One of the best ways to gain and lose friends is to start talking politics. I’m not old enough to remember a ton of Presidential elections, but it seems from what I hear and read that this year’s election was terrible divisive for the electorate.
Everywhere you turn someone is either deifying or demonizing the President and the administration. And Christians were in the middle of it. Immediately after the election, people on the left were castigating Christians for their role in re-electing the President (though I question how much a factor they/we really were), and some evangelical and politically conservative commentators were lauding the Christian community for their involvement in the electoral process.
The problem is that Christians are not a monolith. We don’t all think or feel the same. I know this for two reasons: (1) I have lots of people who read this blog and blog themselves and they are as diverse as the American landscape, and (2) I get Christmas letters.
Apparently, this election was so divisive that people are still angered or overjoyed–all of it deepending on the individuals political bent–and they cannot help but express their feelings in their yearly update to friends. Rochelle and I have heard the war in Iraq described as everything from a “mess” to “righteous” and everything in between. Funny thing; Every description comes from Christians. I know many wonderful Christian people, some would argue that the ONLY correct political position for Christians is on the right, and others that would argue that a true Christian could ONLY support the left.
I’m not distressed that Christians are participating in the electoral process, but I am concerned that political parties are becoming the trademark by which some (both inside and outside Christendom) wish to brand Christianity. Truthfully, I cannot see how disciples of Jesus could find completely safe haven in either political party. I cannot honestly believe that Republicans or Democrats have mastered or monopolized the correct view of war, peace, empowerment, poverty, equality, ethics, science, religious perspective, freedom, etc…
Christians don’t really need political parties–our kingdom is elsewhere. We are under the Kingdom reign of Jesus Christ. Something tells me that if we made Jesus our party affiliation we might be better in the way we handle our politics.