My One Political Post of the Year (or hopefully decade)

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I usually do not enter into the political discourse, and you will probably (hopefully) never see me endorse a candidate or wave a political banner here. We will never have a savior on Capitol Hill. (Derek Webb wrote a great song about this, by the way).

However, what does interest me more is the way discourse occurs concerning both politics and religion. As was said in a conversation with a  friend yesterday, it makes really smart people look really unintelligent, petty, and sometimes just plain mean. So I offer two things I have read that may offer some different ways of thinking, or maybe provoke some conversation. By viewing the way campaigns are run, debates are had and religion is “sold” by coercion, it may help us see into our own selves and how we participate in the very things we condemn.

The first is an extremely funny and sobering blog called The Guide to Dimwitted Discourse (warning: this is satire, so react accordingly; that is, laugh and then realize you are guilty!).

Second, there is a quote that I read from Thomas Jefferson, and at the risk of misquoting, I checked the source to make sure it was legit, as listed below. In the first line, you could easily substitute “religion” for “politics” (and, let’s be honest, many do already).

“Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor morum over each other. Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned: yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.”
Notes, ed. Peden = Jefferson, Thomas. Notes on the State of Virginia. Edited by William Peden. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1955, 160.

So what do you think?

2 thoughts on “My One Political Post of the Year (or hopefully decade)

  1. As Donald Miller said so poignantly yesterday on Twitter, spending time with people who are different from us will show us that they’re not. There are some basic desires which we all share. Why can’t we use that as a common ground starting point from which we can cultivate rich discussion on the best ways to move forward?

    • Great point, Colter. I love that you are promoting and actually DOING this! There is much talk about cooperation but little action.

      One good example that I saw of this was Rick Warren’s interview by a guy from the HuffPost. It was a civil and clear conversation between people who believe fundamentally different things. Yet, I think the interviewer was pleasantly surprised at Warren’s candor/honesty and even admitted that he learned something! Warren, by the way, admitted he learned something from a previous statement/action and said he would not do it again. I.E. he admitted he made a mistake! So wonderful to see a prominent pastor admit this.

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