Leave it to facebook to ask the deep questions in life…For example, when you set up your account it asks you things like: Religion Views & Political Views. I struggled there, because I don’t have a word that I can use, or a box I can fit into. I also don’t have a lot of freedom to just put it out there… all me questions, all my thoughts, all my views and theories and cynicism and idealism. So I settled on this…
Religious Views: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control. (Those lovely fruits of the spirit, you really can’t go wrong)
Political Views: world peace, equality, social justice (again, who really can disagree)
Here is the thing with labels… I could say Christian, but I don’t even know what that means anymore. To some people it means going to church every Sunday. To others it means, being in a Bible study, or praying a certain prayer. To some it means believing Jesus died for your sins. (well I think it is fair to say that is the cornerstone of Christianity). Some say it means hate gay people, Muslim people, foreign people… and if not hate, it means at least let them know they are wrong. And living a life against what the Bible says. And others feel it means holding others accountable for their sins. Which really means judging them (isn’t there something about a speck and a plank in the Bible… (18 years of Christian Ed people… I know it all). Some people use Christianity to defend their right to discriminate. To decide they know what is best for all people in the world (and if not the world at least the USA).
I could also say I am a Democrat, or a Socialist, or even a Communist (funny how I would label myself a Communist before a Republican). But again, politics are politics and I can praise every word Cory Booker says, and I can support President Obama and I can relish in the idea of health insurance for all people and fight for the end of capital punishment, but, I know, when push comes to shove, politics is big money fighting for their perks. And no matter how idealistic I can be, I cannot say that I fit any mold. If I had to vote, it would be for a Socialist party, but again, there is really no option to even run in that party in this country and regardless we all know, the only person who will ever win will be one of the two parties.
So I hold strong. And I will make it simple. My religion is love. My politics is love. Because you really cannot go wrong with love. Someone once said “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. (again, that Christian education at work). But here is the thing. Love does not talk about politics or laws. It does not talk about judgment or one person knowing what is right for other people. It does not say “use the Bible to defend your point of view and judge others” nor does it say “Use the Bible to defend my point of view and judge those who judge others” (cause lets face it, I love to judge those who judge).
Love says love. If we could love, we would not need political parties or boarders. If we could authentically love we would not need a supreme court and lobbyists. It is the most simple and perfect idea, yet we put conditions on it. We put rules around it. We define what love can really be.
I will continue to fight and support for what I believe is right. So I cannot expect anyone not to do the same. But I need to check myself when I start judging and discriminating those who disagree with me. Because that is just plain hypocrisy. I will continue to cringe at the label of “Christian” because there is so much hatred and discrimination hiding behind that label that I am terrified to be associated with it.
But what I will do is do my best to Love. Love those who are different than me. Love those who make, what I think are, bad choices. And love those who I feel are hating, or hurting or discriminating, or hiding, or scared. That is really the only think I can say for sure. The only thing I have 100% confidence in. It is hard and I will fail every day, but I know the answer is love. And all I can do is try, every second of everyday.
I will leave you with these two thoughts: