When I walk into church, I am a Christian first, an American second. When I walk into the voting booth, I am an American first, a Christian second. That isn’t because my faith doesn’t take priority over everything else, but because it is my duty as an American to vote in the best interests of my country, my whole country. I’m not voting to further the heavenly kingdom; I’m voting for the creation of a more perfect union.
I look at the United States today. I look at the world my children are growing up in and I ask myself which side of history I want to be on. Our country and our world have been through difficult times. The more history I study, the more I see the patterns and cycles and the hope at the end of each tunnel. But I also recognize the importance of being on the right side of history as it is happening. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran pastor who was executed after his involvement in a failed assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler, stated “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” It is a weighty truth that challenges me every time I consider the many issues facing us today.
Perhaps if we refuse to accept the idea that people and issues are more complicated than “either/or,” we will be willing to challenge our friends, family, neighbors, and politicians to stop making it about us vs. them and just make it about all of us.