This post is part of the October Synchroblog – Faith and Politics: No matter what you believe or don’t believe, “faith in the public square” is something you probably have an opinion about.
Yeah, I have an opinion (because we all know I have an opinion on just about everything). My opinion is that only the very adept can mix faith and politics without some measure of toxicity entering the atmosphere.
I believe that it is a matter of course that a person of faith should take their beliefs into the voting booth. We all measure candidates using different gauges and people of faith will and should use their beliefs as some part of that. As a liberal, I believe that helping people should take precedence over enforcing rules and I likely differ with many of my conservative brethren and sistren about how one helps another in need.
I also believe that faith should stay out of politics. There is something funny that happens when you get a good idea and are able to convince others to join your cause. It feels really good to have a bunch of people telling you what a great idea you have. It’s even better when they all work together to implement your idea … wow!! Check it out … a bunch of people believe the same way you do and they want to help your idea out. It’s awesome.
But then (in many cases) something weird happens. That good idea begins to take on a life of it’s own. It gains traction and grows bigger, until it owns the person. And what was once a good idea begins to morph into something that is the opposite. Until something like this happens:
If one could contrive a nation that whole-heartedly followed Jesus, I think that might be a good thing in the world. Not gonna lie, in a colloquialism of today. However, I’m not certain that is something that can be legislated. Rulers of past nations/empires have tried this and ended up killing many of their countrymen in a quest for absolute …. ahhh … power.
I was deeply troubled by the caption my friend gave this link. It would seem that in the desire for a good thing, many of my brothers and sisters have opted to go the way of power. And according to my understanding of the faith, Jesus eschewed power and declared that we who follow him ought to as well.
Here is the list of some other writers who shared their thoughts on this subject:
We The People by Wendy McCaig
Pulpit Freedom, Public Faith by Carol Kuniholm
Plumbers and Politicians by Glenn Hager
Conflating Faith and Politics by Maurice Broaddus
Would Jesus Vote by Jeremy Myers
A Kingdom Not Of This World by Jareth Caelum
I am a Christian and I am a Democrat by Liz Dyer
5 ways to make it through the election and still keep your friends by Kathy Escobar
Why There’s No Such Thing As The Christian Vote by Marta Layton
God’s Politics? by Andrew Carmichael
Faith and the Public Square by Leah Sophia