Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. – Colossians 3:9-11
I typically try to avoid ranting in this space with respect to politics. But, once in a while, I consider it a matter of conscience to say at least something, especially when it is politics that misrepresents Jesus. But before I do I want to make a few things clear:
- I vote my conscience, not party affiliation.
- I have friends who are – ideologically – both far to my left and far to my right. I respect their views.
- I believe it is perfectly fine for people to disagree in politics and religion.
- I disagree with myself frequently, and I’m open to changing my mind in response to the ongoing learning-curve that defines a thinking Christian.
- We all have much to learn.
Attacking the Fourth Estate:
That said, I was appalled and offended yesterday by a mailing that came from the so-called Faith & Freedom Coalition. The deceptive and manipulative letter (interestingly timed to mirror the Sinclair Broadcast Group’s recent attack aimed at less conservative news outlets) looks like part of a coordinated move designed to compromise the First Amendment and abridge the freedom of the press.
The freedom of the press – “The Fourth Estate” – is a critical element of a free society.
What seems to be a constant in this sort of action (utilized in religious bullying too) is the tendency to demonize others rather than promoting a useful point of view themselves. It reminds me of the tactics employed by fascists, who sent out brownshirts to beat up political opponents, or systematically criticize and tear down institutions designed to hold executive power in check, because it is more effective than thoughtful debate and allowing people to decide on their own.
The first line of The freedom coalition’s mailer is telling: “The dishonest news media and the radical anti-Christian Left…” The letter goes on to say – among other things – that, “The anti-Christian, anti-freedom left want to erase America’s borders so we no longer have a country… (they) want to eliminate Christianity… (they) want America to be governed by the United Nations, not our Constitution… and (they) don’t want to make America great again because they don’t think America ever was great….”
These things are simply not true – they are designed to promote fear and mistrust.
Don’t lie in the name of Christianity!
Now listen carefully: I have no problem with points of view I may not agree with. What I do object to is demagoguery (the art and practice of gaining power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people) – and I object to the falsehood that Christianity lines up with the faith and freedom coalition’s nationalistic, jingoistic, inflammatory propaganda – and I strongly object to the idea that opposing Donald Trump’s policies – or opposing the president on moral grounds – makes a person anti-Christian, anti-freedom, and/or anti-America.
I have news for the faith and freedom coalition – what you seem to be promoting is anything but Christian!
If there’s anything that would offend Jesus right now it is more likely the contention that rolling America back to the 1950’s would be a Christian ideal. That would only be “great” if you miss segregation, if you yearn for a return to the day women were kept home and in the kitchen, and if you like withholding access to equal rights from anyone who is different (blacks, immigrants, LBGTQ individuals, women).
That’s not a Christian agenda. Here’s what a Christian in American should look like:
- passionate about following Jesus;
- committed to justice for the poor, the immigrant, the underprivileged;
- demonstrating a spirit of welcome;
- turning the other cheek;
- loving our enemy;
- feeding the hungry….
The problem with misrepresenting Christianity to gain votes is that people eventually believe their own lies, and instead of serving God’s children they end up serving themselves.
So I’d like to take a stand for Jesus and against the misrepresentation of his name.
So I’d like to take a stand for Jesus and against the misrepresentation of his name. There are good people both to the right and to the left, and this kind of demagoguery does nothing but weaken the foundation we all stand on.
So stop it already! DEREK