The last few weeks have given me another reason to kind of hate politics in America. I mean, I find the system fascinating, and certainly would prefer to live here than many other countries. I’ll talk politics with you, and think the conversation is interesting. But mostly, I think that in the last several years, the political system has become a circus, with each side competing to see who can be least like the other side, as if that were the sole purpose of being elected to office. And in the end, both sides end up looking a lot alike, to me, just with different slogans or pet causes.
Anyway, what has angered me in the last week is the way that, once again, the Republican agenda is assumed to be the Christian agenda. You saw it, right? Republicans and Christians flocking to Chick-Fil-A to support…something. Family values? First amendment rights? Jesus? And a company made a lot of money, and a man in political office felt really powerful because he called them all to action.
Now, I’m not saying I think that if you went to Chick-Fil-A on that day, that you were wrong, necessarily. That kind of depends on the motivation of your heart, which I obviously can’t know. But I do think that, as Christians, we need to think a lot harder before we jump on some political bandwagon that may even tout pseudo-biblical rhetoric, because honestly? Things can get very confusing very quickly, when you assume that because you believe the bible says homosexuality is wrong and the founder of CFA says he believes it too, that means you should go buy waffle fries?! The Republican party is not a Christian party. It is a secular, political force that is concerned with its own good and survival and triumph. Any person can certainly decide to be a Republican, or a Democrat. I myself have some conservative beliefs as well as some liberal beliefs (which, let me tell you, really complicates election day). But if you are a Christian, your political beliefs must always, always, submit themselves to the higher allegiance you have to Jesus and to his kingdom…which is not a political kingdom, as he made very clear when he refused to be crowned king.
Christians don’t need to be in power in order for God to have his way in the world. In fact, historically, when institutionalized Christianity gained massive political power, things have gone fearfully awry. We need to be less concerned with political agendas and power, and more concerned with the gospel, and with loving people. I’m not sure how Chick-Fil-A Day showed love to anyone that was a person. Who cares whether a corporation feels loved? Completely irrelevant, in biblical and gospel terms, and worse than irrelevant, potentially harmful.
So please, Christians, Republicans and Democrats alike, please think before you swallow the agendas of political parties that in reality have very little to do with your highest allegiance. I’m glad so many people are politically active. I just wish that we Christians could mobilize so effectively for a cause that might be nearer to the heart of the gospel, rather than the heart of a political agenda in election year.