It’s no secret that mainstream Christianity is viewed as judgmental, hypocritical, and often Republican. If you do not know that, then maybe your circle of friends/acquaintances & those who believe differently than you is way too small.
This whole idea of Christianity & Politics has been on my mind for quite some time. Not in a good way. You see, for decades politics has been a source of conversational, but positive and stimulating, banter. It sparked fun, interesting, and passionate debate around the dinner table, with family & friends (even those that did not see eye to eye) who truly enjoyed the conversation. It was fun. Some where along the way that all changed. Ugh.
I’d say my side of the family is predominantly Republican and my husband’s side predominantly Democrat, yet ALL are predominantly Christian. Not just Christian in name, but the trying-to- live-as-Jesus Christian. Politically, I have remained Independent – just ask Sam.
To me the demise of friendly banter all began with the nomination of Barack Obama 3 years ago. This demise was startling to me. I’ve never witnessed such vitriol & rancor during an election season especially among “Christians.” Yeah, maybe I just never really paid attention to it all before, nevertheless it was mortifying. I was in a Bible study in my church for over a year with women who were becoming my friends. The closer we drew to the election the more heated the conversation became during the social time before the study began. This made me so uncomfortable. There were many instances when I tried to interject humor or change the subject. To most of them, Obama was Satan incarnate. I could not even believe what was coming out of some of their mouths, and for the first time I was so thankful to God that I had not brought a friend with me to Bible study. Sad, I know. Election day was just a couple days away and on this particular day the vitriol was ramped up. It was heartbreaking. I had to say something. I told the ladies that day how much I had appreciated their prayers for my father-in-law and that the latest update was that he probably didn’t have much time left. I asked for prayers again and then told them that full disclosure requires me to let them know my father-in-law is a democrat and will certainly be voting for Barack Obama in a few days, God willing. Oh my, I received a call from my leader that afternoon lambasting me and questioning how any Christian could vote for Obama. I told her I was very sorry to have upset her yada yada yada. The following week in Bible study she would not even look me in the eye. That was my last week there. (Side note: I’m now in a wonderful Bible study with a Godly leader who keeps the main thing the main thing.) Thankfully, my faith was strong enough to move on, but imagine if this had happened to a young, sensitive Christian. Double ugh.
Then on election day, my husband drove my father-in-law, who was terminally ill from Pancreatic cancer, with little time left, to the voting poll site for his area. The election official brought a ballot out to my father-in-law so he could vote curbside as he was much too weak to walk in. He proudly announced to all of us that he voted for Barack Obama. 12 days later he passed away. He was a lifelong Democrat and truly one of the most Christ-like people I have ever known.
Today, my oldest daughter Alexandra (Alli) begins her 1st day on the job as paid campaign staff for Obama’s reelection. It is a highly sought after position that she did not even apply for. She was asked to interview for it by Executive staffers that had witnessed her work ethic as a volunteer this summer. Alli is an amazing young lady who believes that everything we do should be as unto the Lord. She has let her light shine in her attitude, her work ethic, her witness and her smile. She is now the Regional Field Director for the Democratic Coordinated Campaign in the 6th District of Maryland. We are very proud of her, of who she is. She reports that she has met many other Christian young people this summer who also volunteer on the campaign. Knowing Alli & her faith & her passion for social justice, etc., everyone should be able to be happy for her regardless of political affiliation, esp. if your God is omnipotent.
It is things like this, and people like Alli & Paw Paw & so many more amazing Christians, that make it really difficult to understand why the Christian community as a whole takes a “us v. them” mentality in so many arenas.
This election season there has been so many “hate-like” statements & posters & opinions on both sides by well meaning, but very misdirected, Christians.
If we (as Christians) are not known by our love, we should keep quiet and sit in a corner. Is your God omnipotent or is He impotent? He does not need your help solving all the problems in this country or creating fear & worry. He just needs you to solve the problems in your heart (duh, of course with His help), He needs you to make Him your first love, and all these things will be added unto you.
God IS omnipotent. God IS love. God IS good. Everything He made is good. Dwell on these things.
Ciao for now!