thisĀ world by fighting for legislation or condemning those plagued byĀ evil, but by laying down his veryĀ lifeā€”an act that would eventually topple an empire and lay siege to evil itself.

My hope and my prayer is that this election will serve as a wake-up call to a Church who has whored herself to a nation and rulers other than her One True King and Bridegroom. It is well past time we left the pig sty and returned home. We have abandoned the work of the Kingdom of God and sworn allegiance to a republic that is a far cry from His Name, forgetting the warning that we cannot serve two masters. We must stop looking to political candidates and parties to solve our world’s problems and start loving our neighborā€”even if he or she is gay, black, Muslim, or an undocumented immigrant. Vesting our hope in this false god of America distracts us from Kingdom work, and it’s well past time we pulverized the golden calf.