The Lie of Politics

By

I fell for it again these last few weeks. And it hurt more people than I wish to admit.

You see, I’ve never voted. Not once. I don’t really care to get caught up in this person or that candidate. I find the notion silly that everything has to be pared down to only two options and neither have ever been that intriguing as long as I’ve been alive. Plus it always seems to divide and I have more interest in the day to day needs of the immediate world around me than to get caught up in Washingtonian debates.

Yet this year is different. Excitement (or fear) is in the air more than ever before. Where in previous years, nobody would bother talking about politics, now this year everyone is talking about it. My conservative parents are concerned about their liberal son. Friends and family are taking up the cause of the economy, the war, immigration and so forth. It’s not just a heightened awareness, but rather an emotional cacophony of concern and protest.

I fell for it. I have my favorite candidate. I have those candidates that I truly cannot stand. I have read more books on politics in the last few months than my previous 31 years of life (of course, that’s not fair to count years 0 – 8 since the Hardy Boys held my interest during those formative years). I daily check my international news blogs and sites since I don’t trust our American media. I nurture endless conspiracy theories in my head and try to build my case against ‘the other side.’

Then I unleash that torrent on other people. I take pride in my own stance and scoff at the platforms of others. In my mind there is a clear way to see things and if you don’t agree with me, then I believe ‘you’ve been duped’ by media or political spin tactics and the like. And, ultimately, unless you’re with me, then you’re against me.

The worst part is that, in this process, I have lost the ability to love. I don’t love my neighbor. I make fun of my neighbor. I don’t get to know my brother. I stand in shock of my brother’s beliefs. I have allowed concepts and ideals and issues to take the place of loving and serving and geniune relationship.

And I hate it.

The worst moment came when I received a ridiculous forward. I hate email forwards as it is, but this one struck a major nerve – much more so than the dancing bear who tells me to hug 10 people today. It was some notion about Obama being a closet muslim just wanting to take over our country by deceiving the masses. It was a “this guy is the Anti-Christ” email and I flipped.

I made sure I wrote back the entire list rather than just this girl. And I trashed her. I totally trashed her. I wrote over-the-top remarks about how she was uneducated and simply propagating fear and political rhetoric. I told her she needed to think before she spoke and that she was irresponsible and childish and naive and that her candidate was the one to fear.

In the end, I spoke harm to her instead of love. I spoke death to her instead of life, and I looked like an ass when I did it.

Endless people wrote back berating me for writing what I did and the way that I did it. And I knew it. I knew I had embraced mere principles over the humanity around me. And I knew that’s the very opposite of what Jesus calls us to do.

The truth is that there is no hope in principles or issues. There is no hope in politics, world leaders, policies or government. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ candidate. There is only the hope of Jesus Christ. The only thing that remains is the grassroots gospel of a new humanity of people loving and serving and giving their lives so that God might increase and be known to others as they do so.

My prayer for myself and my brothers and sisters is that we don’t forget that this political season. In the panic of the economy, the war and our country’s future, I hope that we never let go of the person next to us for the sake of grabbing onto an ideal or a party ticket. It’s only in this way that our light will shine for the next couple months.

Profile photo of Matt Conner

Matt Conner is a freelance writer and music journalist. As the founding pastor of The Mercy House, he led a church community for more than six years in intense community development across racial and socio-economic lines. As a writer, he’s interviewed thousands of musicians for multiple print and web-based publications.


50 Comments

  1. Aaron Roughton

    Matt, after the open and honest nature of your post, along with the reasonable way in which you seem to consider multiple viewpoints, I’ve determined that you will never, ever, ever have a successful career in politics.

  2. Dusty

    Matt, I’m glad that I’m not the only one tired of hearing abusive ad-homonyms during this political season. And I too must admit that I’ve been overly harsh over the past few months against my brothers and sisters who are more supportive of particular party lines than myself, to the point of causing division and strained relationships. Even my mom got mad at me the other day because I don’t share her enthusiasm about Sarah Palin. Its helpful to be reminded that our call as believers is to love people as they are not try and change them or cause unnecessary division. Thanks for the post it is definitely timely.

  3. Bret Welstead

    “I hope that we never let go of the person next to us for the sake of grabbing onto an ideal or a party ticket.”

    Absolutely right!

    I’ve got friends who need to read this, and to be honest I needed to read it, too. Just this morning, our church staff prayed together that no matter what politics we gravitate towards, we are followers of Christ; we are family.

    God help us give grace to each other, help us to not be divided by our differences but unified in Christ.

  4. Nathan Bubna

    For a number of years now, i’ve had the growing conviction that our politics are so divisive in part because of the two party system. I feel it encourages us vs. them mentalities, a focus on personalities rather than issues, and an overwhelming tendency to ignore similarities in the rush to debate differences.

    I know politics will always be about power and popularity until Christ takes up the throne on earth. I know we can’t fix it totally or put our hope in it. Democracy is the worst sort of government, except for all the others. But i do think we could improve our system somewhat.

    It wouldn’t get rid of rancor or divisiveness, but i honestly feel the best long-term thing i can do with my vote is support the third parties. It just seems wrong to support a system that insists year after year on pretending that the complex issues faced by a government of a diverse population can be boiled down to two platforms or two candidates. I can’t help but think that having more voices/parties on the national stage would help people to get of this simplistic “our guy” vs “your guy”.

    And as much as anything, i’m tired of just voting for the lesser evil.

  5. Profile photo of Matt Conner

    Matt Conner

    @mattconner

    Darcyjo – Yes, I wrote an apology to the girl soon thereafter. Although next time you can call me Matt instead of brother, since that brings up bad televangelist memories. But good call on a proper response.

  6. Matt

    “They’re wrong, they’re not bad, just wrong.” Rich Mullins said this about 80s televangelists, but I have found it helpful in political disagreements. It boils down to a difference of opinion. The difference happens to be about running the world, which many take very seriously, but in view of the temporary and broken nature of that world I have decided that opinions on running it are not worth frustration or anger.

  7. Nate

    I think I almost completely disagree with you. Now I think what you did was wrong. But it seems to have more to do with controlling the tongue, with speaking truth in love, with being gentle – a fruit of the spirit – and not harsh.

    These things, by the way, are all things that I struggle with.

    It seems that politics was the catalyst that set off these sinful tendencies that are deep within our flawed natures. But that doesn’t make politics bad. That doesn’t make any candidate or platform bad or wrong.

    The problem seems to be something far different than politics. Throw politics out the window and the problem would still be there. I totally feel where you are coming from where it concerns gentleness, love and patience, because, like I said, I struggle with these things as much as anyone. But I do not think politics are evil because you lashed out at an email forwarder.

    There is such a thing as social justice and its administration. I think that as Christians we should be the first to be concerned about our societies and the “feel” of the morality that is being practiced. We shouldn’t just turn our noses up at it because it makes us mad sometimes. I think there is a proper understanding and it is not politics are bad so lets never vote. After all, we are the only ones with an objective truth to base things on. We can’t expect people outside the church to have a proper understanding when they aren’t informed by scripture.

    How to sort through the issues and apply Christian “principles” may not be easy, but is not something we should run from. Our government is (in theory) a representative democracy, so what it does is what we do. The decisions are on us. I think of Ezra who mourned for the sins of his country and wonder why we do not do the same.

    I totally understand where you’re coming from, but think your anger is misplaced.

    On top of all that – forwarded emails? Come on, people shouldnt be doing that. It gets on everyone’s nerves.

    Hear this with a spirit of humility and love, not harsh anger or arrogance. For that is how it is meant. Its hard to communicate “emotions” in writing.

  8. Profile photo of Jason Gray

    Jason Gray

    @jasongray

    Great post, Matt. The truth. Anyone reading this owes it to themselves to read Jim Wallis’ book “God’s Politics: Why the Right Is Wrong and The Left Doesn’t Get It.” Great book that would probably be a good primer for readers here on a biblical view of politics that is a nice alternative to what you may usually hear.

    I was talking with a pastor friend about all of this, and at the end of the day we made it through the Clinton years. We made it through the Reagan years. It looks like we’ll even make it through the Bush years! I’ve been around long enough to have gotten pamphlets on just about every candidate that makes the case for why they may be the anti-christ, or at least how they will bring the reign of the anti-christ about. I’m weary of it and any kind of demonizing. I love how Biden said that he learned early on not to question other’s motives, though he does question their judgement. That was one of the wisest things I’ve heard spoken in any of the debates.

    I think we have to assume that both Obama and McCain are good men who want to lead well, and regardless of who ends up in the white house, God is determined to have His way.

    But I still wish Giuliani and Hillary were the candidates, just for the sheer joy of watching them face off in the debates. Now that would have made politics fun… (this coming from a guy who lives in the state that elected a pro-wrestler as it’s governor.)

    Great post, Matt. Thanks for showing us grace by revealing your need of it.

  9. J

    Politicians will disappoint you. Every one. I try to remember that before deciding that a politician is worth fracturing a relationship.

  10. Taylor Sandlin

    Thanks for sharing Matt.

    Scot McKnight has some great posts on Christians and democratic politics on his blog http://www.Jesuscreed.org. He discusses in various posts how a reasonable, faithful Christian could vote for Obama; in another, how a reasonable, faithful Christian could vote for McCain; in still another, how neither candidate should be the source of our hope for ushering in the kingdom of God; and still in another how it is that we as Christians can hold firmly to our political convictions and yet still call one another brother and sister (in my tradition that still has great meaning and doesn’t make us primarily think of televanglists – though I get where you’re coming from). All in all Scot’s blog is a great example of how Christians can talk politics without being seduced and then divided by them.

  11. James Glass

    I’m suprised that we haven’t heard anything about the 2nd debate from Andrew or Pete yet. After all, it was held in Nashville, and that’s where they are now are they not? Or is it possiable that they don’t care to discuss politics with the blogging community?

  12. Tony Heringer

    Matt,

    I do hope you are voting this time. Your prior “votes” counted too – not voting is a vote in a representative form of government. George Carlin also used to say – “I never vote.” Then he’d go on a rant about government. That was probably one of his funniest routines – albeit very dark humor. Really how can you complain about something you don’t care enough to involve yourself in?

    Whether we find the process to our liking or not U.S. Christians should participate in our government. I think the reason we are in the mess we are in today is that the Church hasn’t done its part in educating its people to vote and participate in government biblically. I’m appreciative of my pastor guiding us not to a particular candidate but to our duties as citizens.

    We should not take this liberty lightly. Our brothers and sisters around the world suffer greatly in repressive regimes—one of which we owe a lot of money too. I think God has granted us this liberty in order to be salt and light to those places.

    Is it easy? No. I’d say it is impossible for us but not for God. So, consider your vote in this and every election. This is especially true for local races. A single vote in those races can really be a “swing vote.”

    I’d also say don’t just limit this participation to a single election or just voting. Check out books like the one Jason mentioned. Ask God to show you what it means to be a good citizen as that is yet another way to love our neighbors and even our enemies.

  13. Jesse D.

    I’m trying to decide for whom, or whether, I should vote this year. I’m completely in agreement with Matt in the respect that I believe hope placed in politics is hope misplaced, and that there are worse things a person can do than vote.

    The political system as it exists is completely corrupt, making mincemeat of any candidate’s conscience in the demands of campaigning. As such, I wonder if I should support anyone who aspires to hold such an office, knowing what that person must do to obtain the office. The lies and distortions required, the deliberate tearing down of all opponents, the embracing of principles simply because of the political expediency of them. The position of president requires a candidate to sacrifice all beliefs in order to attain it. What, then, is left once they do? How can a person strip him/herself of all principle while campaigning, then pick it up again intact once sworn in? It’s possible, I suppose,but not likely.

    So I don’t know if I’ll be voting this year, since I’m convinced that much of what both McCain and Obama say they are simply espousing to get into office. By voting I feel that I would be endorsing an immoral, unjust system that requires sin in order to succeed.

  14. Arthur Alligood

    Matt in a way I kind of admire you. I agree that responding to the forward in such a way was probably not the best route. However, I think it is great you feel so strongly for one candidate/platform. I feel like I am stuck somewhere in the vast country called the middle. I don’t seem to be able to make a choice. I feel the importance of the decision, but I still can’t bring myself to make one. Can I write your name in?

  15. whipple

    My friend Andy and I usually discard the issue of politics when it comes to our conversations. He’s a card-carrying member of the ACLU (and I hope he brings some balance to their table), and I’m more of a mind that the solution to the immigration issue begins with me (in Knoxville, Tennessee) learning Spanish or Korean. The energy issue begins with me insulating my house and riding my bike to work. The world food hunger crisis begins with me sharing food with my neighbors. I have to worry about these things before I decide about the jots and tittles of documents on the Resolute Desk.

    I don’t really know whether that’s Federalist or Republican or Communist or something else. I’m not sure I make a very good -ist.

  16. Profile photo of Matt Conner

    Matt Conner

    @mattconner

    arthur, we could vote for each other and then we could say for sure that we know we have each received a vote for the president of the united states of america! That’s one of those “I can cross this off my bucket list” things right?

    No, I’m not that excited about one particular candidate. It’s that I distinctly don’t like the other. And therein lies the primary issue that there’s not a better amount of selections.

    It’s funny that I can have my iPod in one of 20 colors and of 4 sizes – so basically I have 80 different iPods (or literally hundreds or thousands of other mp3 player combos), but I can only choose one of two World Leaders. 🙂

    So I vote for Arthur who will make it All Good. (You have the perfect political name). I was with my inlaws this weekend in Columbus and a guy there is running for judge with a last name of Dingus. “Bring Us Dingus” is the slogan. Um… er….

  17. little tikes

    It’s funny how you subtly outed yourself as an Obama supporter. It’s not funny that you’re a pastor that claims to be educated on the issues, but yet you support someone who is 100% committed to the greatest injustice in the history of the world, abortion on demand.

  18. little tikes

    Maybe not the history of the world, but certainly the worst thing ever allowed by our federal government.

  19. Colleen Cooper

    Matt, I must say that I do agree with you but there are some differences…
    I love sending the emails that are in good taste but are poking fun at the candidate that I am not voting for…
    My friends asked me yesterday if I had watched the last debate and were shocked when I said no…my response was this:
    “I already know who is getting my vote. I have a life, a young child and a home business…they have to keep going while the race is still being run. My life goes on while the two duke it out verbally. It WILL NOT SWAY my vote so why watch?” Lame but true. I don’t need to waste 3+ hours watching somethimg that already took my attention from the beginning.

    And then I’ll just say these two things and leave it alone:
    1. Great, great blog!!!
    2. McCain/Palin 08! (heehee)

  20. Arthur Alligood

    Matt now that you mention it I do have a great political name. I could put all the high school jokes to work for my campaign.(People always used to say as I entered a room, “Its All Good!” It drove me up the wall.)

    On a slightly different note I wrote a song for those like me who are still undecided. Its called “Obama Mama” and it is ridiculous, but you should still probably check it out. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLu9zFXqzzY

    So, how bout Litte Tikes?

  21. Darcyjo

    Matt, it’s good to hear you did the right thing. So many of us don’t have the courage to do that, y’know?

  22. paul h

    I have fallen under the “feeding frenzy” of this election more than other elections. One day while talking with my Dad (well debating really) I got this sick in the gut feeling like something was wrong. Then, somewhere inside me I heard. “You are not of this world”… …”Be on your guard and occupy until I come”… wow.

    Did Christ or the disciples or Paul get all worked up over the politics of their day? I don’t know it is barely mentioned in the Word, so I could only speculate. I have a feeling that, no, they didn’t. They let the world do what it is they are going to do. I need to be doing what God asked of me which is to love him with all my heart, and live as a testimony to the Salvation gift I have received.

    We as believers do know one thing: This world will pass away. the goverments, cultures, civilizations, and politics all of it is temporary.

    I came across a quote from Thomas A’Kempis about a month or so ago, that is fast becoming my life’s motto:
    “Use the temporal things; Desire the eternal things”

    So I have decided to pull away from voting. If anything I may write in “The Lord Jesus Christ”. Either way, God said He appoints every authority so I leave that up to Him.

  23. Richard

    I hate the idea that we have to vote for Obama or McCain. I hate it and I reject it. I’ll be voting next month, and it won’t be for either of them.

  24. Dave

    Not that this is important to the discussion, but Dingus headquarters is about 4 doors down from my house. 🙂

  25. Tony Heringer

    Paul H,

    Don’t pull away from the process – engage it! The apostles and even Jesus used and understood the politics of their day. When tempted to thwart the “Temple Tax” Jesus literally fishes out some change for He and Peter. When tested over who He would submit to, Jesus employed some humor by having his inquisitors pull out a Roman coin. “Righteous” Jews in Jesus day didn’t like to handle Roman money so they had their own coins minted (at least that is the story I’ve heard I’ll let Ron Block fact check me). Jesus even tells folks to obey the Pharisees because they sit in the seat of Moses. In the book of Acts Paul calls upon his Roman citizenship and you see the apostles working within the framework of their government.

    Why? Because all authority in heaven and earth is derived from one source: God Almighty—Maker of Heaven and Earth. How engaged we become is something the Spirit should be leading us into; not just jumping on the bandwagon of some particular ideology.

    We may take action in the form of civil disobedience. History is replete with Christians who have “spoken truth (or The Truth) to power.” But not all of us are called to act in the manner of Wilberforce or MLK or Mother Theresa. We may just be good citizens living lives that beg the question – “Why are you so hopeful in such a hopeless world?”

    My brothers and sisters, in and of ourselves we can’t change a thing. However, our Savior said by faith we can move mountains. I’m convinced that the Church in America can make an impact for the right reasons. Those reasons would be the same reasons that Jesus gave in synagogue one Saturday:

    “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me,
    because He has anointed Me
    to preach good news to the poor.
    He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
    to release the oppressed,
    to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

    The Church in America needs to recover this focus: proclaiming the Gospel to the oppressed. Whether it be financial, emotional, physical, or spiritual. Our government has given us a “level playing field” for the propagation of the Gospel — the Truth that sets men and women free.

    Tiny Tikes,

    I concur with your passion for the unborn, and that is one reason I am Republican. However, there are ample reasons to vote Democrat as well. I can see how a Christian could land in either party and I can also see how Christians can land in no party (similar to denominations within the Christian church.). What I can’t see is taking no action at all when we have such tremendous freedom here as opposed to many places around the world.

    Also, be careful about “demonizing” an opponent. An easy way to avoid this is developing positive relationships with folks with different worldviews — political and otherwise. Not that we can’t have enemies – Jesus was clear that we are to love our enemies. Implicit in that statement is the fact that we will have enemies. Otherwise, He would just say “love everybody” or “everybody just get along.” Speaking of which…

    Matt,

    You are adept at stirring of the kettle my friend. We may have divergent political views, but I love you as my brother. Keep up the great work and don’t forget to vote – ever. 🙂

  26. Profile photo of Andrew Peterson

    Andrew Peterson

    @andrew

    Amen, Tony.

    You have to vote. If you’re not crazy about the two main candidates, then vote for someone else. But VOTE.

    That’s all I have to say about that.

  27. Andy Vandergriff

    matt-

    i think i would have had a strong temptation to act as you did, especially considering my leftist tendencies(the aforementioned aclu membership, my campaign contribution to Obama, and my fairly Democratic voting history), and my love for knowledge and truth, which i believe is a product of both my faith in Christ, and his gifting to me. I find it very frustrating that some of us as Christians do not seek the true thing, but instead blindly accept lies and distortions of the truth so easily and readily, especially when the records are both easily accessible, and easily understood.

  28. Tony Heringer

    Thanks Barliman (Forrest?). By the way I noticed a sign for your alma mater off of 1-85 on the way to the Atlanta airport today – Cherie is off to Vermont to spend the week-end with some of her girlfriends from UT. I’d never heard of the school until you mentioned it in concert.

  29. becky

    “I have more interest in the day to day needs of the immediate world around me than to get caught up in Washingtonian debates.”

    The problem I have with this statement is that Washingtonian debates can profoundly affect the day to day lives of the people around you. The current economic situation is one example of this. I dislike political speaches as much as the next person, but I think it is a mistake to ignore the impact of government on individuals, and not take advantage of the gift God has given us of having a say–however small–in what our government does. It is a gift that many in the world would, and do, die for.

    One of the blessings of democracy is that we have legal, non-violent avenues for pursuing change if we are not happy with the status quo. So, if you are not happy with the system, or what the government is doing, shouldn’t you make use of the resources for change that are available to you? One of those resources is voting.

  30. Seth Ward

    I enjoyed that Matt. I feeeeeel you there. Just yesterday I dropped a particularly barbed and nasty comment on someone’s blog and felt like total dogcrap after. Something about this here election has brought out the Darwin-man in me more than any other.

    If I’m not one-upping someone in a standoff, I’m beaten. What the heck-fire has come over me? I’m an artist, not a politician! Pass the peanuts.

    Blessed are the peacemakers, Seth.

    Thanks for your honesty and for sharing that. I needed to hear it!

  31. Autumn

    So many responses to this brief blog! Just to piggyback on Becky’s comments, the mere fact that this discussion is taking place in a public forum is evidence of the freedom that we are so blessed to have. Regardless of your political standing, as Christians we have all the power to make a difference. Our voice has been stilled for too long as we have succumb to the relativism of our society. Separation of Church and State gives us the ability to be involved. It keeps the government out of our business but certainly doesn’t prevent us from being in the government’s business! If we – the Church – were doing the job God had intended, we wouldn’t need to rely on the government to establish public welfare, fix poverty, and even regulate abortion. We simply need a government to secure and maintain our freedoms so that we – the people of God – can do the work of Jesus Christ (though we’re still called to that purpose regardless of our freedoms).

    So vote! And if you can’t decide, then vote the candidate who best secures our country and our freedoms.

  32. Benjamin Wolaver

    I understand your point, Matt. Certainly love should be our foundation and our constant response. I’m reminded of when Jesus rebuked John and James for wanting to call down fire on those who rejected Him.

    But I think that everyone should be aware of the times in which we live and not hide away. Jesus said that an evil and adulterous generation would fail to recognize the times. I think, in many ways, that the utter confusion reigning today is because of a deep seated evil that has taken root in Western society.

    The media loves to say that every election is different. I believe this one is. I believe that the world, as it stands, is on a precipice. We see it in the plunging birth rates that will soon make Europe unrecognizable. We see it in the terror movement that threatens the stability of the Middle East. We see it in the financial crisis that could leave many countries in shambles. America may recover, but what of those less resilient?

    We do not battle against flesh and blood, Paul said. That means we shouldn’t focus on the evil in other humans, but on the evil forces that guide their actions.

    But make no mistake: God has an opinion on everything. He has to because all wisdom is found in Him. We might not be privy to that knowledge, but we must strive to attain it. Paul’s great wish for the Ephesians was that they might know the will of God perfectly in order to follow it.

    It’s too easy to say that everybody is wrong. Sure everybody is wrong on something, but on a single issue, there is only one right answer.

    Schiavo, Gonzalez, and even this financial crisis, were all moments when people were literally going crazy. But they weren’t going crazy over nothing. People never go crazy about nothing. That may seem like a hard claim to back up, but in the end it’s true. Even the wackiest cults are not obsessed with nothing. Bondage and Freedom have no middle ground.

  33. s.d. smith

    Amen Tony, Andrew.

    We should vote, and we shouldn’t have to be told to. I too think that we have a responsibility to govern wisely, to hire the best people. In America, the believer’s role is not that of obedient subject, bit of wise steward. We are in charge (along with everyone else who votes). We get the government we deserve (unless God is merciful), which is terrifying.

    Therefore it’s at least partially our fault if we elect those to govern us who champion the killing of small, human kids. Do vote, and don’t get your info from stupid e-mail forwards or from only those who are in the tank for one side only. But taking sides when a lot is on the line is not wrong. Just read (the Word of God especially) and pray and love and hope in the Lord. Don’t confuse a temporary, useful and morally righteous co-belligerence with the Kingdom of God.

  34. whipple

    Does anybody remember the time when we didn’t speak of who it was we were going to vote for? It used to be considered bad form to even ask. Not to say that the present discussion is in bad form (far, far from it), but the general propensity towards one candidate/party or another feels a bit more militant than it used to.

  35. Aaron Roughton

    “If we – the Church – were doing the job God had intended, we wouldn’t need to rely on the government to establish public welfare, fix poverty, and even regulate abortion.”

    Amen. Thanks Autumn.

    And by the way, I feel like I’m listening to Mr. Subliminal from Saturday Night Live when I read these posts. “Let God lead you to the best candidate (McCain), whoever that might be (McCain), because God has a plan for us (McCain) and I don’t want to push you one way or another (McCain).”

  36. Peter B

    Nate, Tony, AP, and Samuel, thank you for saying — in a clear, wise, and humble-yet-urgent way — what I wanted to say.

    We are in the world, though not of it; our inaction is at best irresponsible, and at worst destructive.

    Jesse D, re. the kind of people that get into Presidential politics, that’s a tough call. I can’t deny that you’re right, which may be why my preferred candidate never had a chance (though it’ll be interesting to see how much write-in support he gets, whether he has asked for it or not).

    If people would stop staying “I can’t vote for him/her because he/she is not electable”, then maybe that would no longer be true, eh?

  37. Benjamin Wolaver

    Aaron,

    Funny, I got the sense that over half of those who have posted are leaning Obama. Strange how we can read into things…

    (p.s. I am a McCain supporter)

  38. Aaron Roughton

    Benjamin…I agree with you. I didn’t mean to imply that everyone here was leaning toward McCain. I was just giving a silly example of how it’s pretty clear to see which candidate has been chosen by a poster given the views they present in their posts. Maybe it is just reading into things, but somehow we both drew the same conclusions about the majority of the posts here…

  39. Mark L.

    I really appreciate that comment about speaking life to someone as opposed to speaking harm.

    This post reminds me of when I went to seminary. I hadn’t studied theology very much and I quickly learned that you were either a Calvinist or Armenian. Truthfully, I hated the division that it brought. I overheard a lot of conversations with a lot of viewpoints being promoted and people showing off how much they knew.

    What seemed to be missing was humility and love.

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