Opinion: Should politicians consider biblical teachings?
As I sit preparing to write this column, it is primary day in Alabama. Hopefully, there are folks from both political parties headed to the polls today. It’s what Americans do to keep democracy strong.
I am thankful we have the right to vote and to express ourselves at the ballot box. I’m also thankful it is the end of this first cycle of voting leading up to the mid-term election so we get a break from political advertising.
In my years as a voter, I’ve never seen the likes of what passes for politicking in 2018. Unless you live in a cave, you’ve seen the ads, gotten the computer-generated telephone calls. Enough already!
One question, when did getting elected require candidates to (1) show pictures of themselves with a Bible and (2) show another picture of themselves with a gun? How strange is our world right now?
I didn’t write much about politics leading up to this primary election because I’m just sick of it. However, keeping my mouth shut is not easy, especially when the writer voice in my head will not leave me alone.
After thought, observation and consideration, here is a synopsis of political advertising in Alabama. I guess politicians go somewhere to learn what they must do to get voters to vote for them.
It goes something like this (a compilation of commercials).
“My name is (fill in the blank) and I’m a Born Again Christian Conservative who prays in the car that I bought with my own money. So you should vote for me.”
“I’m (fill in the blank) a Born Again Christian Conservative who hates liberals (even though I’m supposed to represent everyone). So you should vote for me.”
“Hello, I am (fill in the blank), a Born Again Christian Conservative who will protect our values (not sure exactly what that means, but hey it sounds good). So you should vote for me.
Put it together and it goes something like this…
“I’m a Born Again Christian Conservative who prays in the car on my way to the range to shoot my gun. (Show a picture of candidate with a gun and then one of family walking down the sidewalk holding Bible and smiling.)
“Now if you will excuse me, my Born Again Christian Conservative self will now say something nasty about that other Born Again Christian Conservative candidate because I’m sure that is what Jesus wants me to do. (We need not discuss issues. Ya’ll vote for me because I’ve pushed the right buttons.)”
I’m not limiting this to Republicans. I saw a Democratic candidate with a Bible too. So, everyone is jumping on the religion-in-politics bandwagon.
Now, faith and a personal spiritual practice is a good thing. However, it is not something to use for political gain.
That’s not my opinion. The Bible says something about using religion for personal gain. There’s this verse in the book of Matthew.
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven…”
Oh, car-praying politicians using that car praying as a political tool, there is this passage.
“When you pray, don’t be like hypocrites. They love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners so that people will see them. I assure you, that’s the only reward they’ll get. But when you pray, go to your room, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you.”
Thankfully, politicking ends for now. When advertising returns, I hope we remember this scripture.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”2 Timothy 4:3-4.
I’m afraid that time is here.
Nancy Blackmon is a former newspaper editor and a yoga teacher.