Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Proposal for Christian Bloggers Interested in Politics

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.

7 comments:

obsessiveskier said...

Amen. May God's people put off falsehood and put on humility, especially American Evangelicals during this time until the election.

Stephen Ley said...

I second that amen. I've watched with dismay as many evangelical blogs have morphed into trumpets of the party line. Neither Obama-olatry or Palin-olatry is "in line with the truth of the gospel." Gal. 2:14

billy said...

Great suggestion Thabiti! Some of the Christian blogs I read almost every day have fallen into this trap on both sides of the aisle. Some days it feels like I'm listening to a candidates surrogate on a Sunday morning talk show! I have not really been impressed by any Christian bloggers in this election cycle. At this point it seems like everyone has picked their side and that's as far as the discussion will go. I hope some would take this to heart and try to offer more holistic coverage. However it's hard not to be skeptical.

Alex Chediak said...

Thabiti,

Thanks brother. I've been thinking about the negativity ever since McCain started coming out with all those anti-Obama ads in late July or so. The problem, of course, is that it seems to work (in the short run). That's why they do it.

For what it may be worth, this articles gives the best explanation (IMHO) as to why he did:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0908/13412.html

As you note, Obama is not innocent either. His insinuation that McCain might interject race into the campaign was totally unfair.
And things have degenerated on both sides since then.

Celucien L. Joseph said...

Amen my dear brother. Thanks for your kind words.

Lou

Viola said...

Pastor Anyabwile, I have linked to this posting on my blog Christian Blogging About the Elections

Thank you for your posting and Christian perspective on the election.

Denny said...

Get Religion (http://www.getreligion.org/) and Scriptorium (http://www.scriptoriumdaily.com/) are two great sites for honest commentaries.