A spam e-mail sparked this blog post.
First off, I don’t like spam – and that’s putting it mildly. Why anyone thinks that sending an e-mail (or many, many e-mails) to someone who never asked for e-mails about a product, service, or candidate would cause that person buy or vote for someone is crazy. It more often than not turns more people off. I do my due diligence and unsubscribe to every one of these e-mails. Yet, some how they persist.
At any rate, the e-mail in question was a political one. It was an e-mail in support for Roy Moore, the US Senate candidate for Alabama. I actually read some of it – although I’m not exactly sure why. This wasn’t just an e-mail in support – this was an e-mail going on the offensive against those who have accused Moore of preying on young girls. Here’s how it started: “LET ME BE ABSOLUTELY CLEAR: I am not disgusted in Judge Moore, or in what his dating habits were forty years ago.”
I’m not even sure the person sending out this e-mail realized what they were saying. But I don’t think this person is unusual. This is the type of thing that happens when we make being right and ideology an idol – the salvation of people. When being right, and obtaining power is most important, we can look past what anyone on “our” side does. Winning is far more important apparently.
Lest you think this is an attack on Republicans, the Democrats are no better. Just look at Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s attempted defense of Rep. John Conyers for what he did.
We are strengthened by due process. Just because someone is accused — and was it one accusation? Is it two? I think there has to be — John Conyers is an icon in our country. He has done a great deal to protect women — Violence Against Women Act, which the left — right-wing — is now quoting me as praising him for his work on that, and he did great work on that. But the fact is, as John reviews his case, which he knows, which I don’t, I believe he will do the right thing.
No wonder we have problems with our political system. We have come to expect really bad/evil behavior from our “leaders.” Why? What’s the payoff for that?
Make no mistake, these are just two examples of people who belong nowhere near the halls of government. Unfortunately there are plenty more. And there are even more elected officials who coddle these people instead of insisting they resign, or should be prosecuted. Why?
When being right, partisan political loyalty, and ideology take the place of prominence over anything else, we have problems – as we are experiencing. When our primary identity becomes tied to partisan political party, we have a serious problem. I’m not talking about our elected officials – I’m talking about regular people here. People’s blind loyalty to political party means we can turn a blind eye to wrong doing or evil.
When this is acceptable, then the ends justify the means. If it means electing someone who violated the law and preyed on the innocent, then so be it. Blind partisan loyalty is a violation of common decency and ethical standards as far as I’m concerned. At the very least, it is a violation of rational thought.
When our salvation as a people is wrapped up in who gets elected, then we have made ideology and party loyalty into an idol. When our allegiance is to party and it takes precedence over all else, then we have made party into an idol to be worshiped without question. We are no different from the Israelites who made the golden calf and worshiped it while Moses was receiving the 10 Commandments.
Here’s one of the big problems with an idol – when you have an idol, you think you control it and it’s “powers.” In reality though, you aren’t in control at all. Just ask anyone who admits to having an addiction. In the end, the addiction will kill you.
Lest I sound just like a negative nilly, be aware – this isn’t new. This is the story of humanity throughout history. History didn’t start when we were born and it won’t end when we die. Idols will be made in the future. Political parties will come and go. And people will shift their loyalties to these new parties and ideologies as they continue to search for their true identity. But as long as we continue to search for identity that is human made, humanity will fall short.
But, thankfully, our identity doesn’t have to be wrapped up in human made golden calves. This is the Good News. It’s a message that often is drowned out by the gospel of partisan loyalty.
But no worries, it won’t last. Nothing human made ever lasts. Only God does.