I was never into politics. The first time I was able to vote, I voted Republican, because that’s what my mom did, what my church leaders did, and what I really thought was the best decision for me. That ushered in the first year of George W. Bush, and I was too naive (lazy?) to really pay attention to what was happening to our country. When the chance rolled around to vote for him again, I faithfully remained a member of the GOP.
Thankfully, during his second term, I started to awaken inside. There were some who accused me of being brainwashed by my parents, and I fiercely defended my faith. It took years for me to see that I could keep the faith I held dear, the faith that had always come so easily, and still be my own person. A person who was smart, who could think for herself, who could listen to the little voice (voices?) inside that said something was clearly not as it should be.
John McCain made it easy for me to vote for Barack Obama when he introduced Sarah Palin as his choice for Vice President. But this time, I paid more attention, and I grew to really like Obama. Even my mom liked him! She too, was learning that being a Christian didn’t automatically equal Republican, and I was happy because I was doing something with her blessing, but didn’t require that blessing to make my own choices anymore.
For the upcoming election, I have been diligent in following all parties. Before it all started I knew I would vote for Obama again, but still, educating myself was important. Suddenly I felt like a politics-obsessed feminist, and I hated feminists! I watched, angry, as women who used birth control were called sluts. I watched, confused, wondering why men could engage in whatever sexual activities they chose and were not judged the same way. I grew increasingly impatient when Ann Romney chose to be an offended stay-at-home mom, then said she was happy that so many women had no choice but to work.
Through it all, I was aware that the fellow Christians I used to rally with now left me questioning my “religion.” My faith will never change, but the category I cast myself in has. I feel that simply stating “I am a Christian” is too vague, leaves too much open for eye-rolling, and does not fully explain the Man whose teachings I follow.
I remember a family in my church who removed the television from their home. They were tired of flipping channels when suggestive commercials came on, so they removed the object of concern completely. Whether you agree with this or not doesn’t matter. It was their choice and they weren’t harming anyone in making this choice.
Doesn’t that make more sense than to write to every network, every company, every advertiser that produces a program that you don’t agree with? How much time and energy does One Million Mom spend on condemning everyone around them, when they could be spending time with these precious children they are so determined to protect?
Maybe you think being gay is a sin. You are entitled to that opinion. Must you hate, ridicule, bully those who are gay? Is this worth launching a campaign, trying to “beat the gay” out of people? Wouldn’t it make more sense to love, live your life with a smile, and honestly answer when questioned about your beliefs? If someone wants to be angry at you for what you believe, that is now on them.
Maybe you think abortion is murder, that it’s an unforgivable sin. So don’t have one! You answer to God for your actions and your actions alone. Bombing abortion clinics, killing doctors, shouting words of anger; this does not prove that you serve a loving God. This makes people turn and run the other direction every time they hear the word “Christian.”
You know what shows you serve a loving God? Comforting the girl who just had an abortion. Putting your arm around your gay friend and showing them that you aren’t ashamed to love them, as a human being. Making difficult choices about your own life but standing behind those choices with integrity and strength.
I have chosen to never shove my faith down someone’s throat, but I don’t hide it either. I’m not ashamed, I will answer questions and I welcome a good debate. I argued with an atheist for an hour one day, and at the end of the conversation he laughed. He said, “I still don’t agree with you and I never will, but I respect you for not just throwing Scripture at me. You have actually researched these topics and your knowledge is impressive.” Score! One more person that could have an intelligent conversation with a Christian and not walk away thinking she was a total moron.
Can we ever legalize morality? No. It’s foolish to think we can. I know what the Bible says about sharing our faith, but I’m pretty sure it says nothing about doing it with a heart filled with hate. I have met so many who turn their backs on religion simply because of the religious folk they have encountered, and that makes me sad. They are missing out on a pretty awesome Savior, but their preview of Him leaves much to be desired.
We, as “Christians,” have become so focused on our path that we’ve forgotten Who we are following. If you follow the “Take over the world” mentality, doesn’t it make more sense to maybe use a little honey, instead of pouring vinegar over the open wounds of our struggling country?
Jesus ate dinner with the scum of the earth. He didn’t turn anyone away. He stopped the stoning of a prostitute, famously saying, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7)
Until I can say without question that I am without sin, I will be casting no stones.