The J-Blog has been dangerously political lately. Until someone yells at me in the comments or something, I'm going to keep poking various political bears. This one is really just a series of questions, which for what it's worth, I would legitimately love some answers from respectful folks who see the world differently than I do. Because I'm filled with questions right now.
For instance, these self-appointed militia men who have seized a federal compound and refuse to let go until their demands are met. At best, these men are going largely ignored in the media, and at worst in certain places they are being celebrated as freedom fighters. Here's my question: can you imagine how much we as a nation would lose our minds if these men were Muslim? A group of armed rebels seizing United States property and demanding that the government confirm to their views? We'd drop bombs. So ultimately my question is, how is it that we can react one way when the perpetrator is white and a completely different way when they are black or middle eastern? Strange.
And then there's the issue around guns, which has offended no one lately. The President recently announced some executive actions that quite honestly are pretty weak, will probably be challenged in the courts, and might not amount to anything. Yet some people in the country (particularly on Facebook of all places) are acting as if he has declared himself emperor and is coming to get their guns. Yet in my experience, the folks who are being the loudest against gun control are usually those who are most loudly pro-life. How is it that someone who is so completely in favor of preserving a life such a staunch supporter of the right to own without infringement instruments of death? Again, strange.
Again, if someone who has a viewpoint that is different than mine is willing to respectfully shed some light on these questions, I'd welcome it in the spirit of learning. But may I in the mean time offer a thought as to what's going on (and the reason why this appears on a blog about spirituality)? These mixed messages, and many more like it, are what happens when we combine faith with politics. If you have been told that to be a Christian is to be a Republican, and your faith tells you (correctly) that life at all points is valuable, you value life. But you will find a tension point when professional party politicians have a party line against gun control. You will find a tension point when you hear a phrase like "Black Lives Matter." And not to throw shade on one particular party, it would happen just as quickly to anyone who believed that Christians needed to be Democrats. Neither the Democratic party or the Republican Party has a vested interest in preserving Christian faith. They simply want to win elections. That's what they're paid to do.
So here's my encouragement today: Pay a little bit closer attention to the tension points. Where is it that your political views are actually shaping your faith, rather than the other way around? Where have you gone blind to tension, and what can you do to carry a deeper awareness? Because truth be told, we could all do better at that.
Grace and peace,