Time to Vote...or Not
You can tell when it's election season. The leaves are starting to change colors, there's a chill in the air, and mud is getting slung all over the television. As a result, I hate election season. No, I like the colorful leaves and the chilliness in the morning, but the negative political ads make me a little puky. It's a shame that no one running for office has stances on any issues anymore; they only know every thing that their opponent has done wrong in their lives...or at least it seems that way to me. "Vote for me because that other guy/lady is a moron with no ethics whatsoever. Here's exactly how bad of a person he/she is." And so on. One particular set of ads have been running for months and months for someone named Judy Baar Topinka, and the tagline, "What's she thinking?" Not, "Vote for me and here's why," but, "You can't vote for her because she's that stupid. (paraphrased)" And I still don't know who she is or what she is running for. These types of ads - and the ones for prescription drugs - almost make me want to stop watching TV...but Prison Break keeps bringing me back.
We did a teaching last week at The Porch. We are in the midst of a series we titled GodSpace: A Space for God (modeled after the popular MySpace website). The idea is, what does it look like when you give God space in your life. The focus last week was on the Comments section, specifically, when you give God control of your life, how is your tongue/speech/comments affected? We found ourselves in James 3, where the tongue is compared to a bit that controls a large horse, a rudder that controls a large ship, and a spark that can start a huge fire. It can do a lot of damage, and it can do a lot of good. If you can control our tongue, it makes controlling the rest of you that much easier.
As I thought about this teaching, I thought back to my repulsion for political ads. I had this thought: What if we chose to not vote for anyone that ran attack ads on their opponent? By voting for the individuals that "approved this message," are we not saying, "I condone your methods of advertising"? I would have a hard time looking the attacked opponent in the eye and saying, "I agree with all of the awful things that [my candidate] said about you." If we made that kind of a stance, with massive support behind it, we might actually have some ads aired that were helpful and informative, instead of nasty and dirty. Granted, that kind of movement is more than this lowly blog could ever generate. So the more applicable question is, if we each made that stance, to not vote for anyone that ran negative, attacking policital ads, would we have anyone to vote for? Or have they all gone over to the dark side?