So, at work last night I make a passing comment about the "treasonous congress" to one of our drivers who I know ingests a toxic amount of right wing talk radio. (I suppose much more than an hour a day could skew one's view of reality sufficiently.)
He proceeded to tell me why (basically) everyone who isn't for the war at this point is a traitor. Now, given his proclivity to broad definitions (which would allow for calling Congress treasonous when they are clearly doing their job of checking the President's power), and my penchant for stating ridiculous arguments to get a rise out of people, it went on and on.
This particular driver is a good christian man. He comes from a church which he describes as very close in character to the Assemblies of God. I call him a "Baptistmatic".
After discussing politics for about 30 minutes after he got off the clock, when the conversation was concluded (because he was leaving), we shook hands and said, "We're both christians; let's not talk about politics anymore."
Sounds good enough to me.
What particularly got my goat is when he insisted on calling me "liberal" and "a democrat" when I didn't see exactly eye to eye with him. Apparently his two party system (which is only in his head) has no room for free thinking or independent voters. And so it is with people who think in such a stark, dichotomous way. It's either one or the other "You're for us or against us" and all that.
While I applaud the more honorable side of conservative politics (I've listened to my share of Rush), it is particularly troubling to me when Conservative Christians feel they have to tow this party line, in conjunction to or in relation to their christianity. And thus, the world has the image that we American Christians think that God is middle-class, white and Republican (Thanks Derek Webb). Well, he's not. And in fact, it seems to me like many of the Republicans' stances are contrary to the values which Christ taught. And so, having come to the Republicans for their protection of 'conservative social issues', such as abortion, gay marriage, and so; christian conservatives also ended up buying the whole party platform, even the parts that are contrary to or crosswise with the Scriptures and the Tradition of the Church. And because they have done this and they are thoroughly devoted to the Scriptures (if not Christ and the His Church), they even seem to see warrant in the Scriptures for the Republican Platform, and tell you (with a straight face, no less) any of the ridiculous views of the Republican establishment as if they were dogmatic truths.
All this being said, I fear that I am no better. No, my biblical interpretations are not skewed to the left because of my politics (which aren't really all that far left), but I couldn't describe myself as a liberal or a conservatives, because I think sometimes the Church, the Scriptures and Christ call us to transcend contemporary political values to see our ways to a higher plane.
So, I have decided that along with more traditional disciplines of the Lenten fast, I will 'give up' politics this Lent and 'take up' peacemaking. For, blessed are the peacemakers, and all that.