Thoughts on Politics and Religion: A discussion with a friend

I don’t often (read: EVER) post political discussions on my blog. However, this is a topic that has been bothering me for several days, so I tried to hash it out with a friend via an instant messaging conversation.
I wanted to share it with you… not because I want to change anyone’s mind, we are all entitled to what we believe. However, I think it’s important to question what we do not know or understand, and have a civil discussion with people around us to learn more.
With the first of the presidential debates behind us, the need for political discussions needs to happen so we can make the best choice for our country and the people in it. Which candidate will do the best job? I don’t know. But I do have an opinion on who I think it would be. However, if anyone would like to share their thoughts with me, I would love to hear them.
Without further delay, I give you the conversation with my friend. This conversation was only edited to remove names and most, if not all, identifying information. It is posted with permission from my friend. If there is ever a place that it doesn’t read correctly, keep in mind that:
1) It was taken verbatim from the chat window.
2) Some statements had to be removed to protect the innocent.
Me: can I ask a political question? or are those off limits on the weekend? 🙂
Friend: oh go for it 🙂
Me: Why does it seem that being Republican and being Christian can’t be mutually exclusive?
Friend: that’s a great question.
I think… maybe it’s because the Republican party prides itself on holding to old-fashioned family values, and in some way they equate Christianity with that. And since they’re so obvious about it, people assume that anyone who has Christian values must also be Republican
it’s like how people assume that if you belong to a labor union you’re a liberal
most union members are liberal and very vocal about it. but quite a few are either conservative or moderate, and see the union as what it’s for
Me: See, the problem I have with it is this: the Republican Party (as a general rule) does not believe in welfare programs
Friend: right, which goes against the whole family value thing
in order for some families to thrive they need welfare
Me: but that, in my opinion, goes COMPLETELY against the whole “care for one another” mandate from Jesus
Friend: exactly
Me: *sigh* I don’t get it
Friend: I think major conservatives look at the family unit as insular
where really, like it or not, we’re ALL connected regardless of whether you think it’s socialism or not
Me: I agree
Friend: but don’t try to tell a conservative that
Me: lol! Well, that’s my new argument against stupidheads lol
Friend: lol
Me: and by stupidheads, I mean the Republicans who can’t have a mature discussion about the connection between religion and politics
Friend: but yeah, you’re right on about the whole love your neighbor as yourself thing… how can we profess to be following Christianity if we’re not doing what we can to care for others?
I think it’s like how people argue to ban books. They take a small portion that backs up their point and blow it out of proportion
Me: That came up for me the other day as I tried to have a discussion with a whole crapload of conservatives.
omg
Friend: so the Repbulicans are taking what they like and what makes them seem holier than thou, while ignoring what’s really important
Me: I just read a great article about that, lol
Friend: lol
omg
Me: actually, it was a blog post, more so
Friend:  it’s totally like the Pharisees
they walked around spouting the law and looking all awesome and good but didn’t give a shit about people around them
only what was good for them
Jesus went to hang with the tax collectors, sinners, and lepers
Me: But you are totally right
Friend: yeah, some conservative views make me really embarrassed to be a Christian sometimes
I think it was Ghandi who said “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians.”
Me: It’s so true! He was a smart guy
Friend:  Jesus encouraged community and helping out widows and orphans and lepers. So really, he was the first socialist, if you want to oversimplify it
Me: Well, and honestly, that’s kind of how I look at it… when I started breaking it down, if I had to pick a political party for Jesus, I would put him as a member of the Democratic Socialist Movement
Friend: yeah
Jesus didn’t turn from the “sinners” or lepers. He went and actively sought them out to help them and be with them. If he came today, he’d be hanging out with the gays and atheists while the conservatives were left scratching their heads
Me: And, dare I say it, it’s not so much “Socialism” that’s the problem… it’s that no one can be the leader of a socialist party without corruption.
Friend: right
the concept is good
like most things that are political. Good concept, tricky execution
Me: Yep
Okay, I just wanted to be sure my idea wasn’t coming from left field…
Friend: haha I see what you did there >_>
🙂
no, I think you’re on the money
honestly, the way the Republican party’s going around acting all religious and like they know everything disgusts and embarrasses me
Me: Sometimes I think that someone needs to storm into a congressional/senate session and just say “LOOK. Here’s how it REALLY is.”
Friend: i’m all for family and Biblical stuff but I’m not going to stop caring about the people around me because they say they’re “bad” because they may not meet some ridiculous standard they set up. WE’re all imperfect.
Me: No, I agree. And, the other thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of the Republicans are so “I’m right, you’re wrong, no discussion, end of story.” Whereas a lot of Independants and Democrats I know will be more like “Hey, let’s discuss this thoughtfully and rationally. I’ll listen to you if you listen to me.”
Friend: yeah
it’s like their afraid their mind will be opened
or they’re so comfortable in their little mental box that coming out isn’t an option, which is just sad
That’s the story I was talking about with the banned books thing
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