By Sarah Simrill Ray,
Columbia, South Carolina, USA
I knew when I jumped on this roller coaster ride with my fellow Bernie Sanders supporters that it was not going to be all ups. On the day that “poll” came out saying that Hillary was ahead, I was a bit depressed. Now today, I see a positive piece on Joe Scarborough’s show, with Bernie in the lead again, and I’m thrilled! The best thing I can do is remember that this IS a roller coaster ride, so when I plummet, I need to have the courage and trust to put my hands up and scream for joy at the top of my lungs. Let’s enjoy the ride! There’s a sense among us that we’re making history. This day will never happen again.
I am absolutely flabbergasted at the way this honest man’s vision has permeated my life so quickly. For the first time in a long time, I have hope. Every day, I have friend requests from fellow supporters on Facebook, and my list is growing. I have to remember to leave room for the people who are on the fence that I want to invite to the party.
I want to share with you why I support Bernie Sanders, the democratic socialist. I am a follower of Christ, but I hesitate to call myself “Christian” at times because the name has taken on the connotation of judgmental hypocrite with secular people. It’s difficult to communicate over that immense wall of preconceived notions.
There was a time when I called myself an agnostic. That was the most honest answer I could give. I really didn’t know whether or not there was a God, or if we live beyond this mortal body. Now, I would say my closest label for my belief system is Gnostic Christian. My spirituality has been primarily influenced by Unity thought, so I do not believe that Christianity is the only path to God. Christ himself said He had “sheep in other folds.”
My transformation came through a personal experience of the Divine which I cannot deny, (see my article in Tikkun Daily, “Looking into the Eyes of God”) but I am well aware that I cannot “convince” others intellectually to see life through my eyes. They have to experience it for themselves. I can only hope to inspire them to look for that experience in their own lives.
It doesn’t bother me that Bernie Sanders is Jewish. So was Christ Yahshua (Jesus). I see human beings, not labels based on regional ancestry or any other external attribute. Character is what counts, and Bernie Sanders has that in abundance. He is a man of integrity and his actions follow his convictions, not the latest poll. What I see in him is a man who acts more like Christ than many of our current religious leaders who preach intolerance and hatred, and refuse to listen to His message of love for all humanity. Christ asked us to care for “the least of these” as we would care for Him. So does Bernie.
It is a spurious argument to insist that caring for the poor should not be done on a government level in a country that is supposed to be “by, for, and of the people.” Our government should reflect our values. The raucous cries by the Republicans to further bloat the defense budget and cut funding for social programs for the poor and disabled are clear signs that it currently does not. The majority of people in this country share Bernie’s priorities, and the ones that don’t, who aren’t the 1%, are being misled to vote against their own interests.
We are the 99%. We have the true power.
How about we look at this from a positive viewpoint?
We only have the 1% to convince to join the human race.
We’re almost home!