Monday, August 09, 2010

Confessions of a Tea Party Casulty

I'm largely apolitical. I vote in presidential elections and I read Time Magazine weekly to keep an eye on what's going on in Washington and elsewhere. But I'm not a poli-junkie by any stretch of the imagination. Truth be told, my take toward politics is Mercutio-like. You know, "a pox on both your houses." Neither side of the aisle in American politics are saints and I find areas of agreement with both parties, making me a slightly right-leaning independent, I guess.

But what I read in this article about what happened to Representative Bob Inglis of South Carolina has me worried. It would appear that the Republicans are being driven to an extreme edge and that's not good.

For me, I really appreciated what he said about what he calls the Ninth Commandment (but me, being a Lutheran and all, would call the Eighth):

I refused to [call President Obama a "socialist"] because I have this view that the Ninth Commandment must mean something. I remember one year Bill Clinton—the guy I was out to get [when serving on the House judiciary committee in the 1990s]—at the National Prayer Breakfast said something that was one of the most profound things I've ever heard from anybody at a gathering like that. He said, "The most violated commandment in Washington, DC"—everybody leaned in; do tell, Mr. President—"is, 'Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.'" I thought, "He's right. That is the most violated commandment in Washington." For me to go around saying that Barack Obama is a socialist is a violation of the Ninth Commandment. He is a liberal fellow. I'm conservative. We disagree...But I don't need to call him a socialist, and I hurt the country by doing so. The country has to come together to find a solution to these challenges or else we go over the cliff.
I couldn't agree more. Those in both parties who call themselves Christians should keep the Eighth/Ninth Commandment (however you number the Big Ten) in mind whilst doing political discourse. And remembering such gems as Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-17 wouldn't hurt either.

But that's just this apolitical centrist's grubby little opinion and one, I suspect, that would get lost in the generally angry clamor of our current political landscape.

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