I have a confession to make. During the Vice-Presidential debate I broke a promise I made to myself. I had firmly decided to use all my self-control to avoid responding to the political drivel posted on twitter and Facebook. I don’t mean that it’s all drivel. In fact, I enjoy some of the commenting that happens during the debates. I don’t agree with some of my friends who think commenting on politics via social media is inherently inflammatory. I appreciate the thoughtful comments–and the funny ones. What I can’t stand is the same thing I can’t stand in the debates and the campaigns in general–derogatory statements coming from people so partisan they wouldn’t vote for the other party if Jesus was running (this is a critique of our allegiance to political parties, not an insult aimed at tearing down a person or people).
So as we head into the second debate and the last few weeks of the campaign, I am asking–no begging–those of you who call yourselves followers of Jesus to do a few things as you post about politics.
- Remember that all people are created in the image of the God you worship. When you defame, hurl insults, and demean them it is an offense against God. All people have immeasurable value, regardless of their political party.
- Be fair. I know that politics is an important arena of society and I don’t think Christians should ignore it. But before you post something consider whether it is a fair characterization of the side you disagree with.
- Be honest about the places where your candidate/party doesn’t line up very well with the way of Jesus. No one will think less of you for it.
- Think the best of those who disagree with you. Just as neither Barack or Mitt is trying to ruin our country, neither are those who want to vote for them.
- Keep perspective. The election is important but neither candidate will save or damn us. We have only one Savior and our hope should be in him, not a man running for office.
- Post things that are helpful. That’s a surefire way to set yourself apart!
For more on faith and politics check out my political platform.
Is anyone else sick of politics already. Or, more specifically, sick of the parading around of our next would-be saviors. Even though our next presidential election is over half a year away I’m getting sick already. Here’s some of the main contributors to my sickness.
1. The assanine amount of money spent on trying to lay hold of leading this country. I know it’s just how our elections work, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. Can you imagine if just half of the money spent on campaigning was given to the poor, or even put toward our national debt? Instead we throw millions of dollars away on what becomes the ultimate popularity contest.
2. The idiocy of clamoring to find something wrong with each candidate. Does anyone really care if Barak made fun of a kid in first grade? Or that John cheated on his fifth grade spelling test? Hyperbole, but astonishingly close to reality.
3. How little anyone (often including the cadidates) cares about real issues. Our presidential election is basically about creating the best persona, which includes saying what people want to hear, but seldom leads to any real innovation or trailblazing in dealing with the issues of our nation.
4. The United States’ Savior complex. To listen to the candidates, and often the media outlets, we are only months away from having all our problems solved. Of course, this is what many thought when GW took office, and Clinton before him, and so on. The reality is presidents do some things well and some things poorly, but no president will cure all our ills.
These are some of the reasons I think those who claim to follow Christ need to be careful about the extent of hope they place in our political process. It is important, and people should vote, and discuss which candidates are best. But we only have one Savior, and his return is the only thing that will end pain, sickness, and death. And he won’t be dropping major coin to win a popularity contest.