We stand at the threshold of another election cycle in our nation. As much as I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in the choosing of our leaders, I must confess that I have come to dread much of what comes with it. It seems like election time often brings out the worst in many Americans, Christians included. Sean Palmer (thepalmerperspective.com) describes the problem:
“The transaction is apparent and predictable. The candidate we support will say or do something mean-spirited or opposed to the Spirit of God, but either because of our animosity for the other side or because we are aligned on a particular issue or party, we will defend the ungodly.We will also take to Twitter and Facebook to Tweet, Retweet, or link some bitterly partisan, ungracious, half-truth about Democrats or Republicans. We won’t take the 5-minutes required to investigate ad hominem attacks. If the daily bile spewed by politicians and our preferred news outlets makes the other side look bad or seems to confirm our suspicions, so be it. We will even attack the folks dedicated to fact-checking attacks, knowing that if we can discredit them, then we can continue our attacks and wear our blinders at the same time. Worse, some of us will cheer, applaud, and celebrate the dehumanizing words, commercials, and messages about candidates. We will highlight all the ways “our candidate” represents the most crucial values while we minimize, relativize, and ignore, the myriad ways s/he deliberately distorts the message of Jesus.No worries, though, enough of our friends will be join us is our distortions and give us a sense of anonymity. We will cuddle ourselves in the soft illusion that if enough of us join in the degradation then it must somehow be okay.”
I would encourage you to read Palmer’s entire post titled “Keeping Your Birthright In An Election Year.” He goes on to give five tips to maintaining our Christian witness in the face of partisanship. Bottom line? Election time doesn’t give us special permission to act and speak in ungodly ways.
God loves you!