As a political ad came on the radio a short while ago, it occurred to me that if I hear or see one more such advertisement, I just might need to gouge out my eyes and rip off my ears.
In Washington State, where I live, I don’t recall hearing or seeing one, single gubernatorial ad that purely and simply states what the candidate believes or will strive to accomplish for our state. The ads are mud-slinging attacks on the candidates’ opponents, full of venom and propaganda. And they end with the disclaimer, “This ad is not endorsed by a political candidate for governor.”
The debates seem to have become less civilized than in years past, with the moderators struggling for control even more than usual and the candidates talking over the top of one another like children fighting for a teacher’s attention. People are stealing or destroying one another’s campaign yard signs, right in their own neighbor’s yards. Bumper stickers, and even vehicles, are vandalized. Families are being torn apart, friendships ended.
The dollars spent on the campaigns are outrageous. We live in a world choking on the damage we’ve caused.People around the planet are starving and dying from lack of medical care. People are living in substandard or nonexistent housing. Women are still being sold into slavery. We eat less expensive, factory farmed meat because we think we can’t afford to raise our animals in better ways. Yet we’re spending millions and millions on politics. Not because we must. But because we can. It’s unconscionable.
And we, as people of faith, continue to let it happen.
We, as people of faith, let the attacks continue. Sometimes we even participate. I know I do. I’ve said it over and over… I love my president and I’m keeping him. But I’ve said other things, as well. Not so nice things. I’ve said them because I’m angry and I’m scared. Which makes me no better than the people for whom I seem to hold ill will.
This political season seems to have been particularly nasty, full of abusive verbal attacks, petty back-stabbing, irresponsible misrepresentation of facts, and propagation of fear.
It’s time for us, as people of faith, to speak up. Separation of church and state is important, yes. But separation of the faithful and state is painful. Our state needs us. Our people need us. God’s people need us to be a voice of reason, a voice of peace, a voice of God’s love in a world gone crazy, mad.
You know, that mad world is still God’s world.
Striving for peace, seeking Spirit always,