Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Thoughts On Politics

Well, both candidates have selected their running mates. With the Democratic National Convention over and the Republican National Convention going on this week, we are about to move into the final few months of this race. Everything is becoming more charged up politically. I usually stay a bit removed from politics here at Nick's Musings, other than a video here or there to make you think. But I thought I would take this opportunity to share some general thoughts about this election. Here we go:

1. Neither Candidate is a Savior. We are starting to hear this from both sides. "Obama is the hope for America" or "McCain is a true American Hero." Both are loaded marketing ploys. Neither are true. We see this marketing strategy happen every election though: convince the voters that there is something to be lost if your candidate is not elected. Create fear. The truth is, neither candidate is going to save us or our nation. I don't want to downplay change too much, because I believe whoever gets elected can make change, but our salvation or the future of our nation does not depend on it. Which leads me to my second point.

2. Neither Candidate is the Anti-Christ. The mud slinging is about to reach a fever pitch. I honestly think the candidates in this election respect one another, so we are seeing less from them disrespecting each other. They seem to be attacking each others voting records and connections than their character, which is a positive. But even thought these candidates are treating each other with more respect (and perhaps because), there is a ton of mud slinging going on by others. The small mindedness of the things I hear drives me crazy. Both of these guys are great men who love their country. Neither is the spawn of Satan. Neither is a communist or a Muslim. So, if you have a candidate that you like, please don't resort to childish name-calling. Don't resort to the vilification and demonization that is so common in politics today.

3. You are starting to see Christianity at its absolute worst. I don't know why, but Evangelical Christians wait until election time to rear their true ugliness. I understand believing in a cause, and believing strongly, but since when did it become Jesus-like to hurl insults at anyone who disagrees, question their salvation, and act in a spirit of hate? That is not the Jesus I read about. What happened to loving your enemies? So what happens is this group of activists works themselves up into a huff, demonizes the candidate they don't like and anybody who considers what that candidate has to say, all the while it becomes clear to all those outside that Christianity (at least the version we have some to see in 21st century Cmerica) is not about love. In the mean time, the homeless do not get homes, the starving do not get food, and why? Because we have an election to win, right?

If you do feel it necessary to make this election a significant part of your life this year, please do those three things: Don't think one candidate is the savior, or that another is the Anti-Christ, and (if you're a Christian) don't become an embarrassment to Jesus in the way that you carry yourself in these next couple months. Lastly, and most importantly, remember the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is not the conservatives or the liberals, America or another country, black or white, male or female. The Kingdom of God is about loving God and loving people. May we keep that in our minds and hearts as we continue forward to see what these next few months bring us.


Chip Burkitt said...

I'm still not sure I was seeing Christianity at its absolute worse. I think rape and murder in the name of Christ might be near the top (or bottom, depending on your persepctive).

I agree that the kingdom of God is about loving God an people (Commandments numero uno y segundo). However, Jesus and his disciples always preached repentance along with the kingdom. Repentance, which means a change of heart, is a prerequisite for being able to love God and people.

It turns out that it's easy to love people in the abstract. Even God is fairly easy to put up with provided your idea of him is relatively fuzzy. But loving your spouse, co-worker, brother, sister, friend, enemy---those get to be a little harder unless you have a change of heart that comes from humbling yourself and repenting of your own failures and mistakes.

Ok. Enough soapboxing.

Nick said...

Does that happen though, Chip? Rape in the name of Christ?