A Plea for Political Nuance From an Ex-Extremist

Hi, friends. In the US, politics is an intense subject of hostility. With midterm elections wrapping up soon, I feel compelled to write a personal post.

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A couple years ago, during the 2016 presidential election, I became obsessed with American politics. I won’t tell you which side I was on because, frankly, I am avoiding further condemnation. Besides, it doesn’t matter for my point. Just know that I was all in–reading the news daily, watching YouTube videos, arguing with Facebook friends, provoking the ire of some loved ones…the whole nine yards of cringe.

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My views softened little by little as I got involved with the blogging community over the last year. Not all, but many of my blogging acquaintances are Christians. Their messages about love, patience, kindness, generosity, etc. worked at my heart. I started reading scripture daily instead of the news, and the Holy Spirit began to convict me of the fact that I had said and done so many wrong things. I was not reflecting or pleasing Jesus with my attitude. Instead of standing on a solid rock, I was flailing in sinking sand.

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Nowadays, I read posts from people on opposite sides of the aisle who genuinely believe and systematically argue that the other side will destroy the country. In both cases, I’ll read some points and find them valid while thinking “Eh, that’s an exaggeration” with other points. Centrism is not popular; it’s all about “winning the culture war.” As I type this, I contemplate the irony that this post will make people angry for the very fact that it doesn’t take sides. People with polar opposite views will agree that I should have taken a stand. Guess you can’t please everyone. Good thing I have someone else to please.

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I want to impart that the people on the opposite side of our extended pointer fingers are just that…people…human beings. Dehumanizing people fleeing to the US isn’t patriotic. Dehumanizing white people isn’t virtuous. Dehumanizing liberals or conservatives isn’t productive. Dehumanization is literally the opposite of Jesus; Jesus saw and helped and loved people that society deemed unworthy. I’ve begun to view these things through a Christian lens rather than a political one. Like Paul, the scales are falling from my eyes.

Whether it is religious faith or a broad sense of spirituality or secular empathy or something else, cling to that which reminds you that other humans matter. Embrace nuance. It’s okay to agree with some points and disagree with others. Listen, learn, and love.

Thanks for reading.

39 comments

  1. I believe what you say, and I like your message of peace here. The problem is that people like myself are quite literally in the crosshairs, being targeted for erasure. Nuance is out the window once war has been declared on your very existence.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Emily. The fact that I support not discriminating against people/rolling back the definition of sex yet disagree with other points of the Democrat platform is nuance right there. It’s dumb that we’re forced into a more-or-less binary choice when so much that doesn’t pertain to the economy is contained in each side that doesn’t need to be political, like this leaked memo and lots of other social issues.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the post. The political scene is pretty divisive and I think it’s hard to not get heated. I think all Christians (myself included) definitely benefit from reading scripture and applying scripture more than news.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. God’s concern is that every knee bow before Him, because only our submission to His Lordship saves. We can passionately believe that one political agenda is better than another but it will NEVER save one soul. It may be a more Biblical view, but it isn’t salvation. If we don’t recognize the limitations of politics it easy ensnares our hope that should be placed in Christ alone. Thank you for sharing this Lily!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Like you, I share a deep concern for the way the demons ravage our society – and it seems election day is the worst of it anymore. Like you I want to see Jesus honored here in this. Like you I want to see civility at least. Like you I have ideas about who should win or not that are irrelevant to my present point. Like you, my ideas differ from others – even people I care about.

    I care.

    Thank you for caring.

    I am praying today.

    I hope you will join me. You and all your readers.

    Btw, I pray for our president daily. This one more than any I ever prayed for before. I am committed to placing him before God daily in prayer. However, I did not vote for him – but then I do not vote.

    Two years ago, I made a prophetic prediction about the presidential election in September, and sure enough it came more shockingly true in November than I had even realized. I posted it on the blogs at the time. You can find it here:

    https://fatbeggars.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/the-prophetic-prediction-comes-true/

    I am prepared to repeat the prediction again today – with the added caution that it’s even more intense now than before. This is a “midterm” election! But some of us are calling it the most important of all! And midterms used to be half ignored, but now days emotions, fear, and hate are all boiling to a steam point.

    So, yeah, I will be praying!

    Thanx again for caring.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your comment, X. So true that “emotions are boiling to a steam point!” I also agree that lots of prayer–and genuinely seeking and trusting God–is needed. I will check out that post. I am intending to blast your blog and read all your recent posts anyway, but there’s just not enough hours in the day! But tomorrow is Saturday, so yay for extra weekend time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lily,
        Thanx for the kind words.

        I wouldn’t “blast” my blog. I am almost a one-note wonder. My blog spends more time trying to creatively confront the same point than in saying something new. I get a bit bored and stray off message every now and then, but basically, it boils down to a repeat message 80% of the time (conservative est.).

        Your blog has variety. And btw, this message in political upheaval of our times is important. It is to me. But it largely goes off script for me too.

        Thanx for posting! Thanx for your care.

        God bless you…

        X

        Like

  5. I’m definitely in one camp more than the other, but I’m willing to at least listen to a rational and calm point of view different from mine. I’ve noticed that I’ve softened my tone in the last few years too. It’s better for all parties involved.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Superbly written post Lily. We can disagree and still be friends. That point often gets lost in the ferociousness of our current cultural and political debates. I can’t scream or shout you into complying with my POV. We have our differences. And that’s okay. As a Christian, I have to pause and ask “am I pointing people to Christ or pushing them away?” I’ve got to guard my witness carefully. I am responsible for stewarding my testimony.

    Like

  7. Well said, Lily! I, like you, have been more involved in politics than I am now. realized at some point, that God is actually still in control of this seemingly out of control mess of a world that we have going on here. So I, like you, am choosing to pray, trust Him, and lean on Him for the final outcome!

    Like

  8. So proud of you, Lily!!!! I know you opened up when I wrote that Women Oppression post trying to get people to calm down and understand the other side with the focus on Christ. You shared you wanted to be a little more personal on your blog, and seriously, I’m so thankful you opened up. God has done the same for me. He often pushes me to see where both sides are coming from, and especially for believers for people to look beyond situations but at the individuals with love, regardless of our thoughts. I feel like I don’t please most people because I feel like I have to defend people on both sides. Christ loves all. He may not agree with everyone or certain things. But He wants everyone to be treated with love. ❤ Well done!!!

    Like

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