The Business of the City: Miscellaneous

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Of Christ and Politics

"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be." (James 3:9-10)
During this election cycle, I was castigated for how I expressed my Christianity by my (presumably) Christian "brothers and sisters." Also, because I do not pledge to a flag, I was called un-American, even though many Christians (such as Jehovah's Witnesses, and other Christians--as well as some Muslims, etc.) do not pledge to an emblem. The absolute hypocrisy on display on Election Day was stunning in its selectivity. I will say this: NO ONE--and I mean NO ONE--will police the way in which I express my Christianity; I do my best to remain true to my religious precepts--I will not compromise or pander to anyone to win an election or to win the "hearts" of those who would stoop to such low levels to try to make me "cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions."*

As I noted elsewhere, I was literally called "the devil" by some of my opponent's supporters, along with snickers and the tacit assent of some current and former elected officials--some of whom were also shouting and spreading falsehoods about me. To those taunts--what the kids would clearly call "bullying"--I simply stood and smiled--I have been taunted and bullied in the past. What was really unfortunate, though, was the fact that this continued even as the children were being let out of school. 

For example, while I was at Hubbard Middle School, one such taunter and bully, Danny Dunn, continually harassed and screamed throughout the entire time that I was there--with not a single word of admonition from the opposing campaign team. As one of the "faces" of that campaign, he did them no favors--some voters were turned off by his tactics. Others who were there shouting at voters looked extremely foolish, especially those elected officials who apparently think that voters still don't know who they are voting for by the time they get to the 100 foot marker. Those voters were harassed as well--many startled by the lack of manners. Where was the civility? What is better: shouting at the top of one's lungs at folks who CLEARLY have come out to vote, or just handing them a palm card and kindly asking them to consider supporting your particular ticket?  

As an adult, I believe that it is important to model behavior to our young people. Those kids who witnessed what I had to deal with just shook their heads and looked confused by their so-called "leaders" acting in such a negative way in public. The immaturity and outright hostility on display at that location (as well as at others I visited) was certainly not in the spirit of Christ. The nasty commentary about me by people who wouldn't know me if they fell over me was also very un-Christian. 

In spite of the hateful and sophomoric attempts to cast me as something I am not, the voters quickly saw through the foolishness and I won the election. I did not scream...I did not shout...I simply asked Plainfield voters whether they had the confidence in me to serve them more effectively as their citywide council representative. 

The people said "YES." 

*Paraphrasing a favorite quote by Lillian Hellman. 

1 comment:

  1. Good for you, Rebecca. Keep up the good work and keep being a principled person. I do say the Pledge, but I do not say, "under God", as that was added later in response to the Red Scare in the 50s. I also am a Christian, but don't believe in prayer before public meetings, as it is often slanted towards Christians and not generic for everyone. I strongly support the separation of church and state. Thanks again for having scruples.