Friday, September 12, 2008

So I've been thinking

I've been thinking a lot lately about the upcoming election, and about some people that I consider to be my friends, and about how people live their lives, and I'm undergoing some cognitive dissonance.

Let me preface some of this by just coming out and saying, up front, that I'm not a Christian.

What I mean by that is that I don't believe that Christ came back from the dead, and I don't believe that he worked miracles. I am completely uncertain about the existence of an afterlife, and my concept of "God" is wholly unlike what pretty much all the Christians I ever talked to seem to believe. I also really don't care for organized religion as a whole.

What I do get is the message on how to live your life, though. Peace, hope, love, charity. These are things common to pretty much all major religions. What's interesting about Christianity is the concept that the message and the messenger are one and the same, but that's tangential to where I'm going with this.

See, the cognitive dissonance I'm running into here are my friends who are Christian Republicans. I live in Indiana, a really conservative state. Despite that, I see a lot more Obama bumper stickers than I do McCain. A lot of the time when I see a McCain sticker, I also see a Christ-fish thingy as well. These people are devout, deep Christians.

But what does that mean to them?

One of the things that people like about the Republican party is that it offers moral clarity. Things are simple - right or wrong, black or white. They don't like the apparent wishy washy nature of the Democrats. I can see how that would have some appeal.

Christ, too, had such moral clarity. Incisive. Things were very clearly right or wrong for this man.

But Christ was the ultimate liberal.

By today's standards, he'd be considered a wacko hippie freak commie. Help the weak, feed the poor, shelter the homeless. End war. Love thy neighbor.

Christ's intolerance was toward hypocrites. To people who placed monetary wealth over their souls and the souls of others. He accepted the outcasts, the people that you and I would walk past without a second thought as they sit on the sidewalk without hope.

I am reminded of a great post over at Waiter Rant that talks about God's economics, explaining the parable of Legion. Go read it, it's worth thinking about.

Both parties consist of people who believe they have America's best interests at heart. But one of them seems far more willing to kill to protect those interests, and those same people are more likely to turn their backs on our own people who need the most help. And those are the ones more likely to strongly identify themselves as Christian.

So that's my cognitive dissonance in a nutshell.

To the people who read this who consider themselves Christians, I ask you: Are you a Christian only one day a week?

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