Written by: Rachael Keefe

Politically Speaking

It’s election season again and it’s risky to turn on the TV or radio. Social media isn’t much better. This year seems to have brought with it a whole new …

Politically Speaking

It’s election season again and it’s risky to turn on the TV or radio. Social media isn’t much better. This year seems to have brought with it a whole new crop of negative ads. They are vile and make me not want to vote at all. Why is it that candidates seem to create only attack ads instead of actually telling us what they stand for? And the candidates who claim to be Christian! I really wish they would read this week’s passage from 1 Thessalonians and pay particular attention to the “urging and encouraging” Paul offers to “lead a life worthy of God.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the hatred and fear mongering. It hardly seems likely that reproductive rights and equal marriage rights will destroy any remaining fabric of American society. In fact, it’s more likely that treating women and LGBT folks as fully human in the eyes of the law might actually have a positive effect on society as a whole. But if we’re going to talk about equal rights, we also have to talk about the racsim that lies just below the surface of our political system and throughout most of the rest of our country. Unfortunately, nobody with any kind of political power wants to do that.

I am tired of hearing about Obama Care and how it has gone horribly wrong in the eyes of some. I want to know who is going to lead us into a time of peace, who’s willing to stand up and say that we have made a mess in the Middle East and stop feigning surprise at a war that never ends. I also want politicians who will stand against the Big Pharma, Tobacco, Oil, and Agriculture to support the rights of people rather than corporations. While I’m dreaming, I will add that I want candidates who will support environmental measures instead of fearing the cost because they recognize that the cost of doing nothing is far greater.

Honestly, I would not care what political party a person aligned themselves with if people mattered more than politics. What are you going to do about school shootings? Police violence in general, against black men in particular? Discrimination against women, transgender people, Muslims, recent immigrants? How about minimum wage and equal pay? Social Security and the mental health care system? Poverty? The public education system? Access to healthcare? My list goes on. And, no, I do not care what your opponent has done or not done; I want to know what you plan to do.

I really don’t want to go to the polls and vote for the lesser of the evils. I’d rather vote for someone I believed is actually trying to improve the quality of life for the least among us. I think about those early Israelites and how exciting it must have been for them to cross the Jordan with Joshua, celebrating new leadership, new land, new possibilities. Yes, it’s only midterm elections, but I’d really like to celebrate some new leadership and new possibilities that might lead us into being a new land.

So as you go to the polls, and I really hope you do go, vote for the candidates you think are most likely to live a life worthy of God.


(photo used with permission from https://unsplash.com/ )
RCL – Year A – Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost – November 2, 2014
Joshua 3:7-17 with Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37 or
Micah 3:5-12 with Psalm 43
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
Matthew 23:1-12

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About Rachael Keefe

Rachael is an author, a pastor, a teacher, and a poet. Her latest book (The Lifesaving Church - Chalice Press) is on faith and suicide prevention. She is currently the pastor of Living Table UCC in Minneapolis, and has launched a spiritual direction practice.

4 thoughts on “Politically Speaking”

  1. “Lead a life worthy of God,” Paul wrote to the shiny new church in Thessalonica, so soon after leaving them and moving onward. And he wrote this letter from Corinth of all places. I wonder why this little gem (lead a life worthy of God) was only an afterthought. Why hadn’t Paul covered that one before he left those Thessalonians? Seems so essential…

  2. I don’t don’t know if it was an afterthought so much as it was a summary of everything he had been trying to say to them. Either way, it certainly is essential.


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