I hate politics.
OK, maybe hate is a bit strong.
Particularly in a world where there’s way too much hate right now.
Let me rephrase.
I am dismayed and disheartened by the extremely polarized state of politics in America today.
If you’re a Republican, Democrats are wrong.
Liberal. Socialist. Unchristian.
If you’re a Democrat (full disclosure, I am), Republicans are wrong.
Capitalist. Nationalist. Racist.
Oh, and unchristian, too.
You’re red or you’re blue. White or black. Good or evil.
There’s no middle ground. No gray area. No room for compromise.
“As a species, we’re fundamentally insane. Put more than two of us in a room, we pick sides and start dreaming up reasons to kill one another. Why do you think we invented politics and religion?”
OK, I take it back. I do hate it. It’s just plain wrong.
Yet some would argue this is not the place to talk about it.
I am, after all, representing a church.
And there’s a widely though not universally held belief that politics and religion don’t mix.
“Mixing religion and politics is like mixing ice cream and manure. It doesn’t do much to the manure, but it sure ruins the ice cream.”
But the Bible does have something to say about politics:*
- Respect those in authority (Romans 13:1-3; 1 Peter 2:13-16), but remember honoring God comes first (Acts 5:27-29; Acts 4:18-19; Isaiah 33:22).
- Pay taxes even if we don’t want to (Romans 13:6-7).
- Pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
- Seek justice, defend the oppressed and help the poor (Isaiah 1:17; Proverbs 31:8-9; Jeremiah 22:1).
And nowhere can I find evidence this guidance is meant only for one political party or another.
It’s meant for all of us, Republicans and Democrats alike.
Imperfect human beings all. Sometimes right. Sometimes wrong.
All of us – all Republicans, all Democrats – are children of God.
All worthy to be loved, just as God loves us all (John 15:12).
I pray each of us keep our spiritual duty in mind as we exercise our civic duty to vote.
* What the Bible Really Says About Politics, Jesse Carey, RELEVANT, February 25, 2016