I usually try to stay clear of posting much about politics or religion because I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Especially during the election season when emotions were running so high, I tried to keep my mouth shut despite a lot of things that I wanted to comment on.
But after spending some time on Facebook this morning, I just can’t keep quiet anymore. I am so tired of reading comments and seeing posts that essentially say “If you are liberal, you must not be a Christian” or “The liberals are trying to kill Christianity in our country.” It just isn’t true. Every group from the neighborhood HOA to the Democratic party has bad eggs, but sweeping generalizations like these do nothing but put people more at odds and damage us all.
I Am a Christian
I’ll just put that right out there first. The picture above is of my daughter Cassie’s baptism at the First Presbyterian Church. She’s wearing the same dress that I was baptized in, along with my sister and my older daughter. My husband and I were married in his family’s church with a totally traditional ceremony full of Bible verses. I gave the prayer at my high school baccalaureate. I sometimes wear a cross necklace that my mom gave me from when she was a teenager. I accepted Christ as my Savior in junior high at my church’s summer camp. I’ve never once denied my religion or even paused when anyone asked me if I am a Christian.
Do you see where I am going with this? Is that enough proof? The Bible seems to say so. Even young children know that John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” Further, Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
I am a Liberal
I know it’s a dirty word to many of you. I’m not any more ashamed of it than I am of being a Christian. The two are not mutually exclusive because Liberalism is not a religious concept. It’s a social and economic concept. The dictionary defines it as things like “marked by generosity” and “broad-minded.” When did those become bad things?
While my religion has shaped my faith, my life experience has shaped my liberalism. Yes, I believe in homosexual rights. I didn’t when I was a kid. But as I’ve gotten older and met so many wonderful people and come to understand what the absence of those rights means to them, I’ve grown in my beliefs. No, I do not believe there should be school prayer. And not because I don’t want my own kids to pray. But because I have come to know many families who are NOT Christian whose children would be put in an uncomfortable situation every time it came time for them to have to pray. Is it fair to make a 9-year-old have to explain to their class why they are different than the Christians in the class when even many adult Christians that I know are not tolerant of it?
Being liberal doesn’t mean that I want to convert anyone else. You don’t proselytize your social views. That’s a religious concept. You might speak your mind sometimes or engage in discussions with people to back up your view. I’m not out to steal your Christmas. I promise! I spend Christmas Eve at church singing songs with tears in my eyes and holding a candle. But don’t freak out if I send you a card that says “Happy Holidays” on it. I hope Eric has a Merry Christmas. And I hope Missy has a Happy Hanukkah. And I hope Daniel has a Happy New Year.
Crazy Rants Make All Christians Look Bad
Do you want to know the fastest way to ensure that someone will NEVER become a Christian? Tell them that their whole belief system is wrong and that they are ruining the country with their liberal opinions. I can pretty much guarantee that they will not even give our faith a second look. Continually post on Facebook about how bad “liberals” are and you won’t just lose them from the church but will probably lose them as friends eventually, too.
Want to know how to get them to CONSIDER accepting Jesus? Show them that we are an inclusive group who help the poor and the sick and leave the judging up to the only being who is qualified to do it–GOD. Complain about a specific bill that a Democrat voted for. Petition Obama for his stance on an issue. But don’t generalize that the mere act of being a liberal makes someone a bad person or less of a Christian.
If you’ve made it to the end, it either means you REALLY agree with me or you REALLY do not. Leave a comment telling me why. I truly want to understand why we all can’t just peacefully co-exist and stop trying to make each other feel like bad people. It’s not the legacy I want to leave to my kids. And it is certainly not the legacy that is going to save our country from the problems that it faces.