In about a year, a new president of the United States of America will be voted on. Surprisingly, you’d think the vote was next week, with all the media attention, as the candidates are jockeying for position. So, what do I think about this presidential race, and politics in general?
I’m so glad you asked! To be perfectly honest with you, considering my current role in life, Lead Pastor at APC a few miles outside the city limits of Louisville, KY, that’s something I don’t think is appropriate to share. Here’s my reasoning:
- Nothing creates more division that politics and religion. In fact, I made a vow about 4 years ago (what a coincidence) to avoid talking about politics and religion whenever I’m with family and friends. At this point, I’m resisting any and every urge to discuss it at all! Do I have radical views regarding either subject? In my opinion, I do not. I always find myself pretty much in the middle when it comes to being labeled conservative or liberal. Oops! I might have just revealed too much info right there. My point is, boldly declaring “who you are” or “what you believe” many times disrespects someone in your audience. (Note: obviously, I’ve chosen and been called into a “career” that when asked of, I do have to share “who I am” and “what I believe”, however, my intention is to NEVER disrespect anyone).
- Social media. Wow! What a powerful platform! And how convenient it is for anyone and everyone to blast their beliefs and opinions out to the masses. Remember, not everyone that “follows” you thinks or believes exactly like you! Furthermore, in that format, it really isn’t a healthy way to “discuss” your opinions and beliefs. The dialogue that takes place via Twitter, Facebook, or on any other social media platform rarely are capable of convincing the other side. The final result is often times highlighted with two sides that won’t budge, and a disconnected relationship with one side threatening to no longer follow the other, or unfriend them! What good was accomplished? Additionally, could it in the future damage your digital footprint? Ahhh….but that’s an entirely different blog post! Check out that post here.
- Depending on your current role in life, your words have the power to influence, or offend! To be very clear, I would NEVER do this, but I wonder how many literal platforms, like a church platform, will be occupied with a preacher who boldly proclaims who he/she is voting for, or which political party he/she is aligned with. First of all, I’m pretty sure that crosses some kind of legal, or at least ethical line. But secondly, have you considered that some of the faithful, loyal, loving and giving people in that church might by grossly offended, because their church, their pastor, feels passionately about a political candidate, that they don’t feel the same way about! And finally, what is more important? Who a person votes for? Or where they spend eternity?
- Well, if you don’t care about people, then continue to freely make public your thoughts! You’re right, it’s a free country! You have every right to shout your opinion from the roof tops! Nevertheless, I have made a choice, in an attempt to be considerate to your rights and opinions, and to the rights and opinions of others, to keep my thoughts (oh, and I have thoughts!) guarded. There are plenty of opportunities to offend and be offensive, yet, this is one area that I choose to delicately avoid. Why? Because I care about people, and I do care about their feelings.
- So, what’s to come of all of this? Vote. You vote. And I will vote. And we will all, hopefully, exercise our God given rights as Americans. And I will proudly wear my little sticker that says “I Voted”. I will proudly adorn my lapel with an American Flag pin! And unless I’m asked, and feel that I could engage in a healthy, respectable dialogue with you, I will not share with you my political views or preferences.
Can you imagine the incredible silence on Facebook there would be over the next 10-11 months if there were no political posts? We’d be back to posting selfies and pictures of every meal. Which, I don’t know would necessarily be a bad thing! What would be trending on Twitter! All joking aside, I’m certainly not telling anyone what to do. However, I would strongly suggest you consider your audience. If everyone is in agreement, by all means, I’m sure you could have some stimulating, and intellectual conversation. But for me? It’s just not worth the risk of losing any of my incredible friends over maligned political views.
Still Your Friend!