GENDUSA COLUMN: Choosing the right side of wrong

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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Every time an election is on the horizon, I begin to smile less, fret more, and pray for the day the votes are cast and the campaign blitzes are over. Whether it is a local or national race, neither appeal to me. And even though the right to vote is sacred, some candidates in the last few years seem to be missing anything that has to do with being sacred.

It is a Sunday morning, and the sky is about as gray as the political air. Everyone says election outcomes are determined by the state of our economy. Of course, our economy is vital; but is it the most essential aspect of keeping America united and secure? Maybe our economy and citizens will prosper more if we put godliness above all else. However, one needs an abundance of trust in the Almighty to believe that assessment.

I hear you; you’re already screaming at me! Just let me explain.

Our political leaders or candidates, Republican or Democrat, need to focus on what is right and wrong instead of their election chances. Almost every political ad or verbiage from many of our nation’s leaders reflects vitriol and lack of character. Often, their words are so far from what God promotes that it is sinful.

We desire less violence and bullying and more kindness in our nation, so why do we become or support bullies when it involves politics? We cannot expect to become a stronger country without civility in our representatives or ourselves. Can we envision a robust economy without God on our side? As a matter of fact, we should never assume to be rewarded for accepting brutal unkindness because of loyalty to a political party or candidate.

Often, devotion to God and a preferred political belief are in stark contrast to each other. Who or what do we choose? If we believe in God, is it necessary to ask such a question?

Over the last few years, when conspiracy theories ran rampant and social media became an outlet for outrage and violence, I often asked myself, who started all this hatred? I finally figured it was those getting rich and famous promoting discord. And many of us are giving them the money. What does that say about our shortage of faith in truth? Do we ignore facts because we want to agree with the inventor of preposterous theories?

Alex Jones is one such individual who has made a mere fortune off baseless claims he urged folks to buy into with shouts of untruths. For example, “ A staged Sandy Hook?” Really, did he visit the graves of the twenty children buried in Newtown, Connecticut? Did those who believed him do the same? These folks can reap huge profits because they appeal to our bitterness. Is that Godliness?

Much is the same with campaign rhetoric. The person who appeals to our rage often wins, which is tragic. Yet we want hate to end, hope to thrive, and wish the world were kinder. Well, I just don’t think that will happen unless what God desires of us comes first.

Sometimes we cannot separate faith in God’s words and politics. I have often decided not to vote for a candidate because their character was the antithesis of all I believed. Why would I? We must not ignore honor and respect when we elect people to lead. If we do, in the end, it will bite us. That’s not my thought; that is the words God put forth in the Good Book, which teaches us what to do to obtain peace. Or do we just let the Lord’s instructions slide when it involves politics?

There is no doubt that we created a firestorm of discontent between COVID, the political race of 2020, violence, rampant conspiracy theories, and the social media mess. And, during such calamities, we often hypocritically ask God to bless us each day. How does he bless our nation when many decide to put him in the corner until we call his name?

If we can somehow provide hope to others through our deeds, empathy, and faith, we will be on the right side of wrong. If we can build trust and shun harmful, divisive folks promoting fear, we will see honor and civility rise.

Our value as a nation is not grown in dollars and cents but in the richness of our people. If we can invest in promoting respectfulness and the sanctity of life in all our communities, we will build a safer, calmer, more prosperous, and less violent place to live.

It all has to do with putting God’s words first before our own.