Monday, April 10, 2006

Christ Among the Partisans - New York Times

Christ Among the Partisans - New York Times

Garry Wills, a professor at Northwestern University posted a thoughtful and thought-provoking op-ed in the New York Times Sunday probing the relationship between Christianity and politics, specifically chastising any effort by political parties to shoulder the mantel of "God is on our side" as being blasphemous, or at least missing the point, and on that he and I are in agreement.

After reading the article you might agree with Mr. Wills, that Jesus wouldn't pursue a career in politics, and I'm inclined to as well. But I wasn't left wondering What Would Jesus Do (WWJD), as much as What Would Jesus Want Me to Do (WWJWMTD) or How Would Jesus Vote (HWJV)? Mr. Wills quotes scripture to suggest prayer belongs in a closet. I'm left wondering if he'd rather religion stayed in the closet forcing everything else out. But if we are religious and believe we're accountable for our actions to both God and government then we're compelled to act differently than if we feared no consequences, terrestrial or not, in this life or the next.

How would Jesus want me to vote on abortion? How would Jesus have wanted me to vote on slavery? How would Jesus want me to vote on immigration, welfare, or the preservation of marriage act? If God asks for our prayers and Caesar asks our opinion, aren't our consciences obligated to give our best to both?
If whatever we do for the least of us we also do unto Jesus, would we make Jesus dependent on our charity or teach him to live by the fruit of his labors?

As a Christian I don't believe God wants me to be the best Jesus I can be--he wants me to be the best Thomas Gagne I can be. He wants me to be the best husband and father I can be, and he wants me to be the best citizen I can be. I want Christ to be with me wherever I go for strength, guidance, and wisdom--and that includes the voting booth.

1 comment:

  1. Amen!

    And the most passionate thing you've written.