Normally, I veer away from discussing politics if I can, just as some would religion, but not right now; not when the people of our country need it the most. If a person has a television or access to the internet, there is almost no avoiding the political race as we grow closer to the Presidential Election on November 8th. The election of the Republican Party Nominee: Donald Trump, vs the election of the Democratic Party Nominee: Hillary Clinton (plus the independents).
While this will come as no surprise, there seems to be a few major differences between the two primary candidates. After the past several months, as I’m sure others have as well, I have been following the campaign trail very closely. I have viewed, read and heard statements from the candidates themselves, reporters, and news anchors on multiple channels, including: CNN, FOX, NBC, etc., as well as half the late night comedy talk show hosts (you have to laugh a little)!
As Christians and citizens of the United States, I highly encourage everyone who is able to vote, to vote their conscience; meaning vote for the candidate they believe is the right person for the job. And just as important, in fact, even more important than following the multitude of speeches and reports, as Paul writes in 1st Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray without ceasing."
Also, in our prayer book on pg. 815, the prayer For the Human Family (please look up this prayer), regardless of which political affiliation one may follow or candidate one may intend to vote, this prayer is vital to our calling as followers of Christ. Whether or not we are Democrat, Republican, or Independent, these affiliations have absolutely zero effect on our relationship with Christ; only our relationship with one another. And unfortunately, while sometimes these affiliations can bring us closer together, they can often become extremely divisive if our hearts are not set in love. Division is not Christian. Disagreement is.
As followers of Christ, we are able to come united together through our relationship with Christ, instead of being divided through difference. As we all know, there are wonderful, faithful followers of Christ who lean more to the Republican political perspective just as there are wonderful, faithful followers of Christ who lean more to the Democratic perspective. This prayer on pg. 815 holds the key for us as Christians to what needs to be at the center of our hearts for every vote, disagreement, or decision we make.
Let’s take another look at those two letters between the two candidates above. Through the love of Christ, the letters should never become ‘vs.’ The letters should always be ‘us.’ Amen.
The Rev. Tim Backus
Rector - St. Francis Episcopal Church, Gulf Breeze