Politics is enough to cause most of us to lose our religion, and I suspect this year will set a new record for nastiness. This makes it tempting to pronounce a pox on them all, change the channel, and bury our heads from now until November. However, as those who sat out, or didn’t closely examine the consequences of, the recent election in Great Britain discovered, there are grave consequences when sane and decent people abandon the democratic process.
I recently heard someone say they did not vote in the last two presidential elections because they don’t believe who is in the White House has any effect on their life. What made me incredulous was I can list a dozen ways the past two elections have affected their life. Worst of all, this person is a Christian. In certain circles that means, of course, they should be campaigning for candidates that are anti-abortion, pro-war, and pro-capital punishment who call themselves pro-life. What I mean, though, is that, as Christians, we must engage the political process for the sake of others.
In Georgia, for example, we must demand that our politicians stop passing silly bills to protect rights that have never been in danger and, instead, start protecting people who are in danger.
Saying that you aren’t going to engage in the political process because it doesn’t impact your life is the attitude of a narcissistic atheist. That isn’t the value system of a true disciple of Jesus or, I believe, a true patriot.
You see, the only way democracy can endure is if “We the people” work for the common good, and the only way we have the right to call ourselves “Christian” is if our agenda is seeking the good of the least of these. That brand of patriotism and Christianity seems all too rare these days.
Rev. Michael Piazza