Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Politics, Faith and People

Whether it has been Chick-Fil-A's public stance on gay marriage or Todd Akin's disastrous comment (I realize I am being generous here) on abortion and rape, political statements polarize. Once we declare our alliances in the ideological fray, we slam doors in the faces of those who disagree and destroy the conversation.

Sadly, many of these charged political statements have been made in the name of Jesus. I understand that Jesus spoke about morality. He established right and wrong, but Jesus preached and demonstrated love and humility. When people walked away from Jesus because they wanted to live their own way, he didn't gloat or smirk; he wept and grieved.

Jesus wasn't a wimp either. He spoke boldly about major moral issues. His economic platform valued sacrifice and abhorred greed. With regard to morality, he equated bullying to murder. He cautioned us to examine ourselves before we judge others. Whenever he spoke, however, the people heard compassion and were moved. He didn't close doors; he tore down walls. He challenged the barriers between race, sex and socioeconomic status. Instead of posting something on a bulletin board or Facebook wall to tell people how to live, he showed them. He talked with them face to face and loved them.

He put people above politics, and as a result, he was executed. This was, in fact, his goal. Though many politicians today complain about being "crucified by the media" for comments they make, none of them are willing or able to die for their constituents to make this world a better place. In the spirit of the sacrifice Christ made on behalf of the world, I challenge everyone to put down their keyboards, smartphones and megaphones, look someone in the eye and love them. Have changing conversation, not a competitive debate.

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