(or When are we going to open our eyes and ears that we might SEE and HEAR?!!)
“Almost thou persuadest me [NOT] to be a Christian!”1
That was my first reaction upon reading an email forward sent by a good Christian lady. So here is my latest “whoa, woe, whoa!!!” This church sister introduced her “forward” thus:
THIS LADY NOT ONLY HAS A GRASP OF ‘THE SITUATION’ BUT AN INCREDIBLE COMMAND OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE!
[“THIS LADY” is allegedly Cyndy Miller, writer of a letter to AARP.2]
Cyndy’s letter followed and set forth her reasons for declining to renew AARP membership because AARP’s “Divided We Fail” and other “Socialistic politics” are viewed by Cyndy as “threatening our way of life [and] offending our sensibilities.” Cyndy declares that “when the opinions and long term goals are diametrically opposed, the divorce is imminent.” And so she divorces AARP and decries “This Presidential Administration [that] scares the living daylights out of us.” [Did the prior presidential administration scare her? She does not say!]
Then Cyndy gets to the apparent “meat” of her regrettable divorce from AARP; a part that appears to “raise the blood pressure [her] medical insurance strives to contain.” She writes:
“Your [AARP] website generously offers us the opportunity to receive all communication in Spanish.. ARE YOU KIDDING??? Someone has broken into our ‘house’, invaded our home without our invitation or consent. The President has insisted we keep the perpetrator in comfort and learn the perp language so we can communicate our reluctant welcome to them.
I DON’T choose to welcome them.
I DON’T choose to support them.
I DON’T choose to educate them.
I DON’T choose to medicate them, pay for their food or clothing. …”
[etc., etc. Emphasis all hers.]
Now, of course, I’m not going to jettison my faith because a Christian “forwarder” thinks there is “grasp and command” in this divorce decree.3 But it set me to thinking about the coming Great Divorce—the one many of my church and/or fellow-Americans don’t seem to realize is increasingly imperative. It is the divorce looming between their professed Christian4 allegiance and the current STATE of their politics. How the incompatibility has endured so long is already beyond comprehension!
So, for just a moment, I ask my Christian friends—many of whom are conservative Republicans: Will you honestly look at the STATE of YOUR politics? NOT your enemy’s politics, but YOURS.
What is the state of things when radio/TV pundits become more quotable, reliable, and fundamental than the Sermon on the Mount?! When ends claim to justify means? When deception and spin are strategized? When finance capital dictates governance? When extremism in the defense of “liberty” is deemed patriotic? Where sound bites substitute for informed research? When your GOP says one thing with its mouth and does another with its power?
How long can you pretend YOUR political “spouse” is being faithful to founding principles and values? Look at your record! Your documented history! Your investigations! Your subterfuges! Hear the eye-witnesses! The whistleblowers! The sworn testimonies!5
Why do you castigate only the infidelities of your enemy’s “spouse”? Is THAT helping your own degraded house? Open your eyes! Open your ears!
How long can you ignore the egregious incompatibilities between GOP words and practices? Between values and actions? Why do you dismiss with alacrity and scorn all criticisms as if they were but false and hostile smears upon a pristine conscience?
Do we imagine a professedly “chosen” people (or party, religion, nation, ideology, constitution, etc.) is immune to folly, error, deception, corruption? Perhaps a brief tour of the gifted and chosen ones of history would be instructive. Count how many were swept away in whirlpools of stiffneckedness, excess, and folly. How few died in the harness of integrity, humility, purpose, and honor.
We are not going to clean up the mess of our universal corruption and partisanship by focusing solely on the crimes and corruptions of “enemies.” We must first look to our own ways and affiliations. What did Biblical Micah caution? “… a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.”6 And please, instead of knee-jerking to accuse and fault your perceived enemies in the national house, look first to the threats and offenses from within your own GOP house.
In this current state of politics, surely it is time to reject the blindness of partisanship and unthinking loyalties. It is time to demand more of ourselves than we do of our “enemies.” It is time to reject rampant, internal hypocrisies; to refuse the propaganda of PACs and the persuasions of mammon.7 It is time to seek out and support honest, wise, good, and courageous candidates free of compromising ties and dictates. It is time for self- and party-awareness. It is time to take a new moral way. It is way beyond time.
(For those who wish to know my views on the Democrats, capitalism, socialism, free-market myths, the dire state of America’s democratic values and republican form of government, etc. you may peruse other Déjà Vu posts.)
1 New Testament Acts 26:28
2 AARP: American Association of Retired Persons
3 Of course, Cyndy has every right to reject the philosophies and practices of the AARP, if they conflict with hers, but the tragic thing is, too many partisans utterly fail to comprehend the present chasm between professed values and opposing actions. Their focus remains unwaveringly on their enemy to the exclusion of self-awareness—a classic diverting strategy promoted by C.S. Lewis’ astute senior demon, Screwtape (from The Screwtape Letters, 1942).
4 Applicable to other religious faiths and ethical adherents because most acknowledge a common set of human and moral values.
5 There are hundreds of meticulously, documented studies, books, and articles that are dismissed or ignored because: 1) they do not sustain the myths of rightness, justification, and ideology; 2) they are strategized as aiding and abetting the “enemy”; and 3) it takes so much precious time to sift truth from half-truths and error when lives are already so time-and info-stressed. Perhaps one approach is to prefer confirmed and documented information over passionate denials or justifications.
6 Old Testament Micah 7:6
7 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (New Testament Matthew 6:24).