Perhaps you heard about the candidate in the North Miami mayoral race who claimed that Jesus endorsed her.
Spoiler alert: she lost.
I have to assume, because I do not know the content of her heart the way God does, that Ms. Pierre is sincere in her Christian faith. She claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ, so that makes her my sister. And to be fair, she is not the first (or last) political candidate to invoke the name of God or Jesus in campaigning. And among the list of atrocities–real atrocities–that are carried out in the name of religious fervor or favor, running for office seems to be a rather tame enterprise.
Having said all that, it is with the love and conviction of a sister in Christ that I implore my brothers and sisters in the political arena who imply (or outright claim) an endorsement of a candidate or platform that originates in heaven: please stop doing that.
You’re not advancing the cause; in fact, you are making it worse. Even if you espouse the same political and spiritual framework that I do. Even then, please stop.
Obviously, as a person who contributes to this blog, I believe in the intersection of theology and politics. In my case, my politics are informed by my theology. I try very hard to keep it that way and not the other way around.
This morning I watched a video produced by Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, in which she announced her decision not to run for her congressional seat in the next election cycle. Congresswoman Bachmann has, over the seven years of service to her district in Minnesota, often conflated politics and religion in an attempt to demonstrate that political or strategic actions against the United States bore the hand-print of God and were the result of perceived “sins” that the nation or its leaders had committed.
To me this smacks of asking the Almighty to do others’ (and our own) political “dirty work”, when God clearly has, to borrow a phrase, other fish to fry.
I can’t believe that Jesus does, in fact, endorse this. This sounds pretty self-centered, where I am called to be Christ-centered.
I do believe that there are those who are called to public service in the same way that I am called to ordained ministry or my spouse to software development. I also believe that living out one’s vocation in a manner that is informed and transformed by one’s values, ethics and theology is a faithful response to a calling, no matter what the field.
This is my disagreement with those public servants who claim to have the endorsement of the Triune God, or any person therein: I believe we are here to proclaim the mighty works of God.
Not the other way around.