Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Peas In A Pod

I have a predication to make regarding the presidential election. And this is a predication that you can take to the bank (provided there are any you still trust). Despite who wins this next election most bible believing African-Americans will pull the lever for Sen. Barack Obama while most white evangelicals will cast a ballot for Sen. John McCain. There are many reasons for this and while I doubt that we'll be able to explore all of them before the election I want to put forth a little proposal.

Despite our political differences bible believing blacks and evangelical whites are two peas in a pod. Both groups are subcultures within the larger society complete with their own traditions, history, customs and lingo. Both are viewed somewhat negatively within the larger society. Neither group trusts the mainstream media all that much and both carry a general feeling of being on the outside looking in. Both groups are loyal soldiers of their respective political parties but at times feel taken for granted. Both groups are extremely important in national elections and are counted to deliver by their respective parties. Moreover, it’s unlikely that the Republicans could win without the support of a good number of white evangelicals, nor could the Democrats re-capture the White House without a large turnout of bible-believing African-Americans. Despite this however neither group seems to get what it wants from those they support.

So here's the deal. Why don't we forge an alliance? We could agree on a common set of issues and throw our support behind the candidate who vows to promote them. An impossible dream you say? Perhaps. But though it wouldn't be easy we might be able to change the very nature of upcoming elections. Think of the possibility of candidates having to consider the primary issues of a voting bloc that consists of multiple millions of bible believing African-Americans and multiple millions of white evangelicals? What would it be like to have a pro-life candidate who spoke with as much enthusiasm for the interests of basketball moms as he or she did for soccer moms? How might the race for the nation's highest office change once a candidate had to address the top two or three concerns of both groups? And how might we work to address the needs of others as a witness of God's righteousness, wisdom and compassion?

How could this happen? Perhaps with both groups getting to know each other, understanding where each is coming from and having some genuine humility with respect to the issues they hold important. Such a step is both necessary and significant for we have to comprehend what drives us to vote the way we do. It will also be important for us to establish the important essentials of the gospel and the supremacy of God's kingdom. That will help us to keep our political ambitions in proper place. From there we can hash through the issues to be addressed recognizing the limits of the political process and be willing to accept that no one gets everything they want in any political situation.

Most of all, we can commit to following this course not just for the good of the country but for the strength of our witness. And that could be the action that puts shoe leather to the words of unity we often speak but for any number of reasons can't seem to demonstrate apart from a stray joint worship service. That witness could shine especially as we champion our unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ over the unity we have with those who agree with our politics. And that’s at least worth dreaming about.

To Him Who Loves Us…
Pastor Lance


Dave said...

Amen, Pastor Lance. I especially like your point about getting the two groups together in authentic relationships for authentic conversations.

"Perhaps with both groups getting to know each other, understanding where each is coming from and having some genuine humility with respect to the issues they hold important."

Sadly sometimes it seems people on either side don't want to have that dialogue. I'm gonna keep dreaming with you. I appreciate your blog brother. I blog every now and again if you want to check mine out.

Graham said...

Now that is holy political imagination!

May I suggest the vision? That the central responsibility of a government is to establish a just society, in which its primary role is neither stimulation of the economic beast nor redistribution of the ill-gotten gain to those exploited by it.

Its role is to create policies and laws that require the responsible, sustainable use of resources, and honor the God-given dignity of human beings by just labor practices - as Paul says to punish those who do wrong, and to approve those who do right (Romans 13).

cory said...

This is beautiful politics. God would be honored as we take a step toward that kind of love. The church hasn't born the title "The New Race" in a very long time, and never on these shores.