A year ago, I actively began my journey out of conservative politics in order to view the world for myself. I left because much of conservative politics, I could only conclude, was filled with unChristian viewpoints. It is not that I saw the left as inherently better. While the right has many unChristian viewpoints, the left has many antiChristian viewpoints. So, I was left in the vague centrist positions which both sides view as traitorous in an election year.
In this debacle, I found myself observing both sides, attempting to understand them. And I think that this election brought to the forefront a fundamental issue with American Christianity. The issue is that we do not think in terms of Christianity, but rather left-versus-right politics. This issue appears most profoundly in the lack of interest in universal justice.
As I understand it, in Michigan there has been substantiated claims of ballet counting warfare. While the republicans went on break at a ballet counting building, the Democrats locked them out of the building and put up cardboard over the windows.
The reaction from the right has been utter rage. And well they should be if these claims are substantial. This action is a fundamental violation of justice. But the viewpoint of my democrat voting Christian friends? Complete ambivalence.
Not to let conservatives off the hook, I am equally discouraged at the state of their one sided justice. The issue of racism is not over. I know African American kids and adults who were told by white people in Christian contexts that they were bad “because you’re black.” Not only this, but the injustices committed against African Americans on a systemic level are at high levels. But the conservative response? Complete ambivalence.
No, more than ambivalence. A complete rejection of anyone who claims that racism is still an issue. Nay, still more. There is an active campaign to retain the statues of those men who turned traitor to the American Constitution and fought for the repugnant system of race-based slavery. There are massive efforts to expunge their lives of wrong doing and pretend like they were the godly heroes of old. This is not only ambivalence to injustice, but an outright attempt to redefine God’s justice in terms of American conservative ideology.
Christians from both camps seem more “conformed to this age,” than “transformed by the renewal of [their] mind[s].” The result is that Christians in matters of politics are unable to “approve what is the good and well-pleasing and perfect will of God” (Rm 12:2). We do not pursue justice as God commanded Israel: “Justice, only justice you shall pursue” (Dt 16:20).
What is the correct voting position of the Christian? I don’t know. I voted third party because I couldn’t in good conscience vote for either candidate. But I understand the reasons that good, godly Christians voted for Trump or Biden.
What is the correct political attitude? A thorough rage at injustice, an ear to hear the cries of injustice, and a thorough love for all humanity. And the only way we can have this attitude is by drinking deeply of God’s justice. Only as we imbibe God’s sense of justice will we be able to properly carry it out in our earthly politics. “Justice, only justice you shall pursue.”