Saturday, November 26, 2011

Politics: The Left, The Right, The Wrong

This entry is not meant to share with you what I believe politically. Frankly, I find politics way too mind-boggling to say with such definitive language where I stand. I also find it nigh-impossible to limit myself to the preexisting political platforms. Some people would hear bits and pieces of what I think and call me a socialist, a communist, or just a liberal. Rest assured, I am none of those things. In fact, I think Jesus was much the same way. People tried to put labels on Him, saying who they thought He was, but in the end they missed the mark. Jesus didn't operate inside the guidelines of any political or religious party of the time. He didn't even conform to what the Jews expected of their Messiah. He was completely embedded in the issues of the day, but instead of fighting fire with fire; He turned everything on its head while still staying true to what it was that made Him who He said He was.

The problem I have with politics is that it divides us all. Fellow believers in the Lord who have strong opinions that differ from mine often seem to feel as though they're being targeted when I talk about politics. Brothers and sisters, this should not be. As with any family, there is bound to be disagreements and things we don't see eye to eye on. We should not be so stuck on these differences so as to assume that one is wrong and the other is right. If the Democrats were so great, don't you think Jesus (or at the very least Paul) would have stuck a footnote in the Good Book telling all of us to vote Democrat? Likewise, if the GOP was "Right" wouldn't Jesus have taken an elephant into town with a giant "Bush-Cheney '04" sticker on it's right cheek?

Recently, while browsing Facebook I discovered this group called the Christian Left. Basically, they're a bunch of Christians who feel like being liberal is more Scripturally sound than being conservative. It's very easy for me, as someone who got slapped in the face with reality, to want to polarize to the Christian Left. The more I think about it (and the more I look through their pictures, which are pretty scary); the more I realize that wouldn't be counter-cultural the way Paul talks about Romans 12:2. Going from conservative to liberal isn't counter-cultural, it's just falling into a pattern of the world that's totally different from what I'm used to. I believe that there are genuine Christians who are a part of this "Christian Left" movement, just as there are among TEA-party Christians. When we make villains of the other side, then we make villains of our own brothers and sisters. That to me is the most disgusting kind of political ideology. Any idea, philosophy, political agenda, or any such notion that would have you think less of an individual simply because they do not hold the same views as you is a completely flawed and broken rhetorical narrative.

I do not say all this to passive-aggressively point fingers at others. The more I write on this, the more I realize I am guilty of doing this. Shortly after becoming disenfranchised with my ultra-conservative grassroots, I was pretty angry that I had been misled to believe complete falsehoods about certain things. I took it out on the people who I knew would have a very polarized viewpoint on the subject I was referring to. Often times, I would insert my wrathful quips into even the most innocuous responses just to stir up trouble. Problem is, I hurt people in the process and now they won't talk to me. There's a lot to be said about that that shall remain unspoken here and that I have said elsewhere.

All I'm saying is, politics as the American sees it: a two-party system with many third parties that are hardly ever given a serious chance to offer their voice is not what Jesus was promoting as the way to deal with the situations around us.

For more information about where my ideas are spawning from, I suggest you check out: Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw

In Christ,

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