Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid

And I thought we were polarized during the last election cycle.

Your neighbor puts up an Obama or Romney yard sign and you think, I thought he was an okay, but apparently he is an idiot.

One of your Facebook “friends” writes about what an ass Obama or Romney is and you think. You don’t know him, but apparently he is an idiot.

You believe that Obama is a Muslim Kenyan socialist.

You believe Romney is a ruthless flip-flopping millionaire.

My parents wouldn’t vote for Jesus, if he were a Republican.

My neighbor wouldn’t vote for him, if he were a Democrat.

Half the country thinks the other half are idiots.

How did this happen?

The parties assumed extreme positions to establish their power base.

The media fans the flames by riling up their targeted market.

But there are some other more subtle influences at work here.

Your personal values influence how you hear things. A compassionate person cares about a societal safety net for the poor. A business person cares about tax policy and healthcare because they affect his ability to successfully function. So, we listen for catch words and key phrases.

Your tribe affects your opinion. By tribe, I mean your family, friends, acquaintances, and the pervasive thinking of people in your locality. We hang around people who agree with us.

These things matter more than the facts. When the fact checkers reveal their findings after a debate or a candidate ad or statement, opinions don’t change, even when someone was obviously lying.

We believe the “truth” we want to believe, the one that fits our personal grid. That is exactly what the candidates are counting on. So, if they repeat a lie long enough. People will start to believe it.

Please look at the candidates’s record, not the rhetoric. Drill down; look at their programs and ideas. Do they really work? Are they sustainable? Are they following the constitution, which is their job description? Are they really helping people? Is the candidate a real leader and person of character?

That’s all a little work. It is easier to just drink the Kool-Aid.

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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  1. It’s not the economy for me. While social safety nets can be a good thing, the social welfare programs created and administered by the government are not valid applications of scriptural principles. They punish thrift, industry, innovation and creativity while rewarding indolence and immorality. The same One who said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” spoke through His representatives and said, “Anyone who will not work does not deserve to eat.”
    Moreover, there are other, more pressing moral issues. Any candidate we give our moral, electoral, and monetary support to, we become partners in their moral values [or the lack thereof] according to 1 Timothy 5:22. Therefore if a voter gives his/her vote to a candidate who supports the indiscriminate slaughter of children in the womb for reasons of convenience [as Obama does], the voter is saying that s/he supports the same view or thinks his/her pocketbook is more important than the lives of those who have been slaughtered. If a voter gives his/her vote to a candidate who thinks people who choose to live in what the Bible has defined as sexual perversion should be accorded higher legal protections than those who honor the Bible [as Obama clearly does], then my perception is that the voter is saying that s/he places a higher value on the traditions of men than on honoring God. If a voter gives his/her vote to a candidate who has aligned himself with those who have sworn to destroy the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob [as Obama has], then s/he is pronouncing the same curse on those whom God has not cursed.
    Since voting for a candidate is coming alongside that candidate and supporting his/her values, the voter becomes a partner in the sins of that candidate, and therefore incurs the same wrath/judgment from God as the candidate has earned.

    • David –

      Sorry about the delay in replying.

      I am always a little amazed by how the economy trumps all of the other issues in elections, too. Yet, if your family is having trouble surviving, I can see how the economy and jobs would be uppermost on your mind.
      I would never expect a government to follow biblical principles, neither did Jesus.

      There is a lot of truth in what you wrote about the ineptness of government programs, but I believe you were a tad too harsh and all inclusive in your remarks. Programs like social security and Medicare are basically insurance programs which we have paid for along the way. There are plenty of disabled people who honestly need a safety net and plenty of people whose jobs have been off-shored and are unable to find a job that pays a living wage. They would rather have a job than be a part of any sort of government program.

      I am pro-life, but not just for the unborn. I believe in being pro-life for elderly people. They should be treated with respect and dignity. I believe in being pro-life for the people who had the misfortune of being born in nations with corrupt governments that become enmeshed in war. They should not be treated as “collateral damage.” I believe in being pro-life for the people dying of malaria. They should have a mosquito net that costs pennies.

      We have bigger problems than being complicit with the sinful policies of some politician or government, and that is our own sin. If God gave us what we deserve, you and I would blogging and commenting from Hell. I am accountable for me. You are accountable for you. The church is accountable for its own sin, and that is quite enough.

      I thought our attitude toward those who don’t necessary believe Jesus is who he said he was, was to be love, not judgment. I understood that was a job he has reserved for himself. Why would we hold good, honest unbelievers to a standard we, ourselves, cannot meet?

  2. It IS easier to drink the Kool-Aid.

    And speaking to what Dave said, if we waited until we found a candidate who had all the same values that we did, only 2 people would vote in each election. Even spouses don’t hold all the same values. Pray. Prayer always should come first, before any action that requires thinking.

    What you said, Glenn, “Your personal values influence how you hear things.” and “Your tribe affects your opinion.” made me think of things, outside the election, about which I am decidedly opinionated. I think I’ll have to give them more thought before I open my mouth about a couple of things that need to be confronted!

    I love it when reading one thing leads to something else!

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