Politics and Religion
As an opening for this blog, the political situation in Haiti is on the verge of heating up again even as the virus is moving quickly through the country. On top of some of the earlier issues and reasons that people had for rioting in the streets, the country's handling of the virus along with some Presidential activity has the population ready to take to the streets again...Probably sooner than later. Please continue to pray for Haiti as it is being attacked on multiple fronts and pray for All Things New as we discern what is right moving forward.
In our last 2 blogs we have been talking about truth and what it looks like both in theory and action. The "truth" is, I had no idea how difficult this topic truly was until we started helping to raise children in Haiti and then raising our own a few years later. Something that I thought was a simple, black-and-white topic has shown itself to be anything but. We value truth so highly and expect it so much from our children, but when it comes time to practice that value for ourselves, it can be challenging.
The arena of politics may just be the best example of the difficulty of truth. The political landscape of Haiti is fraught with misinformation, corruption, and a tendency for the rich and powerful to remain rich and powerful at the expense of the rest of the population. The "truth" in this country is shaped by radio personalities, families with money, and politicians with ulterior motives.
The political landscape in America is much the same. We are told what and how to think either by the politicians themselves, our ever more biased media, or our allegiance to a political party (whichever one you are loyal to). The "truth" about what we should fight for and how we believe is easily hijacked by an agenda that is driven by a lot of things that barely even mimic truth.
The thing about religion and politics is that they should be separate. No religion should push policy and no politician should control religion. But there is a difference between keeping the church and state separate and leaving our relationship with Christ at the door of any political discussion or topic.
In both Haiti and America, self-pronounced Christians make up the majority of the population and yet both countries are quickly becoming "post-Christian" nations. That is part of the reason that people are taking to the streets in Haiti, to fight for their voice to be heard. It is too early to tell if that voice will be Godly or secular, but the fight is on.
In America, on the other hand, I am afraid followers of Christ have forgotten what it means to fight for our ideals. To fight for a country that is both a haven for capitalism and takes care of the vulnerable. To fight for a country where every citizen regardless of age (from conception to death), skin color (how does the average black family make less than half of what the average white family does?), political belief, educational background, etc. has a seat at the table.
At what point did followers of Christ become moral relativists, even in the political arena? Our argument is no longer, vote for this man/woman because of their ideals and beliefs, it is vote for this man/woman because they are not this man/woman. When did followers of Christ cease to stand up for the little guy, stop fighting for the vulnerable, and desire policies and politicians that value profits over people? When did we allow political motives to hijack our faith?
While Jesus desires unity, politics has divided our country, our families, and our churches in a way that is hard to describe. Even the wearing of masks and public safety in the midst of a pandemic has become a political issue and it just blows my mind.
When I sit and pray at night or think about how my children in America and our children in Haiti are going to view the world, I realize there is a fight. There is a fight between politics and truth, and truth is losing. When my children are old enough to understand morality, are they going to be continually bombarded by tolerance and relativism at the expense of truth?
Both of the countries that we love are at a crossroad. We can continue to move down that political divide that places party over people and tolerance over truth, or we can stand up for the people in our society who need it. Our job is to teach our children to stand for those who cannot stand and fight for those who cannot fight. How can I teach that to my children if I do not do that myself?