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A Christian looks at politics and government


Fri, Oct 31st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

When I listen to and look at today's political campaigns, the first thing that stands out in my mind is the question: "Doesn't anyone know the Golden Rule'? That way of assessing one's own words and actions isn't even exclusively Christian. The tenets of Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism - - every major faith of the world include this basic guide to human relationships.

Instead I hear lies and half-truths and smears. Do we not do any digging into actual records and lives so we recognize the deliberate misstatements? Do we not realize that negativity brings both disgust from those who hear it and pain for those about whom it is said, on all sides of the political spectrum? Policy and diplomacy and statesmanship require tact, courtesy, intelligence, and gravitas.

Our nation has had bitter and cruel campaigns throughout our history, it's true. What ensues is usually anger, and a desire for revenge, and a determination not to work together, which is so badly needed now especially. It we don't cooperate, things will not get mended and healed.

Our nation was not founded, nor intended, to be of one kind of faith, but a place where people are free to believe and worship as each chooses, with respect and acceptance of each others' faiths. And, after a terrible war, we finally recognized that people of whatever pigment are equal. It took even longer, but women also have been admitted to the voting booth and elected offices, though we still aren't in the Constitution.

Tomorrow, the decisions will be made. It is my prayer that, regardless of how we may view the outcomes, we may come together as a nation to face the frightening situations we are amidst. Rather than trying to throw a monkey-wrench into proposals by the party/persons we opposed, we need to come to consensus and do what is best for all of us. This doesn't mean we can't disagree; that is always allowed in a democracy. (Though I don't think you have a right to gripe if you didn't vote!) We need to avoid attempts to make the winners fail. By so doing, we damage the country we love and our fellow citizens.

Forgiving the nasty campaigning is very hard, but we must face whatever is reality, and work and pray for all our leaders, and for a rebirth of our nation's health, our international reputation, and for peace. We need the presence and guidance of the Almighty in our recovery. "America, America, God shed his grace on thee" and upon all the world.

Jeanne Martin lives in Mabel.

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