Saturday, November 01, 2008

Election Day minus 3

First, some history...

During WWII, our boys were sent into battle after having been taught that the enemy was not comprised of individual men--regular guys with parents, sweethearts, wives and children. They were, for the most part, convinced that the enemy were nothing more than dirty, Godless Nazis, Fascists, and Japs. How else could we send boys raised in a Judeo-Christian belief-system to kill other people--lots of other people? It's called dehumanization. Your enemy isn't really a human, rather something much less important, and much more dangerous, an animal with orders from a tyrant.

And now...

Election time draws near (finally!), and I see a similar trend has emerged. The political pundits on both sides are working overtime to revile and slander, to dehumanize the opposition until it is easy to see the Godless, freedom-hating threat to our country, personified in Candidate A. Or B, or C, depending on which side has your ear. And as good little Americans do on both sides, we listen, we repeat what we hear, and we begin to believe that our way is the only way and any other way leads to catastrophe or worse.

I am very thankful we have so much freedom of speech. Without it, the political pundits would not get paid for what they do, they'd be jailed for it. And forget blogging! What I'd like to remind us who claim to be Christians is that we are to be salt and light--somehow different from those around us. Our views should be shaped less by the media and more by the Bible. Naturally we have the freedom to listen to whomever we choose, (and to vote for whomever we choose) but when we start spouting, I mean, talking about politics, can anyone really tell a difference between us and CNN?

Does it really help your cause to bash your opponent? To dehumanize him or her? Have we forgotten that it says somewhere that "all men are created equal and are endowed by God with certain inalienable rights..."? That the opposition's candidates are individual people, regular guys and gals with families and passions and the courage to run for political office? Doesn't anyone else remember hearing the same warnings of dire consequences in 1992??

I'd like to challenge those of my readership who are Christians to pray before you speak. Sounds easy, I know, but I'm not through with you yet. Stop for a moment and re-think your "Oh, God, if you don't do something now, that awful heathen will ruin our country, and isn't it time to use that fire from heaven thing again???" prayers, and remember what Jesus taught us.

He said:
"You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that." Matthew 5:43-47

"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken." Matthew 12:36

Isn't it possible that He meant for this to be true even now?

1 comment:

Melissa Marsh said...

This is an awesome post and I'm sorry I had to read it more than a month after election day. The poison being spouted on both sides was just horrific, and your advice was quite wise. Just wish more people would listen!