Last night, news reporters announced that our newly elected mayor's plans for today -- her first post-campaign day -- were to go to church and then begin the task of selecting a transition team.
Not exactly big news but nonetheless significant, and for many reasons.
Church and state may not get to cavort with one another when it comes to governance but plenty of folks from the church world have plenty of influence. And lots of folks want Christians in office. What's interesting is when the Christians get what they want -- one of their own behind a mayoral desk for instance -- but she also happens to be a lesbian.
I received one of the mailers that featured a photo of her previous swearing in as City Comptroller with her partner by her side that pleaded with me to ensure that hers did not become the face to represent Houston. As a matter of Christian principle, I was asked to vote for someone other than her.
I could have easily gotten on my own soapbox but I learned a long time ago that we Americans are rarely ever "we Americans." We're individuals and rarely will you find one of us in total agreement with another. We are just not a collective society. So I wasn't surprised when I was told by a friend who has frequently consulted with our new mayor and who is much more conservative in her faith than me that she had the great opportunity in the last two weeks to experience the following.
Tired and a bit leery of being accosted when she was with some of her even more conservative friends who knew she was backing The Lesbian, my friend was attending to some church duties when a woman approached. The woman verified that indeed my friend was helping with the campaign and then said, "I just want you to know that I pray every day for this city and from the beginning of the mayoral race, I prayed for every candidate. After we needed a runoff I continued to pray for the two who were left. But this week (two weeks before the runoff), I realized I was no longer praying for him ... that I knew she was going to win and so I continued to focus all my prayers on her. . . "
My friend was thrown and not quite sure if the woman was going to drop a bombshell or not, when the woman continued and said, "I think she'll make a great mayor."
Believers come in all shapes and sizes. Some have small little boxes they try to fit God and Creation into. Some have larger ones. But, to me, the best ones don't just throw words around, they act on their beliefs.
I have no doubt that Mayor Parker will both make me proud and irritate the hell out of me. That's government. But I'm glad to know that she's pretty well aware of her need to make a strong start and she did so by looking up.