I REALLY need to get back to Israel. I keep missing Sunday’s post. And, this one is appropriate for a Sunday in the US.
Anne from the southern US posted a comment, asking an important question. Why, as a Christian, don’t I quote the bible in my posts? Why don’t I discuss the biblical implications of the events and people I comment on?
Believe me when I say that it is a question that I have struggled over. Those of you that know me, know that I am passionate about what I believe.
But, there is a time and place for everything.
It is one of those beliefs that I am passionate about.
Also, politics and religion do not mix.
I’m passionate about that one too.
Yes, my religious beliefs influence my political discourse. That’s unavoidable. But, it is also true that we can still be brothers and sisters in faith, while being political opponents. There are a number of people that identify themselves as Palestinian – who support the Palestinian cause, who appose my political position. However, these Palestinians are still people that I love and care for.
Does that shock you?
It shouldn’t, if you’ve been paying attention.
In religious discourse, we are told that it is wrong to hate our enemies. In fact, we are told to love them – often a pretty tough thing to do. But, I believe that it’s equally important in political discourse.
If you hate your opponents, you will make mistakes. And mistakes, in politics, are paid for in lives.
And hatred will ALWAYS be a barrier to dialogue. If you hate those who oppose you, how are you going to be able to convince them of the ‘rightness’ of your cause?
Who knows? You might be the one who needs to be convinced. When it comes to dealing with others, we ALL have something to learn.
So, recognize those who oppose you as people who love their mothers and care for their children. They are no better than me, and they are no better than you.
What does this have to do with religion and politics?
Religion is about your relationship with God. It’s about the conflict between good and evil. It’s about our conflict with ourselves to follow the path that has been laid out for us.
Politics is about finding the best way to achieve a goal. It’s about reaching agreements. It’s about finding ways of protecting those who cannot protect themselves.
Politics is only SOMETIMES about the fight between good and evil. In fact, most of the time, ‘the fight against evil’ is usually just the fight against stupidity and foolishness.
I know that this will come as a shock, but stupidity and foolishness isn’t the definition of evil. And there have been many, many times when I haven’t been able to tell if a person is being evil, or just stupid.
All of that, and more, is the reason why I don’t interject my religious beliefs in my discussion here.
Thanks Anne, for giving me the opportunity to ramble on about this.