The fury of Election Day 2004 is past us now, and any question about who will lead us has been answered. No presidential campaign in recent memory has been as brutal as the Bush-Kerry battle. And that tone certainly spilled over into lesser elections.
Interestingly, virtually every candidate - whether he/she is a winner or a loser - emerges from a campaign lamenting the mudslinging and suggesting we no longer tolerate such behavior. It is easy to take the high road once the campaign is past and you've had a good shower.
We believe President Bush is pursuing a wise course in seeking to be a president who brings together "both sides of the aisle" to address the nation's challenges during the next four years. Sen. Kerry has pledged to do his part. Time will measure the depth of that commitment on the part of both men.
The aftermath of a campaign - even one as "spirited" as this one - provides an opportunity for genuine citizens to fully exercise their patriotism.
The Bible admonishes Christians to lend prayerful support to their leaders - period.
Roman emperors in Jesus' day were guilty of all sorts of atrocities. Most were thoroughly pagan, even to the point of demanding the citizenry worship them as gods. These were not the kinds of government officials respected by Christians.
But that did not excuse early believers from the biblical admonition to pray for them. The admonition was to pray for such leaders, not to pray against them.
A few years ago, I heard a woman snap, "Well, he's not my President!" She was describing a president for whom she had not voted, and for whom she held no respect. During the past few months, more than a few soldiers have said, "If _____ is elected Commander-in-Chief, I will resign from the military."
On some days, even the best president will make a decision that may make us wish someone else were our leader. And I understand the reservations a soldier might have about a candidate for President.
But in 36 years as a registered voter, I've voted with the majority sometimes and with the minority at other times. As a citizen of this great country, every president has been my president. And I have been grateful for men and women in uniform who have chosen to continue to defend the country even when we have been led by a less-than-stellar Commander-in-Chief.
Pray for President Bush and other leaders. Each needs our best support.