Thursday, July 8, 2010

No Party Pooper Am I

The following petition is currently making its way around the internet and is being embraced by many thoughtful and conscientious Christians. It is worthy of serious consideration.

Declaration of Unity

Dear Candidates, Incumbents and Party Leaders, In this election, please find a way of campaigning without deliberately triggering anger, hatred and fear. Please avoid contributing to the DISUNITING of America. It is the last thing we need in a time of two wars, an environmental catastrophe and an economic crisis.

We will hold accountable those who engage in the politics of division. We will support those who offer facts, civility and solutions. We choose to be united as a People and refuse to be divided. We hereby Declare Our Unity.

Now, while I appreciate and respect the thought behind this petition and agree in principle on the importance of civility in American politics, the sad and simple truth is that neither side would ever willingly sign it, and furthermore I think all of us deep down know it.

I also am of a mind that our correct posture as concerned Christians should be anything but civil in the face of what can only be described as the battle of our lifetime. Yes we are not to behave as our enemies do, but we should stop being so high-minded and eager to reach consensus. There is a time for a righteous indignation that I feel is way overdo.

I have been saying this now for well over year. The far Right, and with it fundamentalist Christianity, is actively engaging in tactics that are downright despicable and, in the case of the fundamentalists, unChristian. To show even the slightest hint of civility in the face of such rampant hatred and evil is akin to throwing down with it. You do not negotiate with evil; you confront it and expose it to the light of day.

The country DOES need a healthy and spirited debate on real issues; what is taking place more closely resembles the rumble scene from West Side Story. It is nothing short of insane to ask one side to lay down their sticks while at the same time allowing the other side to pummel the opposition with theirs.

To those who would say I am being obtuse and exposing my heart, I would say wake up my friends and smell the very coffee you want to drink. This isn’t about winning the hearts and minds of those who have fallen; it has always been about not letting the enemy get a foothold. Do not kid yourselves; silence and complicity are one in the same. Would Jesus have sat down with Satan? Did he once seek compromise with the Pharisees? Of course not and neither should we. It is foolhardy to believe we have no enemies, especially when they have no problem seeing us as theirs’.

Two wrongs may not make a right but it at least preserves balance; a balance that one day may yield to saner and more rational participants in this experiment we still call democracy. And when that day arrives, I will be more than willing to share a cup or two of hazelnut or French vanilla with anyone who seeks mutual respect and honors honest disagreement.

In the meantime, I will hold off singing CumbayĆ”, and suit up my armor, thank you.

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