The Column I Didn’t Want to Write

I’ve been meaning to write something for over a week now.  Intending to do so. Putting it off, because I really didn’t want to write about this.  But I find that whenever I start to try and write about something else, that little voice in the back of my head shouts me down, and keeps bringing me back to this.  So, rushing in where angels fear to tread…

I’m so sick of politics, I could just vomit.

Now, you have to understand, I’ve been interested in politics for as long as I can remember.  I actually remember the anti-Goldwater TV ad from 1964 with the little girl and the nuclear explosion.  It’s probably on Google if you haven’t seen it before.  And I remember well the ’68 election between Nixon and Humphrey, and George Wallace’s 3rd party candidacy that gave the election to Tricky Dick.  And I never fail to vote.

So when I say, I’m sick of politics this year, that’s big to me.

I have dear friends who are on the right, sending me vast amounts of emails about how absolutely disastrous it will be for the country if President Obama is re-elected.  And I have dear friends on the left politically, warning of the horrifying social catastrophe that would follow a victory by Governor Romney.

People, get over yourselves.  Frankly, I can’t stand either one of those guys.

When did the party of Abraham Lincoln become so filled with so much greed, hatred and xenophobia?  When did the party of Teddy Roosevelt – an arch environmentalist and trust-buster – become so devoted to hyper-individualism, at the expense of balance and common sense?

When did the party of Franklin Delano “All we have to fear, is fear itself” Roosevelt, become the domain of professional victims?  When did the party of JFK become the party of the guaranteed handout?  Wasn’t it Kennedy who famously asked, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”  Still sounds like a good idea to me.

I guess there are two things that really bother me about the current political dialogue discourse arguments that I see.  One is the notion of political enemies.  They say politics is the art of the possible.  The fact is, our nation was built on political compromise.  COMPROMISE IS NOT A DIRTY WORD.  It just means recognizing that the other guy might also have a good point.

When the framers of the constitution couldn’t agree on whether the national legislature should be based on the states or the people, they compromised, and gave us a bicameral system – the Senate, where members are chosen by the states, and the House, with members chosen by population.  (Am I the only one who remembers 8th grade American history? Jeez.)  It was a compromise, and 200+ years on, it still looks like a pretty good one.

The other thing that bothers me, and maybe even more so, is the meanness with which Christians are attacking each other other this.  Right wing Christians don’t understand how people can claim to be believers, yet support progressive positions on various social issues.  Left wing Christians can’t see how conservative believers can fail to support programs to help the poor and the marginalized.  Both sides need to get off of their moral high-horse and realize our allegiance to Christ must supersede our political affiliation.

Yes, we should use whatever means we have to bring make the Kingdom of God come on earth, as it is in Heaven.  On the other hand, the problems we deal with are often caused by poor individual choices that bring terrible consequences.  Yes, the scripture is very plain that God expects us to help the poor, the widow and the orphan.  On the other hand, it is equally plain that the poor were expected to glean their own food, and that, “if any will not work, neither let him eat.”

It’s not either-or.  It’s both-and.

Both sides like to use fear to whip up their supporters.  But how often in scripture does God say, “Don’t be afraid.”  Over and over again.  So I am not giving in to fear.  I am trusting that whoever wins the election, God will still be in control of the future, of nations and events.

If this has made you mad, I’m sorry.  Both sides can make good arguments for their guy, but I’m not interested in turning this forum into a political debate.  In Romans 14, concerning other controversial issues, Paul said, “Whatever you believe about these things, keep it between yourself and God.”  Sounds like good advice to me.

Jesus is my Commander-in-Chief, regardless of whatever temporary occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue may be making noise at the moment.