"Never, never, never give up."
by Eva Andrade, Executive Director, Hawaii Family Forum, December 5, 2014
Winston Churchill famously stated, "never, never, never give up."
The elections are over and many people in the faith-based community are disappointed at the dismal turnout and the outcome. Many have asked if the efforts to get out the vote were a failure and maybe we should just give up.
During this time of year, as Christmas approaches and we turn our hearts toward the real reason for the season, it is good to remember that nothing in life comes easy. From the time of His birth (no place to lay his head) until the time of his death (scourged and beaten), Jesus faced challenges. Had He given up, all would be lost.
As always, he is the model for our ultimate success. We are to be "wise as serpents but gentle as a doves" (Matthew 10:16) as Jesus is both Lion and Lamb (Revelation 5:5-6).
People of faith are Democrat, Republican and Independent. They vote, they don't vote, some are not even registered. Each of us made our own decisions regarding the matter. Some were annoyed at the voter registration tables set up at the church claiming that church is not a place for politics. Some were ecstatic at the preaching by their pastors and church leaders about civic responsibility and the need for Christians to participate in the election process. Some pastors preached on the issue and some did not.
Democratic leaders quickly formed committees reportedly punishing the Democratic members who voted against SB1 (same-sex marriage passed in special session) by removing them from committees and relegating them to smaller offices. On the other hand, the Republican minority in the House is still trying to unite and make leadership decisions.
Some in the media ridiculed the faith-based vote, or lack of, while others are still scratching their heads at the outcome. Political pundits and activists on both sides are hurling accusations at those they perceive are at fault all while Hawaii remains at the bottom of the list for voter registration and turnout.
Personally, I think Hawaii is tired of all this negative infighting. It goes against the spirit of Aloha that permeates this place and we, the people of faith, should be leading the charge for true change. As always, however, doing everything in love. (1 Corinthians 16:14)
What we absolutely must do at this time, is STAY ENGAGED.
We cannot stick our heads in the sand and hope for a different outcome, nor can we continue to do things the same way. We must pray for our elected officials (and those that didn't make it). Many good men and women put their lives out into the public arena to try and make change for this community. Good races were fought by people of faith, although they lost. For those candidates who claim a faith-based foundation, we salute you for standing on your principles and holding fast to your deeply held religious convictions. You are heroes and we pray you will stay the course knowing that change will take time.
We must also remember that some of the greatest success stories began in failure. The Huffington Post published a story in September of 2013 about this very thing. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/25/successful-people-obstacles_n_3964459.html)
The bottom line message evokes the Churchill code of success: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP.
The legislative session opens next month and we hope that rather than curling up in our spiritual dens, we stand up, stretch and start heading towards the door. Our legislators don't plan on doing any sleeping during the session, so neither should we.