Politics - Monday Musing, August 31, 2020
Politics. Politics is defined as “activities associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status.” While many prefer that politics not be brought into the church, given this definition, there is no escaping it!
In the past two weeks, the major political parties held their national conventions to nominate their candidate for the upcoming Presidential election. Like it or not, we are in the thick of political campaigning between now and November 3. Our airwaves and newspapers have already bombarded us with advertisements – sadly, it is only going to get worse.
I have been thinking about politics and how we might approach this election cycle. I have no doubt that many of you have opinions on political topics, and you may even know which candidate you will vote for in November. It is not my role to convince you to another point of view, but perhaps we could collectively agree on a few principles to abide by in the coming months, pledging to:
· Act respectfully towards others;
· Acknowledge that there are at least two sides of every issue;
· Your side is never 100% right, and the other side is never 100% wrong;
· Try to understand other’s positions as well as you would want them to try to understand yours;
· Refrain from making statements characterizing the opponent as evil;
· Refuse to make untrue, recklessly false, or misleading statements;
· Vow not to demean, hate, malign, personally attack, or curse others; and
· Value honesty, truth, and civility in all things.
Remember the words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians: “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.” (4:29)
As Americans, we are privileged to live in a country that allows us to choose our political leaders. It is our civic duty to be politically informed and involved with decisions that affect us all. We will get through this political season, just as we have done every two/four years over the course of our lifetime.
Even amid this global pandemic, I encourage you to exercise your right to vote – so let your opinion be known November 3, either in-person or by absentee ballot.
Prayer: Holy One, let no political agenda, party platform, partisan concern, candidate, or self-interest on our part stand between us and your Gospel, between us and your truth, mercy, grace, and justice. Amen.