The extremists are hard at work in the social media atmosphere, busy telling me how evil Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are, outlining why electing one or the other would be devastating to our wonderful country. I rarely respond to such nonsense in the social media world unless it’s so foul and inaccurate.
I’m not really a political person. In fact, I hate politics. I hate that money hampers real progress in our country. I hate that the message of helping one another is lost during the political campaign. I only care that each individual has a chance to live a dignified life, work for a wage that allows them to pay for shelter, clothes, and food. I care about you. Sounds, simple, right?
Well, if you read the gibberish from both political parties and their supporters, it’s much more complicated. It’s why they feel the need to lecture the masses on why “their” man is the best one for the job as President of the United States. One side has spent a good deal of time exploiting an actor talking to a chair while the other side is talking about birth certificates. I wonder if people on both sides really care about the true issues that are important to us all -- unemployment, the housing market, and the debt issue.
Let’s be honest. The job of being president of the United States is the hardest one in the world. You’ll never satisfy everyone and each statement or move you make will be ripped apart by the opposing party. So, I admire anyone’s courage to put themselves out in the public for scrutiny.
Since I’ve written a couple of novels that allow the main character to time-travel back to first-century, Jerusalem, I wondered what Jesus would think if God asked him to travel to America, today. If Jesus stood before us here in the 21st century, who would He vote for – Romney or Obama? What would He think of America and the issues we are discussing?
I came up with the following thoughts:
Jesus wouldn’t judge anyone if they were a patriot or not. He wouldn’t express any interest in whether a person hoisted their flag up on a pole on the Fourth of July or even waved one at all.
Jesus wouldn’t care if you called yourself Jewish, Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Agnostic, Atheist, etc.
Jesus wouldn’t be impressed how many Bible verses you memorized but by the times you helped your neighbor.
Jesus wouldn’t be part of any political party, lobby group, nor would He be left,right or anything in between.
Jesus would be surprised that those who believe his Father created the earth aren’t more vigilant in making sure that it is treated with respect and dignity.
Jesus would be interested in how we as a society treat the poor, the sick, the people with severe challenges, the homeless, the hungry, and the elderly. He’d want to see His teachings in action and not just in prayer. Are we feeding the hungry? Are we protecting the vulnerable? Are we doing everything we can to support our neighbors? Are we giving everyone a dignified life?
He would wonder why so many fed themselves and filled the pockets of a billion dollar revenue company when the same people could have instead performed the Christian act of forming long lines to donate to those in need at food banks and shelters across this country.
Jesus would be saddened to see the leaders of both political parties sitting down at high-priced dinners all in the name of raising sinful amounts of cash to feed media outlets with lies about their opponent instead of using the money for the truly desolate and impoverished.
Jesus wouldn’t be concerned about your right to bear arms. Remember how He told the apostles to put down their swords at the betrayal in the Garden? Jesus would probably be shocked how our society is so brainwashed that we need to have firearms to "protect" ourselves. Who are we really protecting?
Jesus would be amused at how Christmas has become more of a shopping celebration, a chance to stampede your way into stores for a sweet deal on a big-sized TV or the latest tech gadget. He’d wonder what happened to just a simple, “Happy Birthday, thanks for showing us how to be compassionate” gesture by reaching out to those who don’t have anything. He’d be puzzled why family and friends get together to shower each other with unnecessary gifts.
Jesus would be appalled how little we appreciate the gift of life in a country that proclaims to give equal rights to all – except to those who can’t say whether they want to live or not. He would wonder why those who are pro-birth are not pro-children, not willing to spend the money to make sure the young people of this world are fed, clothed and educated properly. After all, children did not be asked to be born in poverty.
Jesus would walk into the election booth and stand there for several minutes, thinking about the issues each candidate has expressed as being important. He would think hard about how compassionate Romney and Obama are to the poor, unemployed, sick, hungry, and homeless. He would wonder who cared more about respecting and protecting innocent human life. He would focus on whether a candidate truly cared about peace and who was more concerned about waging war on poverty than on each other.
Jesus would probably not cast a vote. He would leave the election booth in disgust. Instead, He would stand on the highest mountain, look down on us as we silence our cell phones and pagers to listen, and say, “My children, you have created quite a mess here. Take your time to fix it. It’s going to be a while before my Father welcomes you anyway.”
He would ask: "Do you really believe in Me? I mean really believe in Me? Stop using my name for your own purposes."
It's up to each of us to answer this. It's time to look at ourselves in the mirror as Christians. We need to act like who we say we are and help one another or put the Bibles away and stop being hypocrites.
Michael John Sullivan is a flawed Christian, an author living with his family on Long Island. He has written two novels, Everybody's Daughter, and Necessary Heartbreak: A Novel of Faith and Forgiveness.