in celebration of freedom: thoughts on the US 2016 Election, the Marcos burial, and the Gospel

What a day.

Today, I read the news that the Philippines' former president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos would be given a hero's burial. He's been dead for nearly 30 years. It is infuriating news considering the atrocities that happened under his regime--military rule where thousands were imprisoned, tortured, and killed, ill-gotten wealth leaving the country in debt and many to suffer poverty. He stayed in power for 20 years. The road to restoring democracy was a long and arduous one.

Many contend the fact that there was no law against this decision by the Supreme Court. In my opinion, that's not the issue. Despite the legalities, it is a slap to the face of those who suffered under his presidency. The point is not whether he could be legally buried there but rather what it says about how we view justice, how we treat corrupt politicians, and how this act blatantly disregards Martial Law victims. It's not about his achievements as a military man and president, but rather about the dark realities of his dictatorship. To bury him as a hero only for the "good" that he did would be tantamount to neglecting justice. Those who oppose his burial ask that the Marcos family own up to the atrocities--the protests are in the name of pursuing truth and justice and not simply for expressing sentimentality. 

I suppose what matters now is what we do about it moving forward. I'm convinced this will continue to divide the country, contrary to what Marcos supporters think.

On a slightly more positive note, I am grateful for those who sacrificed their lives to restore democracy so that I could vote and exercise my other rights and privileges. I was able to vote for the Philippine presidential election before I left for the US.

Speaking of rights and voting, today is the United States' turn to vote for her next president. The political atmosphere is rife with tension. But I'm grateful for democracy. I'm grateful to be in America as a permanent resident. I'm grateful that politics isn't everything. Whoever ends up being elected, the people still have responsibilities as citizens and political parties aside, we must work together to keep this country afloat.

A photo posted by Desiring God (@desiringgod) on


I'm just grateful that regardless of how we feel about certain issues, who we voted for, or how messed up the world is in general, followers of Jesus still have incredible hope and reason to remain unshaken. Jesus is still Lord. Days like these are real tests of how well believers know and hold onto the hope of the Gospel--that Christ died according to the Scriptures and he was raised also according to the Scriptures to defeat sin and death. God is in the business of renewing the world but in the meantime, the birth pains will keep coming.

Moving forward, I pray that I continue to be a responsible US resident and Filipino citizen, however that might look like in the day to day. I pray that I would always be able to choose love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control in every situation, political or otherwise. This is possible as I abide in him and let him take control.

God bless America, God bless the Philippines, God bless this world. Maranatha, Lord Jesus.

A Grateful Heart with Ember Grey

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