This one is scary for me to write. I don’t always like taking a stand so publicly. Then again, it’s not all about me, is it?
I recently had a discussion with two friends about my faith and my political choices. One is a conservative, Christian and Republican. The other is a Democrat not claiming or denying a faith at the moment. (at least to my knowledge) I felt somewhere in the middle. After our conversation I thought, what if there are more people like me who feel conflicted about being a Christian and voting for Democrats?
My hands are sweating as I type this but here we go … this is based solely on my own experiences.
First, I grew up in a place and in a family where the only way to be was to be a Christian. I couldn’t even comprehend someone not believing in God. The biggest argument was are you Baptist or are you Catholic? I didn’t meet an atheist until I got to college. Even then, I didn’t believe them. I’ve offered prayer and support but I’ve never been the ‘type of Christian’ to shout from the roof top that Jesus saved me. Why? Because even though I believe He is my Savior, I was afraid that others would laugh at me or worse, challenge me.
That’s not what I’m most ashamed about when it comes to my faith. What I am most ashamed about is that recently, I’ve allowed comments from other ‘Christians’ to have an effect on my own faith. I couldn’t stand the hateful comments I would read/hear coming from ‘Christians’ about the gay/lesbian community when the whole Chic-fil-a debacle happened. “Aren’t we as ‘Christians’ supposed to love as Jesus loves,” I kept asking myself.
In this election year, the big guns came out. People have been criticizing Obama’s faith (as they understand it) and so much more. Some, not all, conservative Christians are encouraging all Christians to vote for Romney, or any GOP candidate for that matter. I cracked. I said out loud, “I don’t want to be like those Christians.” Boy, was I afraid what my Jesus would think of me. Did He think all Christians should vote for the GOP party?
I voted already. I voted for Obama. And while I encouraged others to vote, I didn’t specify who I thought they should vote for. I didn’t want all the comments on my online social platforms much less in person. Plus, I have a lot of Christian friends who I know are voting for Romney. What would they think? Well, frankly, they have the right to think whatever they want. And I have the same right. Republicans don’t own the Christian faith.
So in the Bible does it say marriage is between man and woman? Yes. Does it indicate that abortion is wrong? I think so. These are the two topics that challenge me the most personally. These are two topics that clash when it comes to being a Christian and a Democrat. How can we deny rights to others? Are we really keeping the sanctity of marriage if the gay/lesbian community don’t even have a choice? What about women? Are they really ‘choosing’ life if they don’t even have a choice?
Here’s what I’ve come to terms with: we each will have to answer to a Higher Being, for me it will be God, in the end. I have to know with all my heart and soul that I leave that judgement up to Him, not any man or woman. In the Bible, Jesus walked with those who didn’t believe in Him as much as those who did. We are commanded to love our neighbors. I want to love others as He did. I can share the love and mercy I believe God has shown me. I can encourage them to seek the same. Only they can decide for themselves.
FYI, I most likely won’t respond to hateful comments. I’m not looking for approval or arguments. If there is anyone else who has had similar dilemmas, well, I hope this helps for you to know that you are not alone.