Sunday, August 26, 2012

Politics Not as Usual

We the People decry the negativity in this political season.

But it’s time to step up and take on our own share of the responsibility for the hate-spewing coursing through our airwaves and into our homes.

If it didn’t work, they wouldn’t do it.

Pretty simple.

If we really want to stop being subjected to the negativity, all we have to do is turn off the channels that air it . . . refuse to repeat it . . . stop believing the worst of people simply because they are our political opponents – really, please trust me (after all, I am a pastor) – none of them are the anti-Christ. . . really.

After all, the Golden Rule applies whether we’ve met these folks in person or not.

And I’m pretty clear on how I would like to be treated:

1. I don’t want anyone questioning whether or not I am a Christian.
2. I don’t want anyone to say that I hate my country.
3. I don’t want anyone to accuse me of being a traitor.
4. I don’t want anyone to presume that because we disagree, I am bad.
5. I don’t want anyone to spread lies about me just because the lies coincide with their bad opinion of me.  I actually want folks to check the facts before they speak.  And I want them to correct the record when they are wrong.

So here’s the vow I’m making.  Help me live up to it.

1. I will not question the faith of anyone.  I may challenge others to live into the faith they claim, but I will not doubt what they say about their own belief.
2. I will not say or believe that politicians, any politicians, hate their country.
3. I will not accuse anyone of being a traitor simply because their views differ from mine.
4. I will not presume that the people I disagree with are bad people.  I will assume that we disagree.  And I may well try to persuade them to my point of view.  But disagreeing with Beth does not make someone bad.
5. I will not spread lies.  I will fact check claims, especially on the internet and especially those about people with whom I disagree, because I will recognize that I am predisposed to believe the worst about them and I will understand that this is my problem, not theirs.
6. And I will stop listening to the negative ads from all sides.  I will change the channel, leave the room, read a book.  But I will not listen because it affects my opinion to hear these things and I do not wish my opinion or my vote to be affected by the attack ads.

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