amy courts: en route

Goodbye, Old Friends.
November 5, 2008, 11:39 am
Filed under: Politics

It’s funny how much I’ve learned about the human condition through the recent months of electioneering. 

I’ve received more hateful private notes on Myspace and Facebook than ever before; scathing messages decrying my personal ideas and opinions, deleting me as a “friend” based on our political disagreements.

I’ve received notes from friends who’ve been deleted by other friends who so passionately disagree with my politics they can’t bear the thought of myspace friendship with someone who doesn’t disagree enough to delete me.

I’ve been accused of Biblical illiteracy and ignorance, of hardening my heart to the wisdom of the godly (who vehemently disagree with my politics and “are only trying to show me the Truth” if only I’d abandon the lies I’ve embraced), and failing to think as a true Believer should. 

I’ve been told my views are deluded, stupid, ignorant, and foolish, and that I’ve been hoodwinked and deceived by the Enemy who wants Obama to win so more babies will be aborted.

My very faith has been called into question, the status of my soul landing on the chopping block before a band of believers who are certain it’s their right and responsibility to lead me back to truth, to Christ.

I’ve been called an apostate.

I have been handed my own ass on a platter more times than I can count for being unwilling to admit I’m wrong and for suggesting that my opposition may be.

And I’ve been as guilty as these, waving my education as a flag of intelligence, appealing to a degree in theology as proof that I’m smarter and better for my opinions. I have, on a number of occasions, descended to a new low in humiliating others and implying – if not explicitly declaring – they are stupid and ignorant.

I’m ashamed to say we’ve all been, at one time or another, willing participants in an unnecessary battle against ourselves.

And while I know tempers are sensitive and emotions run deep and wide during any election season – especially one as important as this year’s – it breaks my heart to know we Christians are so easily divided. 

Our Enemy has little work to do but sit back and watch, as we burn down our own Temple.

And what I’ve come to, this morning-after, as all the smoke clears and deep breaths are taken in the wake of knowing what’s done is done and we move on anyway, is that our true colors have come out and we ought to be ashamed.

It kills me to know that our political ideals can be so divisive among the People of God who are supposedly marked by Love. That for all the talk from both sides about how we ought to be voting for whoever we believe best reflects Christ’s Way, we are, from the other side of our mouths, shooting our own.

Indeed, today I’m excited about the prospects of our Nation and am glad Obama was elected. I agree with most of his policies and am hopeful for necessary change. But it’s a bittersweet reality, as I look back at all the dead and wounded on the battlefield of Christian political debates. It’s bittersweet to know that, because of my enthusiasm for Barack Obama, some of my sisters and brothers in Christ may never speak to me again. It’s bittersweet to realize that I may lose – or already have lost – some opportunities to share my passion for social justice and global action on behalf of Mocah Club and my African sisters and brothers simply because the agents and various venues disagree with my political ideas. It’s bittersweet to read so many notes from Believers who are certain the apocolypse is coming, that Obama is the anti-Christ, and are begging for the return of Christ lest any further damage be done.

When we should have been focusing all the while on the fact that, no matter who is leading our country or another, we serve the Creator who has specifically equipped His church to be salt and light, to be the champion of the underdog and carry justice wherever we go. 

May we pray for our President Elect and hope for the best. But let us not hold our breath for any political leader to do what is ours to do. 

May we actually unite under Christ…and serve.

Because we are all, ultimately, passionate for the same Truth, the same Christ, the same Way. 

We are still the Church, no matter how we vote as American Citizens, and our allegiance is to a Greater Kingdom. 

Why then so divided?


12 Comments so far
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I agree with you that it has been disappointing to see people actually lose friends because they didn’t agree on a political party or candidate. I have two friends who have vowed to no longer speak to each other over this very issue. The one who was for Obama felt the need to break his vow of silence and e-mail the one who was for McCain an “Obama victory” e-mail earlier today. It is appalling to me that people can get so caught up in their own self-rightious pride that they are not only willing to lose friends, but also to stoop to such childish behavior as saying, “I told you so.”. Who won in that battle between “friends”? No one.

Comment by somuchmorethanamom

“Why” is always a good question. I just wish your “friends” had asked it more earnestly before burning bridges.

Comment by Todd Newton

Amen lil sister 😉

Comment by ang

Amy – I disagree with almost every political word that comes out of your mouth, but would never choose to excommunicate anyone over healthy disagreements and debate such as we have had at times. Both you and Mr Koop have been nothing but civil and friendly to me, in person or otherwise, and I believe you both to be well-intentioned Christians who seek God. Shame on anyone who lets this sort of thing get in the way of their friendships.

Comment by steverupp

Hey Amy. I am just curious if I am one of the people you are talking about? I do disagree but I would never write you off.

Comment by Brett

I whole heartedly am saddened that so many people who are christ followers let politics cloud their judgement and forget that they are indeed christ followers and should of been seeking God’s will and guidance through the election instead of ending friendships due to the fact their and your views are different, but the big picture is that weather it is politics or something else people are going to have disagreements but that by no means that anyone should end a friendship over it no matter what. To me it is childish and those who stopped being your friends I thinks should reevaulate their piorities and hopeful maybe realize that throwing away a perfectly good friendship over politics was unnecessary and uncalled for no matter what. I want you to know that would never delete you as a facebook friend if we disagree on something, because we are friends in christ and christ followers and letting something like a disagreement over some issue get in the way of a friendship is selfish and hurtful.

All in all the friends who deleted you or ended their friendship with you well it is there loss for letting their selfish pride get in the way and ending a friendship over something so trivial, and maybe someday God will show them the truth that will cause them to realize that they threw away a friendship in the end for nothing but for their own selfish pride.

Thanks for sharing Amy 🙂

Comment by Terri

Steve and Brett…nope, neither of you are among those who’ve written me off (cause those who have done so have said as much to my face, or simply ignored me since the debate). It’s actually people like you who make me hopeful that we can all be opinionated idiots who vehemently disagree on politics but share the sacred common ground of unity in Christ. Which is essential, no matter where we stand politically.

And Steve…your brazen honesty makes me chuckle. I muchly appreciate it!

Comment by amycourts

I am appalled by some of the hateful comments I’ve seen on such sites in the last few hours. I’m disappointed by the lack of respect and decency that this election has forced so many Christians to display. The behavior from these people is unbelievable.

As for the “blog incident” from yesterday, I have long respected that person and have found that I still can hold that respect as he has said what I had hoped so many people would: He is our president. He has my support.

Sigh. The Aftermath is probably the most upsetting thing for me.

I do hope that change comes….quickly.

Comment by Micah

OK… Admittedly I struggle with this topic emmensely. I get so wrapped up in political banter and debate. I know in my heart why I believe what I do and I can not for the life of me understand the Christian Left. I feel this is my lifelong fascination. I wish I could forget (not loose) the mindset I have developed over the years and delve into this subset of religious America. I read Don Miller’s book “Blue Like Jazz.” Admittedly a start, but then I heard his benediction at the DNC and was bewildered – Using prayer to stump like that?! Then I realized the Right does this all the time. Gosh it’s all so confusing… I like talking to my pastor, he has such clarity on this issue. Unlike some churches WELS Lutherans seem to understand what is really important – Scripture, and are unwilling to deviate on the stupid wild goose chases that many other Christians are (admittedly this is another area of my sinful self that peeks its head around the corner occasionally). So I have decided to keep you, Amy, as a friend because I just don’t get it, but I think that God wants me to!

Comment by Aaron

Aaron, you’re both hilarious and thought-provoking. I’m glad you’re keeping me as a friend! My change of mind came quite slowly. I’d been a staunch advocate of the Right for as long as I could remember until I realized that my values – and how I wish they’d play out in the public/political arena – are more in line with the left, or at very least the center. And while I’m not (nor will I ever be) assuming or pushing for you to change your mind, the discussion is always worth having, if its had respectfully. I believe, though, that ultimately, the difference between Believers who identify more with the political left, center, or right, is not a difference in Values or even in Biblical literacy or interpretation; but a difference in how we believe our Values should be reflected in government. But the Church is still the Church. And, to be frank, ours is a much higher calling than simply debating political semantics. Whether our government is on board or not, we ARE to be and act and move as One in service and love to the least of these. That’s how we’ll be identified among the world.

Comment by amycourts

Amy, I’d rather vote for Hillary Clinton than Obama (and I’d rather eat glass than vote for Hillary), but that will never affect our friendship, as I hope you know. Although I have no desire to pay higher taxes and to see freedoms eroded and abortion magnified, I know I have to pray for our President elect and that ultimately God is sovereign and He establishes rules. Satan was lying when he offered the kingdoms of the world to Jesus–God establishes rulers, sometimes as a punishment for evildoers, sometimes as a punishment to all of us, because ultimately we’re all evildoers.

Comment by Randy Brandt

Randy, I’m glad we can agree to disagree (though I’ve never doubted our ability to do so, or the fact that our relationship can stand it…)!

Comment by amycourts

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