Like many (maybe most?) other Americans, I am deeply disturbed by the current state of the political climate in America. Yet, I can’t help but think that we are reaping what we have sown. As a follower of Jesus, I need to step back and not simply critique but to actually construct the sort of culture and climate in which I would like to live.
Jesus had something very pertinent to say to all of us who would engage in political dialogue: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” This rule should guide EVERY political conversation we find ourselves in, and every political statement we would make. Here’s a couple of applications I thought of, feel free to suggest others. I am simply listing the way I would like to be treated, and so these are my pledges of how I will treat others.
1. I will listen, without interrupting to what other people have to say.
2. I will read, thoroughly, what a candidate has written, not just what the media chooses to share about them.
3. I will try not to be sarcastic.
4. I will critique ideas, not attack character.
5. I will give people the benefit of the doubt.
6. I will not believe elaborate conspiracies.
7. I will not pretend that a bumper sticker or facebook post can properly summarize my political thoughts, and I will not hold others to their summarized rants and raves.
8. I will pray for all my elected officials, whether or not I voted for them.
9. I will focus on the positives of my thoughts, not the negatives of others.