Disclaimer: This is not one more ubiquitous apolitical post. I consider myself fairly engaged in the political process; I have a candidate that I plan on voting for; and I’ll be more than a little disappointed if “my guy” doesn’t win tonight.
This is more personal than many of the “I’m sick of this election stuff” posts. This is more a lament than anything else. Today as I cast my vote, I’m lamenting the friends I’ve lost over the years because of our caustic partisan climate. I know everybody has a different idea about where the 50-yard line is politically, but even many of our attempts at civil dialogue simply end up pushing us further into our own enclaves of like-minded people. Difference of opinion — once considered an indispensable element of American political discourse — is now mistaken for gloves-off, WWF-smackdown, “fightin’ words”, systematically packaged as cable “news”.
Have we lost something in our culture? Undoubtedly.
What I’m lamenting today is what I’ve lost personally.
The sad reality for me is that most of my friends who sit on the opposite side of the aisle have retreated. They’ve pulled out of meaningful interpersonal dialogue about the issues, preferring instead to trumpet their stances on Facebook. I’m lamenting today that I’ve lost these voices in my life, voices that God used in my life to expand my perspective and foster greater open-mindedness. It’s sad, really. I can only hope that the fellowship we’ve forsaken here will be restored to us fully in the coming Kingdom.
This is how we see ourselves.
But I find myself asking: Is this how God sees us?
The answer is no. And the fact that we settle for such limited vision, such fractious endings to life-giving relationships is worth lamenting.
It’s more than a little ironic that this same sentiment came up in our life group meeting on Sunday night.
Jonathan, I wish I could’ve been there for the discussion. I’m sure it was rich.
An experiment that I think would be great for everyone would be to take off the litte (R) and (D) besides the name of politicians on television. Everything is so polarized that instant assumptions come up when we see either of those letters before ones name. We let one letter define how we think about a person. How crazy is that? On the big political spectrum neither of the two parties are that far apart. However, humans like to choose sides and make it known that our side is correct. Just wish attempts to be correct did not lead to not working or talking with one another. That is something no political party or person should desire
YES! That is all. Thanks, Jason.
Thanks, guys. I appreciate your comments.