I am concerned about the abortions that happen in America. But I am concerned that we deal with the issue so simplistically. One side state that they are pro-life, does this insinuate that the other side is pro-death? One side is pro-women’s rights; does this imply that the other side is for the taking away of women’s rights? It seems that the dialogue is doomed before it starts because the discussion is couched in language that polarizes and demonizes the opposition.
I am concerned about same-sex marriage. I believe in a design that shows intention of a marriage between man and woman. The deviation of the model of marriage is sin. However, although I am opposed to homosexual behavior and believe it to be sin I know that I am a sinner saved by grace and want to deal with sinners with compassion.
I believe that we are stewards of God’s resources. We need to adopt responsible environmental policies. The book of Ecclesiastes clearly indicates that the world is not designed for us to gain anything. Our souls leave this world, but the material we are made of goes back into the cycle of life. From dust we are taken and to dust we return.
I believe that the disenfranchised, the disabled, the unemployed need caring for. I am a skeptic about the ability of mankind’s drive to care for his/her fellow man to work through faith based charity. I believe that in many cases those who have have a responsibility to share God’s blessings in their life with those who have not. This may need administrating by the state. Of course, the present government systems of caring for those who can not take care of themselves is flawed and needs reform. But it doesn’t need abolishing per se.
Many Christians in North America would agree with these ideas. It seems though that to be a Christian in America is to put abortion as the primary concern and then defend against the attack on the family. I believe Americans vote as citizens of America primarily. What would it mean though, if they voted primarily as citizens of a globally situated Kingdom of God?
I am not American, I am British. I have lived in Japan and seen the Japanese conduct their elections. I watched the PPP sweep to power in Pakistan when I was there in the late 80’s. I have been in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the late 90’s when the rule was quite different. So in coming to America I have a view of the current elections in a global context. In the first election that I observed in America, I heard a debate where one of the candidates talked about flexing American muscle and I became concerned for what that would mean. I thought of the implications for the world.
Politics is a very complex business. Webs of ‘social relations involving authority and power’ run throughout the world. The USA occupies a unique position at the centre of world politics. It plays the role of chairman, arbitrator, polluter, villain, hero, conspirator, savior, and bank to the world. No other country has sway over life and death like America does. How do we become aware of the effects of ICI factories in India and the deaths they cause? How do we become aware of how drug companies test their drugs and sell them in the global market? How do we hold a government responsible for decisions that ripple outward to the ends of the earth? What would happen if we voted as citizens of the Kingdom of God in God’s world? Would American murders of unborn children trump the deaths due to the environment or social justice? Does the issue of godly marriage outweigh whether companies can move into mountains and remove glaciers that provide vital water to whole river systems?
Voting as an American is unique. It bears a great responsibility. In many ways the government of America is the government of the world. So let’s move away from the simplistic analysis of one or two issues, but engage in discussion about God’s world and work the redemptive plan on a global scale.