This started as a rare private post. I rarely do those, and they're nearly all private solely because they're composed when I'm too drunk to trust a post to even friends-only post status.
This is an exception.
Under normal circumstances, I never pray unless extremely drunk. And I don't think I've ever independently prayed for a political leader. The closest I've gotten is standardized prayer for the guidance of leaders during the communal Prayers of the People during those rare church services I actually get around to attending.
But I am honestly, desperately praying for Barack Obama now. I pray that he is as sincere as he seems. I pray that he wins. I pray that his idealism and sincerity survives the pressure of election. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The American president does not have absolute power. America as a whole does not even have the unilateral power it hubristically assumed it had. But it is still a position of incredible power. I know, or at least hope, he knows what it would mean to win such power. I pray he wins it. I pray he is able to handle it. That he is able to lead the nation as a whole, including those who currently distrust, even despise him. I pray he can redeem us.
And I know he can't. I know he is only human and can't possibly live up to the incredible hopes being put upon him. He is the first hope we've had in so long. He is the first hope I have seen in my lifetime. People want him to be Abraham Lincoln, FDR, JFK, and Martin Luther King, all rolled into one. Not just the actual human beings, but their idealized, semi-deified public images. No actual human being could possibly do this. No individual human being, even the president, has that power. We are looking for a messiah - he can only offer a human leader.
I pray that we can withstand the difference. I pray that he can help us understand the difference. I pray he has the opportunity to do so. I pray he does what he has promised. I pray he stops the torture. I pray he apologizes to the world. I pray he stops the building "holy war," I pray he reconciles America with the Muslim world, with the world in general. I pray he stops the war. I pray he closes the camps, and renounces and *damns* the total disregard for international law we've exemplified for so many years now.
I pray he brings back a language of "values" where concern for the poor, the imprisoned, the desperate, those suffering from injustice in every nation is part of our national concern. Where "values" means more than opposition to abortion and gay marriage. I pray for a national language of values where queer people are not somehow in opposition to the rights and dignity of all other oppresed people. I pray for a queer identity in which we do not separate our struggle for basic human rights and dignity from those of all other oppressed people.
I pray we regain the prayer of the Statue of Liberty. Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempset-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
What happened to this?? When and why did we forget this?? When and why did we stop applying this attitude towards the world, or even towards our own people? When did we even start thinking of "our own people" as being distinct from the rest of the world? Was it always like this? Can it ever be different?
Edit: Holy fucking shit. It's 3:30am. I am so going to hate myself in the morning.