Thinking differently about politicians

By Rosalie M. Dunbar

“Many of us would agree these are partisan and polarizing times, whether it’s one government trying to influence another country’s citizens or various ways politicians try to get votes in their own country. I’ve always tried to avoid the fray of partisan politics but recently found myself getting drawn in, and I didn’t like it.

This came to light as I was thinking about a conversation I’d had with some friends about a certain politician running for reelection. I told them that my only criterion for her opponent was that the individual be “breathing,” such was my opposition to this candidate. At the time we all laughed, but when I thought about it later, I realized that this kind of mind-set only served to fuel a sense of polarization and frustration.

A Bible passage I’ve often found helpful came to mind so strongly that I could practically hear Christ Jesus’ words ringing in my ears: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34, 35).

I noticed that Jesus didn’t say to love everyone except politicians or only “if he or she thinks the same way you do.” So I had to ask myself, What does it mean to love another, especially if that person is a public figure seeming to have a polarizing effect?

I realized that in the past I’d seen how helpful it had been when I had striven to see others in a more spiritual light instead of reaching a snap judgment. So I decided to take that approach.

I thought of how Jesus had to deal with all kinds of leaders, and he could be tough when he needed to be. But the crucial point was that he wasn’t seeing them as simply flawed human beings, outside of God’s love. To him, all were in reality God’s spiritual creation, each one useful and loved.”

On the Christian Science Monitor website, read the conclusion to this writer’s musings . . . how ‘angel’ thoughts from God “enabled her to…more objectively consider each of the candidates in the race – all of whom are, indeed, breathing and, more importantly, equally worthy children of God.”