Let’s watch a movie together. A movie about religion, politics, and hotly debated social issues. Here it is:
I must confess. I was once one of those Christians who truly believed that Jesus would’ve been a Republican. And even when I learned that this was not necessarily the case, deep down, far down- but not actually that far down, I still believed it.
I don’t know. Trying to climb out of this box.
Why? You probably guessed it. Abortion.
Jesus values all life, and that includes life in the belly. I am reminded constantly of Psalm 139:13
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Now, here is another confession. It is primarily and sometimes, solely, for my prolife conviction that I have chosen to support the Republican party with my votes and occasional campaigning. Not that there are not other issues I look at, but this has been my deal breaker. And here is why…
A friend verbalized it once and it made sense and resonated with my deepest convictions, so I took it in and made it part of my… logic… process… She said, “If a candidate does not value the very thing he or she swears to defend and protect, ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,’ how can they be trusted? How can we trust the moral compass of one who would allow or even promote the ending of life.”
Sealed it. Never would I even consider voting for a pro-choice candidate. And this was my reason.
FAST-FORWARD 8 YEARS.
MAKING MY MERRY WAY ALONG LIFE.
STOP ON MARCH 8, 2016. 8:00 PM [BEIJING TIME].
I was recently at dinner with one of my many Democrat-Christian friends. The Trump debate was freshly stale and still popularly effervescent [just to set the background]. She said something that rocked my world. She recounted a conversation she herself had years ago with one of her Republican-Christian friends. [Labels are so important to us, aren’t they?]
Her friend said, “I don’t see how anyone can call themselves a Christian and be a Democrat.” Stop the music. Some of you are nodding your heads in agreement. Some of you are ready to smash the screen.
“Well, I don’t see how anyone can call themselves a Christian and be a Republican,” my friend said back. Stop the music again. Stop it faster. Everyone’s face should look about like this now.
I admit it. While she was telling me this story. Shock came over me... She doesn’t know how anyone can call themselves a Christian and be a Republican? This HAS GOT to be good, I thought.
Now, I thought she was trying to make a point, so I stayed with her. [She had also taken me out to celebrate my birthday together and this was our dinner conversation, so obviously I stayed with her. Delicious Italian food! Thanks friend!]
She asked her Republican friend why she felt the way she did and her response, like many others including myself was about abortion and the sanctity of life.
Nodding in agreement.
Then like clockwork, she very calmly told me her response to the question of why she said she didn’t know how Christians could be Republicans. “Well, I don’t think we should take the life of anyone, not people in the womb and not people in other countries with our wars.” [subtext: wars that Republican candidates tend to promote more than Democrat candidates].
Please stop with me. Please ponder.
There are so many aspects of both abortion, war, the death penalty etc. that could be explored in the debate over which political party is “best,” but can we just take a moment and reflect on this. Can we just reflect on what can happen when we calmly listen to one another and consider the meaning of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness from another person’s point of view? Can we just stop trying to be heard for a moment and listen, really listen? All of us, no matter what political or religious affiliation we have. But even as the Body of Christ, fellow Christians, can we just stop and listen to understand? We don’t need to change our party, our denomination or our convictions, but we can still connect and love without placing such harsh judgements on our fellow humans for seeing things differently.
Jesus values all life, even life in the prison cell. Even life in countries vastly different from our own. Even Muslims. Even Jews. Even nonreligious. Even the Democrats/Republicans who also dare to call themselves Christians. Even you.
The movie is not over folks, but I think that’s enough for tonight.
Please share your thoughts below, and please share this post with your friends if you think they will connect with it.
Note: The title of this blog was changed from “Just a light post about politics, religion, & you… can’t trump that” to “The Ultimate Guide to a Bipartisan Friendship: Part 1” on March 17, 2016