as i stated in my previous post, i wasn’t planning on blogging while i was home but i’ve changed my mind and decided to “flip flop” on this issue of how i am gonna spend my time at home. i probably should be spending time with my family right now, but ava is watching scooby and my wife is talking to a friend on the phone….so that leaves me to my lame ass blog.
so, i am voting for john kerry. this may or may not be a surprise to those who know me, but alas i make known to the 4 or 5 people who frequent this blog. to just announce who i am voting for is not the sole purpose of the entry though. it is mainly to pose a few questions about the process of voting for a president when you are a believer in Jesus and how our spiritual journey should shape our political and social opinions, if at all?
first off, why should we be comfortable with or desire a political candidate who invokes the name of Jesus as their main political and social influence?
especially since if you were to REALLY put Jesus’ teachings at the forefront of your social policies, you wouldn’t last a new york minute in american politics.
secondly, why do christians feel they would have a better chance to “win” on issues such as abortion, gay marriage, etc., if they were to have “one of their own” in office. does legislation change hearts? would banning gay marriage create any kind of real momentum and bring about honest and loving dialogue between one sinner to another. obviously we need to have rules to govern in our society. we do need to have consequences for those who break these rules and harm others. but over the course of time we have learned that these consequences alone haven’t stopped the pattern of destructive behavior altogether. maybe we need to think bigger and deeper in terms of what leads people to make the changes in their lives for peace. simply voting for someone who is pro-life, pro-religion in schools, pro-“faith based agendas”, anti-stem cell research is not going to really make any progress in the spiritual battle that is found all around us. if anything it’s hurtful, because if a candidate claims Jesus as his savior but some of his policies are retributive, vengeful, exclusionary, divisive …….the image that most non believers carry of Jesus may end up taking a beating.
to be a politician is to be a leader who brings opposite sides together. it all comes down to compromise. it’s impossible to make everyone happy, but there can be peace when the different view points don’t get EVERYTHING they want, but at least enough of what they want in order to exist and accept the differences around them. so how can what you do as a politician be centered around living a life as a follower of Jesus, where there is no room for debate or compromise. Jesus lived a life of quiet rebellion, a simply way to ignore the institutional politics and religion so prevalent in his time. the dye cast by the life of Jesus is not debatable. to love God with all our hearts, to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek.
maybe the church is better served with a candidate who does not invoke the name of Jesus. someone who doesn’t cloud the christian world view with using an oversimplified terminology like “good and evil” or “us versus them”. would it actually be more beneficial for us to have a leader who realizes that leaving christian spirituality out of official policy actually clears the way for believers to project Christ’s love in the ways that Jesus himself did, free of compromise?
there are some issues i disagree with kerry on but one issue i firmly endorse. here is what kerry stated regarding his faith and policy:
“I can’t take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an atheist. We have separation of church and state in the United States of America.”
–Interviewin the Dubuque, Iowa, Telegraph Herald, July 2004
i believe this approach does leave more room for real and loving dialogue between people of different points of view and different faiths. in a search for truth, we should do everything we can to facilitate this kind of openness and communication among believers and non-believers. this can be a brilliant change of pace from the divisive marriage and abortion laws that if get enacted, will likely result is no one’s change of heart. instead we are left with a wider gap between the acceptable sins in the church (greed, gossip, materialism, etc.) and the unacceptable sins of those often found outside the church (homosexuality, prostitution, drug use, abortion, etc.) hopefully we can begin to close this gap, not by policy or lawmaking, but by invitation and love.