Pick and choose

I have a hard time with the politicization of religious life.

My relationship with Jesus is my relationship with Jesus.  You don’t get to take that away from me, and I don’t want it used to sell me snake oil – or candidates.   That gets my back *right* up.

Plus, I don’t think it makes for good witness, to conflate conservative religious convictions with conservative political opinion.   “This person represents all of me” – HAH.  I think **not**.    I’m not going to follow in lock-step with … well, anyone.  Anyone but Christ and my husband, and I have to work at both of those.   Authority I haven’t voluntarily taken on?  Are you kidding me right now?  No.  The Republican party platform doesn’t cover every bit of me, thankyouverymuch.  (I would, for example, like Monsanto et al treated like public enemy #1, not given farm subsidies).

And I don’t want to argue politics WHILE I argue religion.  I can back Jesus up all day long, but don’t ask me to do it for Trump.   Or Reagan.    They’re not infallible.  And in the eternal-lens, not all that important.

So there is always the temptation to ignore politics and get back to my own things.   I would like that.  I would like to ignore politics excepting a few weeks before election day, to review data prior to voting.

But … our country feels like it’s in the throws of insanity.   You ignore politics for a year, and suddenly you can’t call a man a man without going to jail in some states or politely refuse to create art for a function you find abhorrent without being sued.    Through the looking glass is where we live.   Politics now serves to defend normalcy.

Or does it?   Are we as Christians just being used to push things we don’t care about by waving a carrot of things that we DO?   Call me cynical if you will – on the motivation of politicians, it’s an accurate description.

I feel that we, as citizens in a democratic republic, have a duty to at least vote.  It’s a power we’re given, and thus it’s a responsibility that has been thrust on us.

At the same time, white robes are being given out at an ever increasing rate.. I mean, we’ve all read the back of the Book, right?  We know how this ends up for us.   Things get horribly dark before the dawn.

I feel like there is a duty to stand, since I’ve been given that power, and yet I know the tide will eventually blow over my position.   Eventually, I’ll be a persona non grata.   My motivation for standing cannot, therefore, be winning the world’s game.   I would sit out, but … I don’t feel that I can.

But I DO feel that politics is the least important thing that I do.   That my witness is in my behavior, in my friendships, in my lifestyle, and in my evident enjoyment of my Lord.   It’s souls I want to win.

Thoughts?

 

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7 thoughts on “Pick and choose

  1. Elspeth

    I do have thoughts but right now they are mostly along the lines of, “Yeah! Me too!”

    So let me ponder a bit more because there’s a lot here to digest.

    Reply
  2. Elspeth

    I don’t want it used to sell me snake oil – or candidates. That gets my back *right* up.

    Too many believers in this country take the term “God and Country” to means that the two are equal, number one. And so…they react like Pavlov’s dogs at a hint of a whiff that a candidate is going to vote in favor of a position Christians are passionate about no matter how bad is the rest of what is being offered. Christians get taken in by snake oil salesmen every election cycle. So do black people, for that matter.

    Plus, I don’t think it makes for good witness, to conflate conservative religious convictions with conservative political opinion.

    I think this only happens to Christians, which points to your statement about us quickly becoming persona non grata. Because there are other religious faiths with conservative religious and lifestyle convictions and they are castigated for it.

    And I don’t want to argue politics WHILE I argue religion. I can back Jesus up all day long, but don’t ask me to do it for Trump. Or Reagan. They’re not infallible. And in the eternal-lens, not all that important.

    Thank you for saying this. And also for pointing out the GOP’s really bad cozy relationship with corporations like Monsanto.

    This whole thing is so much murkier and complex than people are willing to acknowledge, but nuances and messiness make warring harder to engage in. And too many seem too invested in throwing lobs at their enemies whether those enemies are real or perceived.

    Reply
    1. hearthie Post author

      I’m working on dragging out the messy things to talk about. Glad someone else enjoyed the murk. 🙂

      I don’t have a good answer…. but it does keep me questioning.

      Reply
  3. nellperkins

    Here’s how complicated and painful this subject is — I had to write a book to even begin to deal with it. (yeah, I’m still working on it but now I have a complete first draft, which has never happened with any of my previous books, so ….?) Anyway, the only difference I think is that I’m coming at it from a position of waking up to how seriously bad the left is. (But that doesn’t change or excuse how seriously bad the right is.)

    Long book short — if you want to work for peace, work for Jesus, make peace around you. It’s all you can do.

    Reply
  4. Curly Sue

    I had thought about voting third party for many years, but finally actually did it for a few political offices in the last two elections (2016 & 2018). It’s ridiculous to think that two political parties can represent the various viewpoints of the third most populous country in the world. I often wonder how many voters feel obligated to vote “D” or “R” even though they don’t like either candidate. I finally decided that if I think both candidates stink, why not just vote my conscience? Would things be different if everybody did that?

    Reply
    1. hearthie Post author

      I think things would change if people did that – I know a lot of folks who don’t like either side and who are arm-twisted into going for one or the other.

      Reply
    2. Elspeth

      @ Curly Sue:

      We did the same thing in 2018; voted third party. The masses are thoroughly convinced that a vote for a third party candidate is, in essence, a vote for the person you hate most of the two major party candidates. I suppose there is a grain of truth to that, which means that people are mostly voting motivated by fear and loathing. Fear of what will happen if the person they most loathe gets into office.

      Is it any wonder we have a mess on our hands?

      Reply

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