I remember a conversation I had several years ago.
I was talking to my boyfriend at the time (not the one who would later become my husband.... ). I related a story I had heard about my grandfather. My aunt had told me that he used to shake his head and say, "I just don't know how anyone can be a Christian and a Democrat."
My boyfriend chuckled and said, "And we think just the opposite."
Just as if someone had hit my knee with one of those little hammers, I shot back a little, "No."
But he was just being honest.
And that's the temptation, always.
How can a good person think differently than we do? I am passionate about justice, about ending poverty, about creating opportunity, about ending racism, about advocating for children, about caring for the environment, about treating all people with respect. And those passions come from my faith values.
How can a good person come to a different conclusion about how to strive for these values politically?
In my congregation we have different political affiliations. In some quarters that is considered a liability. You know, now you have to be a "progressive" congregation or a "conservative" congregation. We're more united by our politics than by our denominations. But what if instead of Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, liberals, middle-class, upper-class, German, Polish, Catholic, or Pentecostal, we could see ourselves in the one way that would unite us: sinners. Forgiven sinners.
We are acting passionately based on our faith values. We are also making mistakes and getting it wrong.
We are open-minded and we are racist. We are cocky and we are humble. We are solving the problems of the world, and we are making them worse.
What do you think? Just wondering....