Which of the following sounds more like the current state of our society, country, world?
1. Idolatry, hatred, division, envy, jealousy, anger, selfishness, contentiousness, fear.
2. Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, love.
Current state - 1. Ideal state - 2.
Politicians. Are there are politicians who live #2? Or who at least seem to try to lead our country with compassion or humility or kindness?
Sadly, I think the list of politicians seems to be full of #1's.
This political season, I seem to be hearing more and more and more speeches and soundbites that are all about hatred, division, anger, and fear.
What I long for are leaders who desire cooperation, cohesion, teamwork.
I want to follow someone who understands the weight of the world but still leads with hope, love, joy, peace, patience in their heart.
I'm not going to turn this into a discussion about the current Presidential race. Because in all honesty, I think all of the candidates have a lot more of #1 in their campaigns than they have #2.
There will never be a perfect #2 candidate or politician.
But there is one leader who embodies #2.
A leader who sees it as a priority to care for the poor, attend to mental health issues, seek justice for the oppressed, connect to our brothers and sisters in the world. A leader who believes strongly in peace instead of war, who values women and children, who gives food to the hungry and medical care to the sick. A leader who has stood up to the regime and the historic leadership and made huge changes to how things have always been done.
Do you know where the words for #1 and #2 came from? All of it came from the Bible.
When I watch the debates and I read the articles and I hear the speeches, I also think about the Sermon on the Mount. The words that Jesus himself gave us that guide how we live and the choices we make and the impact we have on the world. Do any of the candidates meet anything at all in the Beatitudes, for example?
I can go through the candidates and clearly check off - meek? gentle? merciful? pure in heart? peacemakers?
Don't make me laugh. Imagining someone seriously convinced that Trump is meek and gentle or that Cruz is a peacemaker or that Clinton thirsts for righteousness gives me serious pause.
I am biased - I do "feel the Bern" and I do feel that out of what is being offered, Sanders comes closest to how my faith wants my country to be run.
Do you consider your personal values when you consider electing a president, a governor, a mayor, a senator? Do you look at the priorities you have for yourself and your children, the expectations you have in your family and friends and do you apply that to the people who want to make laws and rules and policies and represent you in the world?
Politics and religion do not mix. Politicians are, almost by definition, the opposite of all that Jesus preached. But my faith is a priority in my life. It indicates for me how I should live, how I should care for others, how I should view the entire world. So my faith drives my interest in politics because I do wish that we could have leaders who want these things that Jesus taught. I want politicians to be fair to everyone, no matter what their faith or value system is based on. But I think leaders who seek to lead the way that Jesus did, who follow what Jesus taught, those leaders speak to my heart in a bigger way.