let the healing begin

Good morning.  Happy Monday.

It appears that the most viewed and discussed item on my blog thus far is the American Naivete piece from last week. So I thought I’d offer a deeper inspection of one segment.

In the piece, I mentioned the political climate.  One could make an argument that the particular era in which we exist is the most politically charged and/or negative in history.  One could also make the argument our political climate is so awash in political correctness that we are afraid to say anything we actually mean for fear of reprisal.  I tend to think it’s a little of both…

I grew up in solidly conservative, but very thoughtful and practical, intellectual environment.  Mom, from a working-class family of yellow-dog-democrats, dad from a working class family of limited-government-republicans.  They met while each pursued Political Science degrees from the University of Colorado (not exactly a bastion of conservative thought) and worked in journalism until dad got his law degree.

When I was still quite young, dad went into politics, so I’ve been involved (tagging along canvasing neighborhoods, handing out fliers, being in political radio and tv ads, being in interviews and around them, going to the caucuses and the state conventions, et al)  So I’ve seen it for a long time – close to 30 years.

In that time I’ve seen a lot of reactionary thinking and action.  But at home in conversations with my parents, and thoughtful folks like them, I always received balance.  My parents did a fantastic job of teaching me how to see both sides of an argument, and thus the perspective of the people on both sides of the discussion.

With that in mind I offer one small piece of wisdom.  It is vitally important, in matters of faith, politics, etc., to remain open to people.  It is perfectly appropriate to critique a mode of thought, a political ideology, a candidates views or record, a particular philosophical viewpoint on governance.  In other words, ideas, systems, ideologies & matters of record are all firmly on the table of discourse.

However, people, their hearts, candidate’s families, their intellectual capacity or lack thereof, ought to be strictly off the table.

In other words, it’s of the utmost importance, if we have any sort of hope for a shared future, a reconciled America, or a functional community, to respect one another enough to be kind.  We can always disagree, although it’s been said that critique is the lowest form of intellectual activity.  It’s easy to find holes in a system or set of ideas, what’s difficult – and more worth the effort – is to find ways to come together to patch those holes.

It is in this coming together to solve problems that we can be and are at our best.  Unity, is not afterall a goal to be sought after, but a natural biproduct of having a singular purpose.  If our goal is honestly to make our nation, and our communities better, and not simply to bash the other party, then the unity part comes naturally if we’ll let it.


4 thoughts on “let the healing begin

  1. Well said my friend.

    I have been called a flip flopping prig, and worse these last few days from people IN OUR CHURCH. I got called that for reminding them that now is our time to be humble, to listen to Titus and his words, and to remember Proverbs 12:1 in all things. They automatically imply meaning that I am campaigning for “the other guy.”

    I am profoundly disappointed at how vigorous evangeligal though is not lately. It used to be that to be an evangelical meant you brought everything in your world view into captivity of the bible. Now, we are just a marketing segment and Republicans. Nothing more, but so much less then what we should be.

    The church is now being called into a posture of humility. We must stop, listen, and proceed as God would lead. No more politics, no more in fighting. We can no longer afford to be dis unified as God’s people.

  2. “Unity is not a goal to be sought after, but the natural biproduct of a singular purpose. ”
    – Brandon Shupp

    HERE HERE. Very well said. I’d like to order 10 t-shirts with that on it.

  3. Fully agreed, Brandon. We love people; not always their ideas, values, and political stances…especially if we feel they are at odds with Christ’s heart. We have the opportunity now to teach our kids how we respect, honor and pray for a man with whom we fully disagree.
    In our home as well, politics as they relate to our faith in Christ Jesus is a much talked about subject with our children (8 and 4). I think only good can come out of openness and exploration like that in the home. We certainly don’t want the discussion to be led elsewhere (ie: our child’s school where Obama stickers were being handed out by a teacher)…it comes from us, initially. That is how you build a child’s foundation.

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