My personal sadness about Christians and politics

As I’ve watched the latest political campaign, I’ve often thought what Bob Hyatt has just articulated better than I ever could – Out of Ur – Decision ’08: Your choice of president is less important than our integrity

. . . I watch in amazement as every four years, well-meaning Christians who are otherwise committed to values of truth and controlling our tongues descend into the pit of partisanship, smears, and tale-bearing. You know how it goes. You have genuine concerns about the other guy (or gal) and so, with few qualms, repeat whatever was told to you by someone in the parking lot or that you heard on the talk radio show or read on that extremely well fact-checked source, the Internet. Of course, all the stuff the other side is saying about your candidate? Yellow journalism and lies.

People who balked at the Left’s mention of George Bush’s alcoholism repeat at the drop of a hat Obama’s admission of drug use in his younger days. And people who on any other day are likely to decry the sexism of American politics suddenly become concerned that Palin went back to work too quickly after giving birth and that she can’t be both VP and a mother of a special-needs child.

We believe whatever our side says, refuse to even listen to the other side, and generally put critical thinking aside. [Emphasis mine]

I’m sad to say that over the last few months, I’ve seen good Christians who genuinely love Jesus repeat tale after tale (many later proven false or exaggerated) about both major tickets in this election–all with the intention of. . . [read all of Decision ’08]

It especially saddens me the deep racism of many Christian evangelicals rears its ugly head in this way. As a guest on Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed, Soong-Chan Rah, professor at North Park Theological Seminary, points out – Loosening the Grip 3:

. . . Christians have been at the center of two of the more explicit examples of racism in the Presidential campaign: Obama Waffles (created by two Christian writers) and the hanging in effigy of Senator Obama at a Christian college. These shameful examples serve to further the media perception of the deep level of racism rooted in the American Christian community. . . .

3 thoughts on “My personal sadness about Christians and politics

  1. Ghazala Khan says:

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    The Pakistani Spectator

  2. Hi Ben,

    I’m also saddened about it. Evangelical christian in America are more prone to stand for a “particular” political party than advancing the cause of the kingdom such as racial unity and reconciliation.

    Thanks for commenting on this issue.


  3. Ben says:

    Lou! Sorry, it looks like your comment got lost in one of the internet/power outages we’ve been having all weekend.

    I still get shocked at how blind people can be to to other perspectives/solutions and how extremely emotional they get – to the point of completely ditching integrity and common sense. (One of the “Possibly Related Posts” that WordPress tags on seems to be exhibit #1.) I suppose I should be more sympathetic, I used to think that way; God’s taken me on a long journey.

    Every election means sacrificing some of my issues for others – not that I have any faith that either party will come through even on their issues that I support. This time, I’m ready to make a little history, and though I strongly disagree with certain policy stances, I have more faith in his character than the other. I just hope the whole system doesn’t eat him up the way it ate Bush. Believe it or not, Bush said a lot of the same things when he came in and . . . (I’ll stop there.) ;-(

    We need more people like you who can think globally and can weigh the pros and cons of complex situations.

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