Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hope for the World

On Tuesday night as I watched Obama give his acceptance speech, with tears in my eyes and goosebumps on my arms, I had never felt more proud to be an American. In our country, after centuries of hate and discrimination that has not fully been overcome yet, Tuesday night was a great milestone. And it’s not just a time of hope for America, but I really feel that it is a time of hope and unity for our world.

Obama put it best: “And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared… tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.”

Pictures of people celebrating Obama’s victory throughout the world (left to right): Basra, Iraq; Jerusalem; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s sister in Atlanta, Georgia; Obama's former school in Indonesia; Barack Obama's step-grandmother Sarah Obama, in Kenya; New Delhi, India; Athens, Greece; Dakar, Senegal; Beijing, China; Denmark; Kenya; outside the White House.

With all of that said, the election results were bittersweet. Prop. 8 passed, placing an amendment to the California Constitution denying the right to marry to homosexuals. My heart broke for the more than 18,000 gay people who were married since June in our state. My heart broke for those who now may not have the chance to. There is so much fear among those who voted yes of what might happen if gay people can get married, and my heart broke for those who are targets of that fear. And lastly, my heart broke greatly because the yes on prop. 8 campaign was largely fought in the name of Christ, and it makes me sad that the Bible and Christianity is still being used to justify discrimination, this time against a group of people who are only trying to express love.

But since I try to be a “glass half full” type of girl, here is a little hope that progress will be made: In 2000, 61% of people who voted were against gay marriage, and in 2008, only 52% were against it. Time will bring acceptance. It already has. And the fact that we will inaugurate our first African-American president come January is a testimony to the truth of that.