Jesus and Politics

Today is local elections day, which is also known as, “No One Knows How to Park” day in my neck of the woods, because of where our office is located.  We share a parking lot with Club Square; for those unfamiliar, it’s a massive, four block parking lot where the city holds the farmer’s market and other events throughout the year.  It’s also the parking lot used by several local business, restaurants, bars, and a church.  This church just happens to be a local polling spot.
And so, with every election, our parking lot becomes filled with eager voters who have total disregard for pedestrians, the right of way, handicapped parking rules and what those white lines painted on the asphalt represent.  Yes, it is as much fun as it sounds.
Seeing the parking lot today reminded me of our national election last year.  Remember the debacle that was “counting votes in Florida”?  Our polling locations staying open until 11pm, with numbers not being reported until well after midnight?  The lines and lines and lines of voters?  Ah, Florida election process…the reason we have always voted absentee, and will continue to do so.
I remember that last year’s national election just happened to fall on the same day as the regular delivery for the Budweiser truck at a bar adjacent to our building.  The poor delivery guy spent the better part of four hours wedged between angry voters and poor parkers.  Silver lining: at least it was a beer truck, and if there was ever a day deserving of a cold brew at 11am, well, national election day was it.
Politics are such a touchy subject, right?  It’s something that we tend to keep to ourselves in the Coke House.  Not because I wouldn’t want people to know who I voted for (Ron Paul 2008 2012 Ron Rand Paul 2016!) but because I’m consistently overwhelmed with the amount of negativity and manipulation involved in the campaign process.
My biggest political campaigning peeve?  Manipulating Jesus for your platform (and this goes for both sides of the spectrum).  Because, to be honest, I don’t think the Jesus I know would share some of the opinions that some of you feel he should have his name attached to.
I don’t believe that my Jesus would use platforms of hate, or scaring the bejeesus out of people, to get his message across.  I don’t think my Jesus would guilt you into feeling we owe people something that we can’t even afford to give.  And I most certainly can’t imagine my Jesus slinging mud, calling names and pointing out faults to get his point across.  He’d also probably want us to stop being so damn selfish.
The Jesus I know would want us to govern ourselves in our political lives in the same manner we do our spiritual lives, or at least the way he’s called us to live.  Decisions based on love and truth, on honesty and well being, on what would help us to create a nation and world that would make him proud.  He most definitely would want us to give of ourselves to help others; giving time, talents and money, in a sacrificial way.  You know, that whole “being a good steward” thing. 
Politicos: Stop using Jesus to try and get others to share your ideas; start putting him at the center of your life, and start sharing his ideas.  Base your decisions and ideas on his, and you may find that others are willing to follow suit for all the right reasons.
Let’s start by loving everyone.  Yes, everyone.  That includes people who voted for Michelle Bachmann, folks who believe in banning gun control, and those who supported the Affordable Care Act.  Because it’s not our place to judge those decisions, remember? 
Jesus isn’t Red or Blue,


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