Something has changed

I’m not one for writing about politics on my blog. Indeed until recently I barely made or responded to any political statements on FB. I wasn’t going to write this, especially as I could find someone who says it better and just re-blog,  but it  won’t let me go.

Here in NZ I vote for our centre-right major party, always have and probably always will.  I am a Christian and  am morally conservative on most issues.

Like almost everyone else  I know I have followed the American election; for me initially with fascination, and then with increasing concern. I have found myself agreeing with many of my more left-leaning friends, both Christian and other. I have to my surprise waded in on FB on topics that I wouldn’t normally. I have read many articulate (and some not so articulate) outpourings from all parts of the political spectrum.

I really don’t know how I would have voted when forced to chose between two such flawed candidates (and I think that may be why so many people didn’t vote). I did take an on-line test to see if I was a Democrat or a Republican. I answered as conservatively as I could – turns out I would probably be a Democrat! Which goes to show that the concept of left and right in politics all depends on where the centre is defined.

I do not want this post to be about being anti Donald Trump. While I really (really) did not want to see him in the Oval Office, I do not doubt the legitimacy of his presidency. I’m not happy he is now in charge of the free world, and I am very concerned about the implications of the Executive Orders he is rushing out, but he has been elected and that is the reality both the USA and the rest of the world all need to work with.  I have certainly been praying for him and his advisors –  that they would lead with wisdom and integrity.

What this post is about is that somehow, by being drawn into this process, I have become aware that there are some things I care very deeply about and some things that I should care more deeply about. The act of thinking about American politics, and the implications of campaign promises, has made me look at everything I believe in both as a Christian and a citizen of this world. I have been challenged to look at my own hidden racism and prejudices, to try and work out which tenets I hold are based on a cultural view of Christianity, rather than what Jesus actually envisaged.  I have been forced to articulate to myself some of the things I vaguely stood for. Turns I’m actually far more complex than I thought.

So can I be a conservative yet liberal, Christian? Both deeply pro-life but also understanding that pro-choice is important too? Aware of the dangers of radical Islamic terrorism but sympathetic to Syrian refugees? Is there such a hybrid? How do I work that out in my life, in my dealings with others, in my everyday choices?

Even the fact that I feel that I need to get these disorganised thoughts out is a very big change for me.  I feel challenged and stretched. it’s quite painful and I don’t know where the stretching will take me. I am actually quite excited – I feel like I am finally growing up.







11 thoughts on “Something has changed

  1. This captures my experience over the past 12 months! I have found that this political season has made me clarify and come to a new sense of complexity. I am a complicated mix of ideology and most of the time this leaves me out in the cold on both sides of the political spectrum. Around my dinner table, across the church pews, and across the nation we are struggling with powerful political and cultural crosswinds. But, it looks like the whole world is awake. Thank you for capturing what I’ve been feeling.

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  2. Thank you for this post! I am under the impression that things are getting more and more complex and some people with it and some .. not. The world is not all black and white there are actually a trillion shades of grey in between and while some (many) people are still thinking in those old concepts of “if you are a democrat, than you are like this” and when you are a republican, you have to believe this” .. I feel they are not applying anymore to most issues nowadays. It’s not possible anymore to be one or the other, cause matters are too complex to follow just one pattern. But it’s interesting to realize that we are more complex as well and that we are actually forced now to take a position.

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    1. That’s so interesting – I think many people are becoming more aware of how important political decisions are. I guess one positive from all this is that we may end up with many more people voting and educating themselves on issues.

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  3. Many of us around the world are feeling the same way! As an American citizen ( and voter for Clinton, the lesser of the two evils) I watch the current political events holding my breath. While terrifying events occur, I pray that Trump is impeached or something changes within him. I’ve never feared for my country like this, our place in the free world nor longed to hold my family close as much as I do now. It seems like a crazy dream, a repeat of history that must not happen. I am a Christian too but I respect the Muslim faith as well as others because who has the right to judge others’ faith and beliefs? I could honestly on and on and not eloquently but the facts are that we are entering something that’s foul and not good for our world. God help us.😔❤

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    1. The thing that has concerned me the most is who many Christians have proclaimed Donald Trump as some kind of new King Cyrus. It’s very dangerous when you try to spiritualise a political situation, and makes it very hard to have a rational discussion on the issues.

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  4. Don’t worry too much about being anti Trumph – the man is a moron. What he’s doing to current world order is a worry though. You raise the question if one can be anti radical islam and yet be sympathetic to refugees from predominantly islamic countries. It’s an odd question as it presumes that all or most of islamic faith are radical. One could likewise wonder at letting Americans in to our respective countries given the incredibly high murder rate in America and the political extremism that propelled a man like Trumph to the position of president.
    I’ve lived and worked in islamic countries. My observation is that those of islamic faith are like most people, worried about jobs and mortgages, concerned with raising their kids and, mostly, having a relaxed view of religion. You’ll find religious and/or political dingbats everywhere.

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    1. I guess my comment was posted in relation to the dramatic black and white statements we are seeking every day. I think we do have to worry about Trump on many levels. Like you say he is doing and saying some scary things that affect all of us.
      I’m pretty sure most of us on the planet like you say just want to get in with our lives in peace and safety, regardless of our nationality or religion.


  5. Thank you for this post! I think so many of us are tired of feeling as if we only have an “either or” choice, when in reality, so many of us are a mixture of conservative and liberal, depending upon the issue at hand. And that is perfectly okay, even if it is not recognized. I did not vote for Trump, and don’t think he is a very good President. But I also don’t think he is evil personified and has the ability to destroy our country. But it seems as if everyone I know is clinging to one extreme or the other!

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  6. On our recent trip to Mexico, we ran into a couple who were visiting there from New Zealand. Over dinner, the discussion turned (of course) to politics in the U.S. One of our new friends said something interesting: just for fun, he took an online quiz to determine if he would be a Democrat or a Republican. He had always considered himself a conservative so he thought he’d be a Republican… nope. His conservative views as a New Zealander were liberal enough by U.S. political standards to label him as a Democrat. That indicates how right-wing our current Republican party is. Many former Republicans, including my husband, feel that they haven’t changed so much as the party has left them.

    I’m not religious, but I have many friends who are. They too are struggling with the ugliness they see in some Christian communities. I’m not sure when “Christian” became synonymous with “Conservative Republican,” but many of my liberal Christian friends are rebelling against this notion. Wouldn’t Jesus have been considered a liberal (even radical) if that label had been around then?

    Great, thoughtful post!


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