Do Not Judge Me Based on Who I Vote For

It would be an understatement to say that people’s convictions, thoughts, and feelings are intensely passionate regarding this upcoming election. Now that both National Conventions have aired, it is safe to say that people are more opinionated than ever. My blog has never been a platform for political accountability and I do not plan on it ever being so. One of the intentions when I began writing was to encourage compassion and more than ever, during this election, I believe it necessary to do so. I have never stated my political affiliations, not because I want to avoid conflict (because let’s face it – it is an area of conflict for everyone) but because it is personal. Just as my religion is. That is why I will not address politics among my religious friends. This is why…

Regardless of the presidential candidates, my personal moral choices in life are based on my faith and philosophies. That is not and will never be dependent on who is president – Republican or Democrat. I have never been a fan of someone JUDGING me because as a Christian, I “should vote conservative.” Or because I am an empowered professional female, I am judged if I do or do not vote democratic. My personal moral choices are between God and I. Not Bush or Obama and I. They have no bearing or weight on how I choose to raise my children or what legacy I leave behind. However, if we are speaking on fiscal concerns, national security, education, and healthcare, then I have an opinion. And, yes, they are strong opinions. My issue with this election is that we have forgotten the country we are living in. It is because of the freedom we are privileged to have, that we can have opinions and not be killed for it. Unfortunately, we are socially punished for it. I have friends who are extreme “left” and extreme “right” and I truly believe that because I respect them and they have mutual respect for me, that we can compassionately agree to disagree without losing perspective of our friendships. That is not the case I have been witnessing in the last year. I have seen and read vile comments to each other as people try to stake their claim in the #imwithher or #makeamericagreatagain campaigns. I have seen physical fighting and horrific name-calling. The fact is, there are presidents we have respected and those we don’t care for. I have been an advocate for voting since before I was of age and have followed politics since I was in grade school. It is a topic I enjoy. Call it maturity, but as I have grown older, I see the points of everyone. I don’t have to agree with it. And, if we are truly to be ONE NATION, then I shouldn’t be judged for my opinions. Rather, if we are to speak of inclusivity, then that means my race, creed, gender, sexual orientation should not matter. What should matter is HOW we all live together. Because regardless of whether I agree with Obamacare, I will still care for my clients. Regardless of whether the politicians deem same sex marriage or the legalization of marijuana as positive, will not have weight on how I personally live my life and how I raise my children. Regardless of whether taxes increase or decrease, I will continue to pay for we all live in a privileged country to have the niceties that we possess. Regardless of whether there is a physical border or not, I am called to be compassionate to all people – immigrants and citizens. Regardless if the gun laws are adjusted, I will continue to be a responsible citizen who follows the laws and equally respect service men and those who walk our streets and neighborhoods. Regardless of whether climate control is real or not, I will continue to respect this earth as it will one day be inherited by our children. Regardless of whether abortion is legal or not, I will continue to cherish life. The list continues.

As my friend so eloquently stated as she looked at the beauty of our beaches and the miracle of a gorgeous sunset, we simply need to redirect our focus sometimes from the chaos of “Ding Dong Donald and Crooked Hilary.” We have survived a lot in this great nation and we will continue to do so despite which candidate wins. I just ask that people calm themselves and remember what we were taught when we were younger – “If you don’t have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.” I disagree with a lot of people’s posting on Facebook or Instagram, but you will not see me negatively comment. There are a few people I answer to on a daily basis – God, my husband, and my children. Whoever becomes president will not change who or what I am because how I live my life is between those I love and myself. The only judgement I care about, is that of God’s because no one else’s judgement should matter. Right? So, stop judging!

 

It’s easy to judge. It’s more difficult to understand. Understanding requires compassion, patience, and the willingness to believe that good hearts sometimes choose poor methods. Through judging, we separate. Through understanding, we grow.  – Doe Zantamata

 

As I say to my children, “Remember to always be kind to one another.”

Charise

Charise Casiano

About Charise Casiano

Charise obtained her BA degree at California State University, Stanislaus and immediately pursued her MS degree at Mount Saint Mary’s College. During her college years, Charise left for one year to do missionary work. She traveled the United States troubleshooting with teenagers.