Politics for me is like driving by an automobile accident. I really don’t want to look, but fighting the urge to do so is difficult. Last century, I minored in political science while earning a journalism degree. I had looked forward to a career doing political coverage as a writer. Blessedly, the direction of my life changed and as the years have gone by, I have developed a distaste for much of what passes itself off as politics these days. Politics is more about winning elections than creating policy. Election coverage reminds of a halftime report during a college football game.
Still, because of the past connection, something catches my eye and I will look. There was article recently online about some supposed coverup by the Obama administration. The article had a slant, but what news coverage doesn’t these days. To read news well these days, you have to find a variety of sources, slide down the slant and see where you land. That might be somewhere near the truth because journalism is more about advocacy than truth. Take out the slant, read critically and look for the truth.
A discipline that I am trying to develop in reading news online is not to read the comments posted by readers, because that is where trolls come out to play. At the end of that particular article, there was one of the worse comments I have ever seen. A reader mentioned the President and a noose in the same sentence. It was tasteless and offensive. For one, you shouldn’t even joke about threatening the President, and I came away only hoping that it was a joke. Also, the racist connotations of that statement are over the top. And finally, the only person likely to take a comment like that seriously works for the Secret Service.
I hope that the person who made that comment would not claim to be a born again Christian. I can only hope, because honestly, when it comes to politics, evangelicals are often guided too much by anger and not enough by a desire to glorify God and bring honor to Jesus Christ. I heard a believer once say that Christians need to get angrier and stand up for themselves. I don’t think that the book of James encourages that teaching.
My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. (James 1:19-20, HCSB)
If we really want to bring about God’s righteousness is the world, we won’t do so by being angry.