I sat my jetlagged, cold-suffering self down in front of the television on Monday. My heart swelled with civic pride as I prepared to watch Barack Obama, a man whose skin color long prevented individuals like him from having a serious shot at the nations highest office, be sworn in for his second term as President of the United States… on Martin Luther King, Jr Day. 

Beyonce sang. I got a little teary-eyed as it made me think of Whitney Houston singing that same song at the Super Bowl. And I enjoyed the irony that Jay-Z got invited to the Inauguration to watch his wife sing. In the same moment I secretly had a day-dream that we’d have a little Duck Dynasty moment complete with Lee Greenwood on stage next singing Proud to be an American. (Joe Biden was thinking the same thing, check out his smirk as Beyonce finishes singing.)

Then I made the mistake of checking Twitter.

Of course– because somewhere in our DNA as Christians we have this fault hard-coded in our DNA— some so-called-Christian-leader was overcome by self-righteousness, and posted something on Twitter about how his faith in Jesus was better than the President’s faith in Jesus. (Because that’s an argument that always goes well…)

And then I saw Twitter implode like a dream sequence in Inception.

Everyone had to say something in response. I promise you that somewhere in a nursing home in North Carolina Billy Graham told someone to get his iPhone because he had something to say. 

It was that bad.

I had the same urge. In my self-righteous annoyance I felt the need to be self-righteous and respond. Maybe it was fear of being left out of the curb stomping this poor so-called-Christian-leader was getting? Or maybe I wanted to be seen as someone angrily curb stomping this person?

But I didn’t. 

I shocked myself.

Instead, I just turned Twitter off. And I just turned Beyonce up. Because that’s an option, too. And I enjoyed the moment watching Barack Obama being sworn in and his speech and the whole thing.

Regardless of political leanings the Inauguration of a United States President is an amazing sight to behold.

And I enjoyed it. All of it. 


Perhaps we can make restraint the new en vogue Christian virtue? Together we can decide to forgo displaying our very worst simply because someone else has? Perhaps, instead, we just learn to ignore some things? Or perhaps, instead, we deal with sin privately?

Perhaps we embrace “don’t” simply because we can?

Nah. That’d be just plain un-Christian of us.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

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