Thursday, August 2, 2012

An Honest Political Statement

on pop theology, philosophy, theology, culture, pop culture, christianityby Ben Howard

This post is going to be about politics. So please, before I say anything, close your eyes, close your minds, and prepare your responses. I know I would.

It's a fairly universal sentiment that politics have become too toxic. In fact, it's so universal that it has become cliche. Everyone seems to universally agree that our current conversations and our current way of discourse are inherently unproductive. Everyone also seems to agree that they're trying their best to overcome this. Everyone is pretty sure we'd be able to get a lot done if the other guy would just stop being so stubborn about everything.

They don't want to listen.  They have a closed mind.  They're bigots.  They're racists.  They're radicals.

I've spent a lot of my time in graduate school writing about the concept of sin. The idea is fascinating to me. I'm not particularly interested in ways to avoid sin, or any of the morality of whether X or Y is or is not a sin, to me that misses the point.

Sin is inevitable and universal. It is pervasive and there is no one who does not bear responsibility. It is toxic and it coats everything we do, even when it's good.

I don't say that to be depressing. I say it because I think embracing that inherent, inevitable, universal brokenness allows us to approach each other in humility. It allows us to encounter God's grace with wonder. It allows us the freedom to not be perfect.

The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem. The first step in redemption is repentance.

I think the first step in creating a healthy political environment is admitting we have a problem. And I'm the problem, even if I don't think I am.

My opinions are not objective.

I am not emotionally detached from my political beliefs.

I am unsure whether I love those with different beliefs in the same way as I do those who agree with me.

I am angry and I am afraid.

I am not honest about how my anger and fear affect my beliefs.

I am broken and in need of redemption.

I welcome you to join me.


You can follow Ben on Twitter @BenHoward87.

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