Monday, October 25, 2004

My mind is eased, my hand is stayed

I suffered from what some might call a kind of temporary insanity over the weekend. It started when I sat down on Saturday night and started to berate myself for not writing something sooner (on the latest email group I joined) in response to one of the most frustrating views that some Reformed Christians hold: That anyone who votes for George W. Bush is either ignorant or not a Christian. They support such a thesis by pointing to some of the things that Bush has or hasn't done over the course of his entire political career, saying that this makes him worse than many other more liberal or "pro-choice" candidates. I'm always more than a little put out by such assertions because I find it an irresponsible position--one which ignores the consequences of inaction and the resulting failure to love our neighbor as ourselves. It also ignores the fact that one party is openly supportive of freedom and Christian values and if we do not support good wherever we find it, we might as well be supporting evil.

This particular weekend's insanity was all the more galvanized by an email which came on the previously mentioned email group. Keep in mind that the group is a Church based, albeit private group, dedicated to theological discussion. Current events are also not off limits so I'm sure that the email in question was meant to be covered under that category. There are certain rules, though, which are to be adhered to in all being the full identification of the sender, and their church affiliation. This message was simply a cut and paste copy of what looked like a news article. This is the link which will take you to the exact source and article.

I was simply appalled that someone had sent something like this, a blatant propaganda piece, in simply syndication style. No explanation, no context, just a subject line which was pretty much the headline for the article; and I just sat there fuming, hoping I would not blow my top in my inevitable response.

Yes, I did respond and I'm glad I did for several reasons. I communicated a good amount of anger--without being overly rude (I hope I wasn't anyway, assuming these are all brothers and sisters in Christ). All of the feedback I've gotten so far is positive and some other people were good enough to point out some very basic lunacies in the piece on their own--something I was glad I didn't have to do. It was encouraging and I also got the feeling I wasn't alone; there are plenty of other sensible people around me and I don't have to get all worked up. I'm thinking about writing a critique anyway, about some of the views I suspect might be represented on the group. While it is a little late in the game, I'm hoping that if people see the proper value of such a discussion in reformed circles, it could generate some equally valuable thoughts.

Ultimately, it would probably be wiser of me to settle down and stick to thinking about my more immediate issues like school, family, church, work, and, of course, basic sanity. Anything else should be considered low priority...and maybe I'll remind myself again tomorrow after I have started or finished a draft on this topic...
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