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It’s been quite an election season.  It’s even had an adverse effect on … my church.  This election has turned a politically diverse church (that mine is) into a politically divided church.  Theological differences don’t hold a candle to the impassioned and, at times, embittered political differences dividing the pews.  The Calvinism v. Arminianism debate is a snore-fest compared to the Obama v. McCain vitriolic arguments breaking out in “fellowship” groups.  It strikes me as a little ironic.  The Christians at my church stand hand-in-hand on the grand, all-important, eternity-weighing issues: God, salvation, heaven, etc.  But on the “smaller” issue of who to vote for, there is raving, rabid, rejection of one another.  Or, total condescension: like the college freshman who told me that I was entitled to my “idiotic” position (I took the high ground: I told him that I would fast and pray for him until God showed him the light).  But hey, we love each other.  1 John 4:9.There is not much more to say which hasn’t already been said about the election.  Here are some random things I’ve overheard and (for one reason or another) has stuck.

  • Somebody told me that she could not vote for Obama because of the mole by his nose.  Excuse me? Because, she said, every time she saw the mole, it reminded her an equisized, unborn fetus.
  • Sarah Palin has turned Christian conservatives into total hypocrites.  At least those evangelicals who espouse the woman-cannot-lead-or-teach position.  The contradiction of this conservative Christian belief and with the wholesale lovefest for Palin by evangelicals (who will vote to put Palin one heart beat away from being the leader of the free world) stinks of rank hypocrisy.
  • The leftist bias in the media is appalling.  When even Dan Rather thinks so (here), you know there’s got to be some basis for republican gripe.  And if you disagree, well, you’ve been had, my friend, hook, line & sinker…
  • Obama got a pass on the Jeremiah Wright controversy.  So did the highly-regarded evangelical preaching website Preaching Today (a subsidiary of Christianity Today), which had years ago published one of Rev. Wright’s sermons.
  • Perhaps the Republicans overplayed the William Ayres card.  Maybe.  But one thing is for sure: if McCain had a similar relationship with a member of a white supremacy group, his campaign would have been decimated within two days.  Make that two hours.
  • When your church pastor prays “for the upcoming election, for His will be done” what exactly does that mean?  That one candidate is in God’s will, and the other is not?  Hmm…that really makes you stop and pause.
  • There are all kinds of daffy ideas coming from that segment of christians that views itself to be the epitome of avant garde christian-cool because it loves Christ and votes obama.  For example, Shane Claiborne suggests that one way we can practice racial reconciliation is by asking a black person who we should vote for.  And then to vote accordingly.  Err…Mr. Claiborne, how exactly is handing over to another person – carte blanche – my intelligence, my opinions, my sense of right/wrong re: political issues, my independent thought, etc., supposed to bring about racial reconciliation?
  • the vast majority of people – even the most ardent supporters – have scant idea what their candidate really stands for, and how that position practically differs from the other candidate’s respective position.  Deep down, most people have little more patience or want for anything more than bumper sticker slogans and soundbytes.  It’s a little like christians.  deep down, we are not theologically-inquisitive, and prefer the WWJD-like soundbytes and slogans.  Obama!  McCain!  Jesus!

And finally, I would like to say this.  I have a deep respect for those people who have refused to see this election as just an entertainment spectre or as an excuse to have a debate or to “join a cause” or to have an opinion because it is suddenly chic to be politically-minded.  To those conscientous men and women, Republican and Democrat, who have an ernest appreciation of the political issues, and, more than anything else, who have a deep-seated, yet unshowy love for this country, i thank you because the way you love something bigger than yourself is inspiring.


One Comment

  1. Great post, Cutting. Calvinism vs arminianism LOL perfect example. You seem to be a truly free thinker and I applaud that (it’s rare, you know). I think you nailed just about every point in this post except the part about media being liberally biased. Let me briefly challenge that. First of all- I voted third party and not for obama or mccain obviously so I feel no need to defend the left. However- The PEW poll showing the left bias in this election season doesn’t form conclusions, it merely says “mccain not covered favorable, obama more favorably.”

    The reason is- McCains campaign has been a disaster. I’m not talking about policy (yet). Check out politico, which usually runs it pretty down the middle-to-right, and even they call the mccain-palin lies, distortions and censoring of press questions and/or lack of press conferences “abysmal.” (I’m substituting my word for theirs, but read into it “very bad.”)

    It would be bias for the media to positively report on a campaign that has been so shady and evasive. The media exists to chase the truth, the story, to investigate. While there are ALWAYS examples (olbermann etc) who run to the defense of the left (as does drudge, GOP radio and Fox to the right) the majority of coverage has been a response to legitimate blunders by McCain and Co.

    Lastly- I think we should be wary of the tendancy by O Reilly and Fox, et al who cast all others besides themselves as “left.” I am not a left guy- I am a libertarian constitutionalist Ron Paul school of traditional conservativism, and most of the objection to Bush and McCain’s voting history and policy are right vs wrong not left vs right.

    At some point, things are no longer partisan matters, and these neocons have won this negative attention by going beyond their rightful place and thus alienating both left and legitimate right.

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