I vote. It's difficult to imagine ever reaching a point where I won't, however I've come a long way from my earlier political identity – so who knows? Talk radio was an addiction. I wrote numerous opinion pieces online and to the local paper's editor. I've discussed political points of view with my dad until my mother revoked my freedom of speech and said we were done. Dad's face was beet red and she was worried one day he'd have a heart attack from the frustration. (Dad and I don't vote for the same people.)
Though I'm not a democrat, I no longer consider myself a republican either. My dad isn't quite sure what's wrong with me these days. Truth is, I see the enemy at work in the political scene, through Christians, distracting us with our passionate political ideology.
All those words wasted with no reward for Christ. Political spin and the lie of harmless “passionate political discourse” do not glorify God. It isn't harmless. It's perpetrated upon the American people as a thief of the “peace that passes understanding.” It's very design is to make you afraid of the “others”, and suspicious of their intentions. And too many of my brothers and sisters are still in the fog, boxing shadows and confusing patriotism with fighting “the good fight.”
Long ago the conversation about caring for and about our poor was distorted into a debate. Now, two groups of politicians use the poor as pawns to gain political leverage against their opponent. The poor are simultaneously pitied and vilified, but make NO mistake. The poor are NOT loved.
As never before, I support the separation of Church and state – because if ever there was an unholy union – this is certainly it. Unequally yoked, pulling for different purposes and endgame, undermining all that God is by distracting God's people from doing God's work. Instead, involving them in a pointless fight with one side fearing cold greed can rob the needy and the other side fearing the state can somehow get rid of Him.
God has called us to love, serve, feed, clothe and house the poor and destitute. He has called us to defend those treated unjustly. If Christians will be known by our love, how do we reveal that love in our political discourse? Aren't we confusing our calling with patriotism? They aren't the same. The U.S. Treasury is limited in what it can provide by the resources at it's disposal. Our God has endless resources, as everything is His. Why would we try to limit God's grace by filtering it through a government? If our conversation says that those who are responsible should be rewarded... if that's what we shout loudest into the world... where is the grace? How do you align that with faith in a God who loved us while we were dirty sinners and provided a place for us at His table though we did nothing to deserve it?
As politicians woo the Christian community by speaking Christianese in the midst of huge public prayer meetings, we seem to forget Jesus' words, “You are not to be as the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the streets in order to be seen by men.” (Matthew 6:5) Many of us are NOT hypocrites, but we have been swindled into believing we're represented in the political arena. We aren't – not in any significant numbers. We are pressed into battle by a misguided sense of defending the faith via the vote, instead of fighting the good fight of living the faith.
“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” Matthew 6:6
Jesus never called us to sign petitions, hold rallies, or protest the government to get it to do what is Godly and right. We need to back out of this unholy battle on shifting sands of partisan platforms.
Our calling is to the lost, lonely, poor, widowed, orphaned, hungry, imprisoned, and thirsty. Personally. Not through government, but through our hands and our means. We must get ourselves into the work... not coldly hire it out to a government agency.