October Editorial Winner

Keep the faith; Lose the politics

ZANE THOMAS, Wagoner Tribune

Every election year, we are bombarded with campaign ads that proclaim this candidate is a good Christian person or they have high Christian morals.
My response is this - so?
I don't doubt one's faith, but we're not electing spiritual leaders. We're electing government leaders.
Now, if we were being asked to elect the Pope, or church deacon members, then I would very much want the candidate to be a good Christian person with high morals.
This Presidential election must have some people confused.
On one hand, you have President Barack Obama, a Christian, but people still insist that he is a Muslim, because he doesn't have an Anglo-Saxon name and his father was a Muslim. Jerry Falwell's father was an atheist and he was a Christian figure for many, many years.
Obama isn't a Muslim. If he was, he wouldn't be drinking beer nor smoking cigarettes, because Muslims, like some Christians, view the human body as sacred. Therefore, they take care of their own bodies and don't smoke nor drink alcohol.
On the other hand, you have former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Mormon.
Mormons believe in Jesus Christ and God. They don't follow the Bible, but the Book of Mormon.
Some people say Mormons aren't Christians. Others say, they're a section of Christianity.
I'm going to say they're not Christians. Why, because Christians, like myself, believe Jesus Christ lived his whole life in Judea, not America.
But I'm not saying Mormons are wrong in their beliefs and faith. It just differs from mine or maybe yours.
We live in America where there is the pursuit of happiness and if a person's faith makes them happy, then, I am all for that. I don't care what religion they belong to, whether it's Christianity, Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Scientology, you name it.
But some people don't see it that way.
Other people view America as a Christian nation.
To that, I say that yes and no it is. I think some of our Founding Fathers wanted it to be a Christian nation, but remember, these were people who left Europe because they were being told how to believe.
This isn't a theocracy, thank God. It's a democratic republic. Therefore, it can't be a 100 percent Christian nation.
And the Salem Witch Trials are one of the worst examples of how theocracy, in America at least, can operate.
While I agree that a person's faith should dictate their actions, I don't think the laws of the land should be based on one group's religion, even if it is Christianity, because there are many denominations.
Remember the outcry following the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960? People were accusing him of putting the Pope in power because Kennedy was a Catholic, which is a section of Christianity.
We elect people to pass laws that are fair to everyone. If we really enforced the Ten Commandments, I think our jails and prisons would be bursting at the seams.
Adultery may be immoral, and I think it is, but it is not illegal.
One's faith should be for their own spiritual enlightenment, not for the condemnation of others who think differently.
It's the politics in religion that is the demon seed that is alienating people into becoming agnostic or atheist.
My better half has said she doesn't want to go to a church where she was a member because the pastor was making comments about Obama that she felt were inappropriate.
I haven't gone to a church service in many, many years because I don't want to hear politics. I don't want to be told that I will be banished to Hell because of how I choose to vote.
Nor would I criticize someone else on their choice.
In 2008, there was an African- American minister who took criticism because he said he was going to vote for John Mc- Cain for president over Obama. The man has a right to vote for whoever he wants. He said he was voting for McCain because he agreed with McCain's spiritual and moral beliefs. I wouldn't have given people an explanation and instead just told them, "I can vote for whoever I want."
Remember that church in North Carolina that told parishioners they would be expelled for voting for John Kerry?
There's no room for politics in one's faith. All it leads to is disaster. Just look at Lucifer, whose chose politics over faith and was cast out of Heaven with his minions.
And my feelings are that any President shouldn't call themselves a Christian, because to be a true Christian would conflict with being commander-in-chief.
Jesus told people to turn the other cheek and love their enemies. And in this country, we've had Presidents quick to start wars and battles with others they didn't agree with.
Sad to say, most politicians proclaim to be Christians just to get votes from people who they know will vote for them just for that alone.
And that I think is bearing false witness.