I’m not a republican. There I said it. Shocking right? I know you are probably replaying some conversations you have had with me, trying to think if you have offended me. I will save you the time, you haven’t.
Now you are thinking “how can she not be a republican, she’s a Christian?” Everyone knows Christians are part of the religious right who is owned by the Republican Party.
If that thought doesn’t make you sick to your stomach, some reflection might be needed. It seems as if everywhere I go within the Christian community there is some sort of subtle understanding that we are all republicans and must hate or look down on the “loose moral democrats”.
Recently I was at a lecture within a Christian environment and was so impressed and intrigued by the lecturer’s intelligence and depth of knowledge. Then he had to make the statement that CNN was the “communist news network”. At that point his credibility went from hero to zero. I don’t find hate amusing or appropriate within a Christian setting. Hate can be reserved for political conventions, the news and Facebook of course (where is the SarcMark when you need it). For about 8 years I have lived this truth about myself in hiding, out of fear of rejection or disdain from my brothers and sisters in Christ. They can be a very judgmental group.
So why the change of heart you ask? Why come out of the closet on my political stances right now?
Get ready for some more Protestant controversy, but here goes … the new Pope. Yes, I do believe the Pope, especially this guy, can be my brother in Christ. This guy is shaking things up and I find him incredibly fascinating! He’s hugging disruptive kids, firing Archbishops and converting their houses to soup kitchens, calling “the church” out on living the high life while there are people starving and he even has the audacity to live simply. He is saying, forget how things have always been done and what is “appropriate ” but rather he is looking to Christ for what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and worthy of praise. Bless his heart! His allegiance belongs to Christ and not to anyone else.
I find that to be refreshingly admirable and an example to be followed. We aren’t to conform to the world, or to the republicans or democrats, but we are to be transformed by renewing our minds so that we will be able to test and approve what is God’s will. Christ and only Christ is the one whom our allegiance belongs.
I’m not trying to convert anyone to the Democratic Party. I’m not a Democrat either. If you would like to classify me, you could say I am a values conservative and a process liberal. As my other Catholic brother Richard Rohr says “I believe in justice, truth, follow-through, honesty, personal and financial responsibility, faithful love, and humility-all deeply traditional values. Yet, in my view, you need to be imaginative, radical, dialogical and even countercultural to live these values to any depth”.
What I am trying to point out is we, as the body of Christ, need to cut the strings of the religious right. We are not their puppets; their battles are not ours to claim. Let’s not lose sight of our greatest commission by wasting time fighting wars that cannot be won or lost. This world is not our home, let’s set our minds on things above and not be distracted!