Saturday, March 26, 2016

Christian Politics

I have been watching this Presidential election cycle for months.  I have been watching with laughter, disgust, dismay, fear, anger, and ultimately tears in my eyes.  To hear candidates spew such hateful rhetoric, to see supporters taunt and assault those who may not carry ther same views, it is hard to watch, it is hard to stomach.  But through it all it is harder to watch this behavior from self-titled Christians.

I love politics.  For those who have known me for a few years you will know that I was inspired to become President after watching the film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington in my ninth grade civics class.  It is that film, that sparked my desire to help others on a grand scale.  To hold the office, I thought, would be the way to really make a difference while restoring America's faith in politics.  I wanted to be the candidate that made people think that some people really do care about making the world a better place. Over the years this desire has shifted.  I did not want to put my friends and family through the vetting process. But I have never quite given up the idea of running for an office.  In fact someday I plan to.

As I have grown more seasoned (not older but wiser lol) I have learned a lot about the politics process.  Being a government and politics major at the University of Maryland (GO TERPS!) helped me to understand the basis behind the decisions of politicians.  Growing in my faith has caused me to assess potential candidates through a spiritual lens, and what I see is far from the teachings of Christ.

The biggest principle that I stand on in my walk with Christ is love.  Everyday I attempt to become a better person and to do that is to practice love toward myself and to others.  I truly believe that if we all focused on this concept (no matter the religion or lack of religion) the world would be a radically different place.  (As an aside, I thought about not using the word radical in this post.  It is funny how radical has been used with a negative connotation.  I thought that it was important to use it in a positive connotation for this purpose.)  Yet, the rhetoric and the video that I see of the candidates looks far from love.  In fact it looks a lot more like fear, hate, anger, racism, homophobia, and misogyny. How can any candidate who calls themselves a Christian act this way?  How can any candidate who is a self-titled follower of Christ allow their supporters to treat others this way?  And how can we, as Christians, be complacent in these actions that are far from the teachings of Jesus?  Does that not make us just as culpable?

All I know is that Jesus didn't want us to build walls between us because he was a bridge builder.  Jesus did not want us to shun people who were different than us, he embraced them.  Jesus preached about caring for the children and the sick.  Jesus is love.  And love is not what I have seen for the past few months.

To me what is just as scary as people punching each other at candidate rallies is people turning away from the church because they see the awful things that those so-called Christians do.  The spiritual repercussions are already extending internationally and could have a lasting effect for years to come.  So this year when you go to the polls please ask yourself if the person for who you are voting is in line with your own moral and spiritual compass, because I know that I will.

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