Well... it's happened. We all knew that it would. The national campaign for president has taken a nasty turn. For the first time in years, we had two candidates that looked as if they might fulfill their promise of a race with integrity and some measure of cleanliness. Well, okay, that was a brief and fleeting moment as both candidates tried and usually did take relatively high ground during the primaries.
Well, looks like the gloves are off and the mud-slinging has begun in earnest, including complete fabrications. The NY Times chronicles McCain's recent blunders here and focuses on Obama's plans for a "sharper tone" here.
So, I'm officially uninterested, turned off by what could be one of the most scintillating moments in American political history--either the election of the oldest president and first woman VP or the election of the first African American to the highest post in the land. Either event could have massive social implications for America and how we understand ourselves. But, it seems to me, the moment lies about six feet deep in putrid mire.
Who will go in and retrieve it?
Admittedly, I've been a bit out of the loop over the past month. But as far as I can tell, many Christian blogs have essentially toed their party lines, taking up their candidates mantle with slightly less vitriol.
Here's a proposal:
If you're a Christian blogger with interest in this presidential election, how about serving as a truth watchdog for your candidate? In other words, since you're already spending at least some time consuming the information your candidate produces, how about serving that candidate and the rest of us by simply reporting the accuracies, inaccuracies, exaggerations, and distortions that come from your camp. We can't trust the candidates to do that. And many of us are reading your blogs, in part, because we have some measure of trust for you. How about deepening that trust and serving the public in a distinctively Christian way... by "putting off falsehood and speaking truthfully to your neighbor" (Eph. 4:25).
I don't suppose that any of us will turn into full-time distortion hunters. But it would be humble and good to work against the sinful inclination to champion our favored candidate's positive qualities and not turn a blind eye to known falsehoods when we discover them. Our being salt and light depends on our holding fast to the truth--especially when it's inconvenient and not in our self-interest. It would be great if the so-called Evangelical or "Christian right" became synonymous not so much with this or that policy position or party but with truth-loving, truth-defending, truth-living witness.
The Importance of Seeing Ourselves as Disciples - by Dan Phillips *From 2006 to 2012, PyroManiacs turned out almost-daily updates from the Post-Evangelical wasteland -- usually to the fear and loathing of...
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