Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Some Political Observations

Next Tuesday the people of the United States of America will elect a new leader or choose to keep the one that is in office. Politicians have been campaigning for over a year now, and the public has grown weary of the never ceasing back and forth between the two competing sides. In the coming months this constant barrage of political jargon will ease for a brief moment before it begins again. At the end of a political election it is hard not to feel worn out. I do not feel tired and worn because I have been campaigning or wrestling with who I should vote for. No, I feel exasperated because I believe the country hits its lowest point during an election year. The only goal is to win, so ethics, morals, and common decency go out the window.

Some may be curious as to why I have dedicated several posts to the subject of politics. I do not mean to give the impression that everything political is evil. Politics and governments serve their purpose. They uphold the rule of law, educate, protect, assist people in need, and many other things that are necessary for a society to thrive. Our government is responsible for many admirable things, but this can be a danger for Christians. Often Christians pay a lot of attention to what is evil because they know it is dangerous and they do not want to succumb to any temptations or desires. This is what we should do, but we should also be aware that worldly things which are good can be even more dangerous. Christians can take something that has the potential for good and turn it into an idol. We are a patriotic people who feel a strong connection to our country, and because of this there will always be a danger that we give politics a position it does not deserve. As Christians we should always remember that our allegiance is to Jesus and we are citizens of His Kingdom.

Here are a few political observations I have made over the last few months.

Politicians use fear and worry to gain votes. Fear is a great motivator and politicians know this. If a politician can get you to fear this or that, then they know you will be more likely to vote. As Christians we should remember that the most frequent command we find in Scripture is “Do not fear.” We should not fall victim to political fear mongering because we serve a God who is bigger than all our fears.

It is never right to politicize the death of others. This election season I have noticed people on both sides of the aisle doing this. It does not matter whether the person was a national hero or our greatest enemy. The death of an individual should never be used for political gain. As Christians we should respect everyone in life and death. “As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” (Ezek. 33:11)

Partisanship has replaced reality. If a politician does something good the other side has to find a way to criticize it. Often facts are twisted and the truth is distorted just to earn political points. Rarely does a politician or pundit give credit where credit is do. Christians have a responsibility to speak truth. “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” (Eph. 4:25)

Complex issues are often overly simplified. When it comes to political issues everyone thinks they are an expert. Most people believe they could do a better job of solving the nation’s problems if they were only given a chance. No one considers that some of the problems we face are very complicated. We all need more humility. “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)

In one of the debates strength was mentioned over and over again. Both candidates appealed to the strength of our nation. I could not tell you how many times the words strength or strong were mentioned, but it was a lot. During that debate I couldn’t help but think of 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.”

In politics ethics is only appealed to if it benefits the person or the side they represent. For instance, a person is pro-life as long as it gets his or her candidate elected. A person may talk about abortion, but never mention drone attacks that have been carried out by this country and are responsible for the death of children. Another person may talk about the death penalty and a person’s right to health care, but never bring up abortion. People choose the ethical positions that benefit their side or candidate. I am glad people are interested in ethics, but we should apply them fairly.

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