Political Illusions

by Ann Spangler

political illusionsAs I write this the political atmosphere is heating up once again. Great fissures have opened between the two parties vying for power in our country. Passions are white hot with both sides looking for opportunities to trounce the opposition. The slightest misstep is eagerly pounced on and endlessly discussed. No one seems intent on searching for truth because the game is not about truth but only about winning. Watching the news seems like an exercise in frustration because the media is all about spin.

Unfortunately, many Christians have allowed fissures to develop in their relationships with other Christians because they do not see eye to eye on politics. Tragically, politics has sometimes trumped love in the Christian community.

A symptom of this shows up in the way we speak about political issues. For some, political commentary has devolved into a form of hate speech. We cast political parties and politicians as evil, self-serving, and uncaring. Everyone who opposes our political viewpoint gets tossed into the same basket, and we look for opportunities to vilify them. Instead of letting God’s Spirit shape our hearts and attitudes, we model our speech on political pundits who are only interested in scoring points against the opposition.

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Why do we resort to such tactics, sometimes becoming addicted to feelings of righteous indignation and rage when it comes to the political discourse? Perhaps because we don’t know how to deal with the disappointment we feel concerning the direction things are heading. Rage can hide our disappointment, empowering us when we might otherwise feel vulnerable, unable to control the events that impact our world. But this kind of anger alienates us from others, even those who might otherwise share our views…

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