Well the conventions are over and done with for another Presidential election cycle. I sure feel a lot more enlightened, don’t you?
I know now that Hillary Clinton is a liar, crooked, corrupt, and has no significant accomplishments in her professional political life.
I am more recently aware of the fact that Donald Trump is a racist, homophobe, anti-Islamic, anti-migrant, and a failed businessman.
The Republican convention and Democrat convention which followed spent most of its time demonizing the opponent in this Fall’s Presidential election. And while I know many who are reading this now will openly and frequently say they HATE Clinton or they HATE Trump or the HATE both of them, I would ask you to consider your faith, or the faith that you claim to possess.
Are the descriptions I wrote about Trump and Clinton accurate? True? Like most people these negative characterizations are possibly true to some people and not true to others. It’s like those grainy cell phone videos of police shootings that we’ve all seen. Maybe half this country see’s police acting irresponsibly and abusing and sometimes killing innocent individuals. Different people seeing the exact same video see a potential criminal suspect resisting arrest and in doing so threatening the law enforcement officers; and in the natural progression of things being man-handled or shot. As much as you see one side, you have to acknowledge that others see the other side. And so we have conflict.
I am not a fan of Trump or Clinton. I don’t think either is nearly as bad as their detractors claim. I don’t know who I’m going to vote for. I’m leaning toward voting for the Libertarian ticket with former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and his Vice-Presidential nominee former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld.
But as I contemplate my choice and try to sway some toward my way of thinking I am constantly amazed how our “Christian” nation continually forgets the main tenants of our faith. The message from Jesus over and over and over again in our Bible is LOVE.
We’ve all heard it whether you’re Christian or not, “A new commandment I give you is to Love one another…” John 13:34. It’s important to note that Jesus didn’t say “Love one another…unless the other guy is part of a different political party”. You, of course, will say “but how can I love Hillary, she lies. And her lies offend me”. Fortunately, Jesus once again has you covered. He said, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” JOHN 8:7. Have you ever lied? Have you lied repeatedly in your life? Have you been caught for doing so? Now…here is the real tough question…have you ever been perpetually in the national spotlight under the hot lamps of scrutiny like Hillary Clinton has been for more than 25 years and lied and been caught? The answer is no. You haven’t. In fact few have in our nations history.
It’s easy to see that Jesus was telling us to not be hypocrites. But he was also telling us not to judge others. Love one another. But again you say, “I can’t love Trump. He is so vulgar. I think he’s a racist”. Well, Jesus hits back at us with Matthew 7:1 “Judge not. Or you will be judged”. Its seems he’s pretty consistent.
And when friends and even family members harangue you for your political affiliations remember what Jesus told Peter about the brother who repeatedly did wrong. Peter asked Jesus how many times should I forgive him? Seven times? Christ again demonstrates his endless capacity for love and responds, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:22. (That’s 490 times for the math challenged. Though I doubt Jesus was being literal)
Forgetting what our faith teaches us over and over and over and over again in this life…happens. It happens when Democrats advocate for a woman’s right to choose an abortion at any time in a pregnancy. Their forgetting that another’s life is what’s being chosen. And what does the Bible say about that? Well there’s Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17. But Jesus himself said it as well,“You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony” Matthew 19:18. In fairness a lot of Republicans advocate for abortion as well. If Christian, they too have forgotten, or chosen to ignore what else Jesus said, “You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.” Matthew 5:21. And again, Republicans and Democrats are constantly forgetting the LOVE commandment with angry retorts to whatever the other says. The very next verse applies to all of us, Matthew 5:22.
Never in the history of Presidential elections have two more agitating and controversial candidates vied for the most power job in the world. And instead of the best they each seem to bring out the worst in our fellow Americans; which is good enough reason for me to seriously consider Gary Johnson. But it’s my prayer that we can all quickly realize, if you’re Christian, remember your faith’s teaching! The Bible, and Jesus doesn’t call them teachings. He calls them commandments! Or if you’re Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Agnostic, or Atheist we’re all Americans and above that we’re all humans. Life for you and your neighbors will be so much better if we disagree, agreeably, and remember to LOVE one another. “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.” Mark 12:31
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