So there I was, in a large, predominantly socially conservative U.S. city, having dinner with a group of friends (actually, friends, as long as your political ideology lined up with theirs). A federal election was not too far in the distance. Dinner became an endless procession of gastronomical delight. The evening could not have been enhanced in any way! And then came the final course. It was preceded by a course of a different taste and flavor, a dis-course, which changed the tenor of the rest of the evening.

“Surely you will be voting for the Republican nominee?” my `friend’ inquired.  I looked directly at him, as I contemplated (for what felt like hours), before giving him my reply.  I was determined to both speak the truth, but also to avoid a scene and keep from tainting our relationship. When I told him my wife and I would be voting for the other guy, he literally went ballistic.

“GOD gave you a mind to use and think with, boy!” he chastised, now elevated from his seat. “That man (the candidate I had just told him I was supporting) is the anti-Christ.  He is determined to bring our way of life here in America to its knees.  He is pure evil.  Do you not know that GOD looks down on the political party name inserted here and considers them anathema, accursed?”

Either my friend was privy to a degree of heretofore-unrevealed insight that clearly I was naïve to, or he was guilty of having created an emotional and intellectual prison, a self-imposed creation, keeping him from achieving his highest potential on so many levels.  I chose to address the latter insight.

Chiming in, I said, “I just have to tell you, my friend: GOD is not a politician.” 

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