To My Friends Who Vote Differently Than I Do: Election Thoughts

Christian voting, midterm elections, Summer Sorensen
This post has been updated 10/31/2020. It was originally published 11/5/2018.

With a big election upon us, to cap off an unprecedented year of terribleness that 2020 is, I thought I’d send out a feeler into the world. Is there still a chance to value people over politics? I think there is. Allow me to explain.

Doing politics is so different in a social media-charged world than it was even 15 years ago.

Social media has afforded us many benefits as well as drawbacks as a society. One thing that could be viewed as either, depending on your perspective, is the ability to post opinions and all manner of multi-media about topics such as religion and politics. Not only can we easily post controversial items, which may or may not ever be brought up in polite face-to-face conversation, but we can sound off from the comfort of our keyboard, without ever having to speak a word or see the reactions of people who may disagree with us.

This can be both good and bad. For one, it allows us to more clearly see the political leanings of those we follow on social media. It is enlightening in that regard. I for one rarely bring up politics when talking to people in person. You might find little hints about my thoughts here and there in what I post. I learn volumes about the leanings of friends from all stripes of life on social media – information that I might not otherwise ever know.

I have many friends and acquaintances, for whom I have a great deal of respect, who hold vastly different views on key issues. The reason I know of it is because of social media.

I largely keep to myself about politics on Facebook, because

1) I used to be overactive, and all it got me was being unfriended by a bunch of people and a constant feeling of anger, and

2) I’ve found that some who disagree feel free (as I suppose they should) to chime in and argue and make counterpoints, sometimes relentlessly. Of all the things I could do with my most valuable resource, time, arguing with people online about politics ranks rather low on my priority list. So I just don’t do it much.

That being said, with the elections upon us, it occurred to me that a message of unity could be a cool drink of water to soothe the metaphorical sore throats amidst all the digital screaming and shouting going on.

Some of my friends and acquaintances know where I stand politically and morally. Others may not. Some of you may not know anything about me. That is OK. The message is the same.

If we have differences of opinion, even if we are both passionate about our respective conflicting stances, I still respect you.

If we’ve fellowshipped before, have had or still have a close relationship, I care about you.

how to handle friends with different political views
how to handle friends with different political views

Even if we’ve only ever been acquaintances, or maybe we’ve not met, I am well aware that you add value to the world.

If you have at one time been in my inner circle and through various shifting influences have altered your worldview to take on one that differs from one that we may have once shared, I still enjoy your company.

If you find my stances horrific, chances are, the feeling is mutual. But I still honor and respect your right to hold those views, and expect that you will extend the same courtesy to me.

If you happen to engage in name-calling and/or arguments based on emotion over fact against those who disagree with you, I will fight with every fiber in my being to not return the favor.

No matter what you believe politically, you and I have one important thing in common. We were both created in God’s image. Because of this truth, I owe you all the respect and honor worthy of one hand-crafted by the King of Kings (see Psalm 139:13-16).

Should we cross paths in the future, or perhaps share a meal or get together for coffee, I promise you this. I will treat you with kindness, respect, and warmth. Should our divergent ideas come up in conversation, I will listen with the goal of understanding your viewpoint. I hope you will do the same for me.






10 responses to “To My Friends Who Vote Differently Than I Do: Election Thoughts”

  1. Your message in this blog post is beautifully written, Summer. You have expressed yourself in a way that honors how God’s Word instructs us to live. I’m proud of you!

    1. Summer Sorensen Avatar
      Summer Sorensen

      Thank you, Vive!

  2. Marlynn @UrbanBlissLife Avatar
    Marlynn @UrbanBlissLife

    Wonderful, thoughtful words on what can be such a stressful, volatile day. I am dear friends with many who have completely polar political views, and I think that opening ourselves up to those who think differently always helps us grow into better human beings.

    1. Summer Sorensen Avatar
      Summer Sorensen

      Thank you, Marilyn!
      I agree! Having respectful conversations with those holding different views is a way to both educate oneself, as well as invest in character development. That is my two cents, anyway!

  3. Thanks for sharing that no matter what side you are on to be respectful- it’s the going into dismissive, non respectful discussions that are the issue as long as its not an argument against science and facts…which is a different can of worms beyond opinions

    1. Summer Sorensen Avatar
      Summer Sorensen

      Hi Pech!
      Thanks for the comment. To clarify, are you saying that being non-respectful is called for if the other person’s viewpoint goes against your understanding of science and facts? Have you been involved in a conversation like that before?

  4. This is a wonderfully written post reflecting on what can definitely be a day of tension.

    1. Summer Sorensen Avatar
      Summer Sorensen

      Thank you, Erin!

  5. So well said. It’s so frustrating when people argue back and forth without really understanding and being open-minded about the opposing point of view. I love your outlook! 🙂

    1. Summer Sorensen Avatar
      Summer Sorensen

      Thank you, Hillary!

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