The older I get, the more I realize that our only hope is Jesus. This might sound strange coming from someone who's been a Christian for more than half her life but it's something that I've only recently come to be absolutely convinced of. You see, I love politics and history. If I had gotten a bachelor's degree, it would've been a double major of poli sci and history or a major and a minor. As it was, most of my classes were history and poli sci classes. In my continued pursuit of education outside the classroom, I still read mostly history books with a few theological books tossed in for good measure. And with my passions, I used to think that, if we just elected the right (read Christian) people and passed the right laws, we'd be headed down the right path as a country. And this is not true.
This is what I now believe: As a Christian and the citizen of a country, I believe we are called to participate in the political arena. Whether that just means voting in every election or whether that means running for political office, campaigning for a politician, or championing an issue, I think we must be involved. There are Christians that will disagree with me and say that we should just wash our hands of the whole political process but I think they're wrong. The political process won't make us a "good" country and the political process definitely won't change the hearts and minds of people... but through the political process, we might be able to. Through our fight for freedom of religion and speech, our pastors are able to keep preaching the truth. Through our fight for freedom of assembly, we're able to keep meeting as a church. Through our fight for lower taxes, we're able to use more of our money for the glory of God and the advancement of His Kingdom. Through the battles that we fight in the ballot box or on the podium, we're fighting to give ourselves the opportunity to continue to speak the truth and see people's lives changed. Now, we will still speak the truth even if that is outlawed but freedom of speech sure makes it a whole lot easier.
There's a second fight that we should also be waging in the political arena and that's the fight for justice. This includes fighting for laws that protect the unborn, fighting for laws that protect women and children from sex trafficking, fighting for funding for foster care or safe houses for battered women. We are specifically called to care for and protect those who can't defend themselves. Part of that is opening one's wallet or donating time or resources but another and equally important part is using the political structure that's in place to help us in our fight for the defenseless.
Politics has become such a dirty word in our country and rightfully so. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be involved. Just keep in mind that laws don't change people. The message of Jesus' love and forgiveness changes and saves people. Bring that message with you wherever you go, even into the political arena.