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This has been a really negative political campaign. How should people of faith respond to this kind of display of demeaning and misleading advertising?” — George
Political campaigns have become very wearisome due in large part to the overwhelming onslaught of harsh language and misinformation opponents direct at each other with the goal of winning elected office — hardly the deportment of statesmen. Political analysts say it works: people are swayed by negative messages. This observation may say something not only about the candidates but about society in general.
Part of the answer is in your question. People of faith by definition reject demeaning, misleading language. They appreciate honest debate and thoughtful dialogue, not crass condescension. Possessed of strong convictions, they will desire to rise above the deluge of grubby, self-serving, low-class mudslinging and look for the ethics and behavior in their elected officials that they expect of themselves (Rom. 12:9-21).
People of faith seek the truth (Pr. 23:23). They want to know what the candidates believe and the policies they support, not how effective they can be in bashing their opponent (Mt. 7:1-5). In this same vein, people of faith avoid hyperbole. There is enough culpability among all parties to earn some criticism but enough with the comparisons to Hitler. Such overstatement shows a lack of imagination and a sincere ignorance of how awful mid-20th century fascism truly was.
People of faith understand that moral character is not defined by allegiance to one party or the other. They demand that candidates define themselves by their integrity, record of accomplishments and genuine care for people (Mt. 7:15-20; James 3:13-18). They will carefully weigh the options and vote their conscience based on what seems best for the country. Not easily influenced by cheap promises of “change,” they will trust God, value honesty and act responsibly.
To send questions or to communicate with Pastor McCullough,
write to firstname.lastname@example.org.