Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Right Side

There's been a lot of political talk on the internet lately, and it's been fun (and sometimes infuriating- :P) reading all the different posts and comments. Here's what I've been wondering, though, as I read those comments... Why is it so acceptable in our society to trash Christians and all they stand for? You rarely hear or see people talking about how ridiculous the beliefs of Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, or other faiths are. But it's perfectly okay to belittle, attack, and make fun of the Christian faith. Why does any and every other belief system (including Atheism) deserve a certain level of respect, but mine does not? I'm not allowed to express my faith publicly, but you are allowed to publicly attack it. If I say anything against you and what you believe or support, I'm guilty of "hate speech." You, on the other hand, can call me and all the things I value most every hateful, degrading name in the book. And the funny thing is, you do so while calling me a hypocrite! Seriously?

And as far as the idea that religion has no place in politics? I do not believe it is possible to separate one's beliefs and values from their political views. If you are able to do that, then you must be pretty wishy-washy with your beliefs. If I believe in something with all my heart, then my conscience will not allow me to vote for a political candidate whose beliefs, actions and platforms are in direct opposition to my beliefs. I don't see why that's something to be made fun of. I really don't. Can someone explain it to me? The same people who laud themselves for standing up for what they believe and speaking their minds on issues of importance to them mock me when I do the very same thing. You're convictions are so strongly held that you'll scream them from the rooftops. Great! Mine are so strongly held that I take them with me to the voting booth. What's the dif?

It also seems hypocritical to me, and pretty flippin' amusing, to hear the other guy's loyal minions attacking my political party and its candidates for not having any integrity... Do I really need to bring up some of the dishonest, insincere, indecent, unprincipled snafus of your party? I hope not, because the list is quite long and my fingers will get tired.

The truth is- there are probably not many politicians on either side with much integrity. Even if they come into the process with high ideals and a true desire to change things, I think they are quickly caught up in the corruption and bullcrap that is Washington. I don't hold a very high opinion of politicians and certainly don't trust or believe them, regardless of the party they support. They all have writers crafting the perfectly worded soundbite. They all tell you what you want to hear. They all choose running mates based on who can help manipulate a vote from you. I know I'm cynical and pessimistic, but I've come to believe they are all liars who will say anything to get in, and once they are, they screw us over without losing a minute of sleep. That characteristic seems to have no trouble crossing party line. If you truly believe your guy is sincere, genuine, transparent, and real, then I think you're the one living a fairy tale and believing a myth.

One more thing... If you find my beliefs so laughable because you believe there is no God at all, I hate to tell ya, but you are still a person of faith. You're choosing to believe something you cannot prove or see, just as I am. Only you're taking a much bigger gamble.

13 comments:

Tracy's corner said...

AMEN!!!!!!

Christina said...

Guess it goes without saying that I agree. :-) And it makes me sad to see so many idealistic politicians go to DC and get dragged down into the mud with the rest of them. I'm sure there's a few people of integrity there, but they sure seem to be in the minority.
It bothers me that Christians get so much flack for speaking up in the political arena (or anywhere for that matter), but everytime I start getting upset about it I remember Jesus told us that would happen. Luke6:22-23:
"Blessed are you when men hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets."

Rachel said...

Hi there :) I just wanted to say - as very nicely as possible - that I am an evangelical Christian, and nothing gets me angrier than for others to assume that I go to the voting booth and vote Republican, because nothing could be further from the truth. God does not have a political party. God does not sanction attacking other countries for political or economic power. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and I think God views us as His creation - not pawns in political moves. I think my life-based politics - not abortion-life politics, but LIFE as valued in the health of the mother, the health of those on death row, the heath of individuals across the world that need our aid and do not need our bullets - are perfectly in line with the Bible.
SO...I respect others' choices to vote however they want, because that is our right in America - but I really get upset when pundits on TV assume that evangelical Christians (or women, or blacks) vote as a bloc. Because we don't. :)

P.S. I love your blog and that's why I read it and I hope I haven't offended with my comments!

Nicki said...

Oh geez - how do I respond to so much without writing a novel??!!!

Ok I'll try to keep it short. I agree about the issues of integrity. But if you go back and reread what you wrote in the reverse order does it answer any of your questions? How can you believe so little in the integrity of politicians on all sides but still believe that any of the candidates share your views and plan to carry them out? That seems like a contradiction in terms!

I agree with you that people can not separate their religious ideologies from the rest of their lives. That said, to me as a non-Christian, I find it offending that values of ANY religious affiliation are a part of a *political platform* (to be differentiated from a personal's own way of being). By all means, if you are a strong Christian, walk the walk. But a line is crossed for MANY people when politicians try to thrust christian ideologies on people of other faiths (or even people of same faiths!). There are great politicians who are every bit as Christian as Sarah Palin is and hold God close to their heart just as she does but do not propose to make their religion part of their *political* platform or thrust their beliefs on everyone else through the *law*. I just don't think I'm verbalizing this well but it has far less to do with religious ideologies and far more to do with trying to convert me through the law and politics - a huge turn-off and actually a very big threat for many.

Why don't other religions get the bad rep? Jena wrote a really good post the other day that touched on some of these issues and she said it much better than I ever could. But also very few other religions evangelize the way some Christians do and to me, the louder you preach, the more public your righteousness comes across and the more of a turnoff it is for me. It is unrealistic to assume that those who are screaming the loudest (and very VERY often times not walking the walk to go with it - this would apply to ALL politicians!!!) would or should just be tolerated. I'm sure if Buddhists or atheists or Muslims were also preaching loudly and trying to legislate their own brand of morality that people would be ALL over that sh*t!!! :) I don't think it's a Christian thing - I think it's an evangelizing thing.

Miles' Mama said...

Rachel, I SO agree with you, and well said. I am a Christian, I even work in a church for goodness sake, but that doesn't mean I am automatically a conservative voter. I am not. Michelle, I feel bad that your view of politicians is so cynical: I don't think I live in fantasyland if I choose to believe in the power that an individual can have to change the world, and that individual just might happen to be a politician. Call me an optimist ;)

Michelle said...

Rachel,

No, of course you haven't offended me! I don't expect everyone to agree with me- that's what makes the conversation interesting! And yes, I know God does not have a political party. There are things about the Republican party I despise and things about the Democratic one I like. And thanks, BTW for commenting and adding to the discussion.

And Nicki,

You don't offend me either- :P. I love hearing your opinions. Although we are different as night and day on many things, I love ya. I appreciate what you said about the contradiction in terms, and agree with you. It is a contradiction- I'll give you that one. I guess that while I may not fully trust that a politician sincerely shares my beliefs, I still have to vote for someone. To me, not voting is not an option. In many ways, it's an act of faith to choose a candidate, isn't it? I look at their voting records and HOPE they will follow through on their promises, all the while my cynical side tells me not to expect much. It's not that I believe they are all inherently evil. I just think that once in office, they are pulled in so many different directions- there is pressure coming from all sides. It makes it very difficult to hold onto one's ideals or to keep promises, no matter how sincere they may have started out.

Michelle said...

Anne,

I do believe in one person's ability to make the world a better place. However, when that one person becomes involved in government he (or she) is often corrupted by it. The power they fall into is often used for their own gain, instead of yours and mine. Not always. But often. I think I'm just being realistic in assuming my elected leaders will do things I don't agree with or approve of. They will get into office and be unable, or unwilling, for whatever reason to keep every promise. I love your optimism, though.

Rebecca said...

All I have to say is "Ă„MEN"!!!

P.S. This country was started by Christians--they did not seperate their faith from the country they started (read our money)!

Elaine said...

I don't think you're a cynic. I think you're a realist. My own mother is a low-level politician, and I've even seen it affect her in ways I never thought possible. And I agree with you about the hypocricy of the intolerance of Christianity.

Heidi said...

Sadly, I see an awful lot of bashing of other faiths, including Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism. Even more sadly, it sometimes (maybe even often) comes from people who call themselves Christians.

I have a healthy dose of cynicism too, but I don't believe that every politician is a hypocrite and a liar, any more than I believe that every Catholic priest is a pedophile. That would be the same wide-sweeping prejudice that people who criticize all Christians are guilty of.

Katherine, aka katedrew94 said...

I guess I don't see separating one's faith from politics as wishy washy... I see it as not imposing one's religious beliefs on another person who may or may not share the same viewpoint. I think that's where some people of every religion go wrong- being a bit overzealous with opinions and trying to persuade others to "their" side.

Anonymous said...

I loved your post...gasp...I am a Republican as well and I am proud of it. I certainly do not agree with all Republicans and sometimes I agree with the Democrats but overall, I find the Democrats beliefs do not even come close to lining up with my beliefs as a Christian. I wish you all the best on your adoption...I saw your post on the RMI kids list!

K

kidcuisine said...

Sorry for the late comment--I just found your blog. I agree with you and support your right to be proud to be a Christian and proud to be a Republican. Why do I feel like I'm coming out of the closet?? Rejoice!