Living a Christian Life in the Current Political Climate
I am a Christian. That simple statement sparks so much controversy among the masses. There was a time I too thought the face of Christianity had become marred by hatred and judgment. But I have seen a change.
The current debate in this country is centered on the return of Christianity to our government. Even as a Christian, I find this debate confusing. While I am committed to my beliefs, I do recognize that our country was founded with two basic principals in mind: religious freedom and the separation of church and state.
I recognize that those who came to this country were escaping a government that tried to force them to follow a religious doctrine they did not believe. I also recognize that our founding fathers saw fit to make sure that the government did not have that type of control over individual freedom.
I get confused by political platforms that suggest big government is too intrusive while at the same time suggest that government should follow a Christian belief and mandate very personal choices. I wonder how government can be too big in the realm of capitalist enterprise but not too big in the realm of personal choice, regarding belief and body.
We face real problems in our country right now that grow from personal fears. We are distracted by rhetoric that gains popularity through fear mongering. I have seen adolescents lash out at each other based on ideals that they have very little to no true knowledge about. I have seen people, groups of people, injured due to the spread of ignorance and hate. If we pretend that these differences are a reason to hurt others to protect ourselves from our own fears and insecurities, we are weakening our country, our society and ourselves.
At the same time, I have seen changes among the Christians I know. There was a time when their choices and beliefs were dictated by fear rather than love. I have also seen the backlash from people of other beliefs that feel ostracized by Christians asking the same questions I felt compelled to ask. But as all people become less likely to just read headlines and listen to rhetoric, and instead start asking questions – understanding, acceptance and tolerance has begun to flourish.
The fact is, we are human beings, individual human beings, and the only way we will live peacefully with each other is if we educate ourselves and learn to accept differences in others. As a Christian, it is my goal to follow the life of Christ. I am human, so will I perfect this? Probably not. I am weak, but I will continue to try to live a life of acceptance, tolerance and love – even for things I don’t understand.