I, for one, am not well versed in the Bible’s scriptures. However, a good scripture discussion and interpretation is welcomed as long as I have my study Bible to reference. Perhaps that explains why I’ve had a Bible study class or two through my church over the last few years. As my old pastor told me many times – while sitting in a church pew, one-on-one over breakfast, and even in the passenger seat of a golf cart – religion and the Bible can really mess with your head. Perhaps Brother Bill’s point is the Bible is for all of us to take what we need from it, depending on the circumstance. I know many times I reference the Book for consolation, assurance, and inspiration. It has helped me countless times when in need, but it is used solely for my personal journey of faith and not to spread fear and condemnation. I know the Bible tells us to seek discipleship and congregate as a family in the house of the Lord. I try to do that through encouragement, patience, and as a living example – I think I am still ok in the Eyes from above.
Mixing religion and politics is a powder keg just waiting for a spark. Now before I start getting good and bad comments, politically please know I am actually one of those “undecided” voters the pollsters would love to talk to…or not (if they ever call me). Having once been an elected official, I take my voting privilege serious. I honestly do not remember the last time I missed the opportunity to vote, be it a general election, local election, or bond election. I’m also a bit odd in that I enjoy public service in front of and behind the scenes of school business, juries, bond committees, and election campaigns to name a few. I have voted Democratic and I’ve voted Republican (even on the same ballot probably much to the dismay of OFB). And here’s my most proud fact: I research every election and make up my own mind. Is that a novelty or what? I don’t need, nor do I solicit someone else’s influence on which political candidate might serve me best. And the last thing I want is for an individual or group to reign doom and gloom, fear and jeer down on my poor, pitifully helpless soul in hopes of gaining my unfledgling and perpetuating support for their political biasness.
I have over the past several days (coincidentally following the adjournment of Republican national convention) received a few forwarded emails claiming the Democrat’s choice for president is to be feared and even hated. The content of these emails are disturbingly un-Christian to me on one hand and comical on the other. Interestingly I have yet to receive a bad-guy, Republican anti-Christ claiming email (and it’s not because I’m an out spoken, card carrying Republican that the Democrats have written off). It makes me think politicians in general, and Republicans specifically, at least to date, only support Church and State separation during non-election years. Hmmmm.
Being a stubborn old coot, I did some research (I suspect “the email” didn’t really want me to do that). I sat down and reacquainted myself with most of the Book of Revelation in my NKJV Study Bible. I read chapters 12 through 17, as well as the crib notes my Study Bible provides me. Perhaps I’m distracted, perhaps my interpretation is different, perhaps someone can point me to a specific chapter/verse – I don’t read it the way “the email” warns us poor unsuspecting sheep of “the anti-Christ will be a man, in his 40’s, of Muslim descent, who will deceive the nations with persuasive language, and have a massive Christ-like appeal…the prophecy says that people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and world peace, and when he is in power, will destroy everything.” Oh my! I think that might mean I don’t need to make my house payment if this person gets elected president…now that’s a Democrat thought! There it is: blatant doom and gloom, fear and jeer…and perhaps nothing more than the “blasphemy” the Book of Revelations Chapter 13 speaks of. Hmmmmm again.
Not one to give up so easily, I turn to the internet. Snopes says the email claim is false (the report’s closing statement drew a chuckle and can easily be applied to all politicians). BTW, in another email received on taxes each candidate supposedly endorses, Snopes reports that as well (Proposed Tax Changes). Make what you want of both of these reports.
I still didn’t give up and dismiss “the email”. I checked many Bible web sites that allow the Bible laziness in all of us search for specific topics and phrases. I referenced All About Popular Issues Bible Gateway Gutenberg Bible.org and have yet to find the aforementioned statement that may insinuate Obama is a bad man with his publicly covert politics and non-Christian faith. So then I started in on the many web sites a Google search finds by typing in “Obama the Anti-Christ”. Most of those web sites are just down right scary and cookies need to be deleted on my computer ASAP.
If we (the USA) don’t want Obama in office, let’s simply vote for McCain…but let’s try to practice a little bit of Christian faith in so doing. When it comes to politics, there is nothing more powerful than the voting booth, and voting for the candidate that best aligns with our own personal politics (issues, platforms, and attitudes). Above all, voting our own conscious way should be the exercise and message we send our public servants. Both presidential candidates promote change…as voters, we too can change by not practicing the traditional general election campaign tactics of personal attacks, glorified service, misguided attitudes, and exaggerated stories (dare I say “lies”) about who we have to choose from. I embrace the future with little fear…if I don’t like the way it unfolds, I go to the polling booth and support someone else.
4 thoughts on “Religiously speaking”
Totally agree. That email forward is embarrassing on so many levels.
Both sides have acted shamelessly in spreading lies and rumors – most of the time related to irrelevant things (lapel pins and book banning).
Wouldn’t it be nice if for just one election cycle, the focus was real life issues??
Good post, good point Uncle Tim. =)
Absolutely WONDERFUL post – your best ever! I delete any and all emails received regarding religion and our presidential/vice presidential candidates. How can this sort of thing happen in an era of fingertip question and answer, seek and find – learn about and understand issues for yourselves, people. Like you so aptly stated – if there is question regarding an issue, go to the source, go to the multitudes of educational materials out there – be it in the library, the bible, the internet. Do NOT believe an email sent by an anonymous email writer. Thanks, Tim, for seeing through all of this mess and, most of all, writing what I wish I could write. One of your FSIL – Becky :o)
This is what we in the ad biz call “Viral Marketing”
FS: ahhhhhh….so that’s what it’s called. Thanks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viral_Marketing
Mikel and Bec…thanks for understanding one guy’s political vs. religion indulgence, psuedo-serman to the “masses” (if I have any), and my own version of “Viral Marketing”.