And so, to continue from yesterday, the presidential candidate who promotes lawmakers eating lunch together is the one who will get my vote as long as they promise one more thing:
To never talk about their religion, their faith, or their personal relationship with God. To not let me know whether they're a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, or whatever they are. Or aren't.
To quote a line from the movie While We're Young: "Let's just not know".
And if God has hand-picked some of the candidates, as about half a dozen of them are currently proclaiming, then that's great, it really is. Let them listen to God and do whatever God tells them to do. Without letting the rest of us know about it. It's called humility.
The problem is that all these political candidates who claim God is using them are actually using God. To get ahead. To achieve power and personal gain. Because if, as they say, it actually was God's will that they run for office, then that would mean they were God's candidate. And, as none of us wants to be on God's bad side, we'd better vote for God's candidate. Or so many people are led to believe.
Some people talk about "voting the Bible", which means voting for whoever equates their political beliefs as God's will. Some people "vote the Bible" out of a sense of moral obligation, some out of a sense of religious superiority. Some vote the Bible out of fear not to.
The other problem is that in some crowds wearing one's religion on one's sleeve gives one carte blanche to behave however one wishes, Because proclaiming oneself personally close to God automatically grants one a good degree of amnesty. Too many people confuse public display of religion with other things, such as honesty, good leadership, and human decency. Or for some people public display of religion simply trumps all of the above.
It's like the time years ago when one of my daughters went on a high school Spring Break trip to Rome. Before she left she asked me what I'd like her to bring me back. I described for her the small black and silver filigree cross on a chain I once bought while in Florence but lost a few years later. She brought me back the closest thing she could find to what I'd described, a rather large black and silver crucifix with silver filgree around the edge. I began wearing the crucifix on a chain around my neck and everywhere I went people commented on it and often their comments reflected their assumption that I must be a good, decent religious Christian person. An elderly back gentleman once came up to me and said, "I walk with the Lord and I can see from your cross that you do, too." And I thought to myself, Geez-oh-man! I could be a total self-serving con artist! I could be dishonest, disreputable and disgusting, but I wear this cross and people see a good, decent person!
Politicians are wearing religion the way I wore that cross and it's working as well for them as it probably would have worked for me if I'd wanted to use it that way.
So I say, let the presidential candidates stop using God and religion to pump up their resumes and distract the voting public from their true selves and abilities.
As for me, I'll vote for the candidate who never talks about their religion or their God.
Fat chance, huh?
"...do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full." Matthew 6:2
"God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers." Luke 18:9
"And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham." Matthew 3:9
"You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act." Matthew 7:16
"Others of them were detestable hypocrites, making their pretenses to holiness a cloak for iniquity." From Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on Matthew 3:7-12
"Equal And Opposite Reactions"
by Patti Liszkay
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I am a traveler just visiting this planet and reporting various and sundry observations,
hopefully of interest to my fellow travelers.