There are political signs everywhere these days.
That’s mostly cool with me. Sometimes I wish folks would remember we’re talking about democracy, not a Texas football game, so a little dignity is appropriate, and there’s no need to be cultish in our devotion to candidates.
But usually when I see a sign, I feel a rush of gratitude for living in a place where we are all legally allowed to share opinions. And on top of that, every adult citizen gets to vote, too. Pretty cool.
I have no chill when it comes to voting. I come from a long line of opinionated women, and we are determined to make up for the sisters who came before us and didn’t get the chance. Voting feels like an opportunity to tell the leaders how they ought to represent us.
I gave a little squeal when my ballot arrived in the mail, and immediately texted my “adult” son a photo of his, so he would know to stop by this weekend to fill it out. He texted me back a party confetti emoji, so I know my enthusiasm for this civic duty has rubbed off on him.
Along the main roads I drive, there are lots of signs posted for local elections. A few have caught my eye and left me thinking. They are solid blue signs on metal stands with just one word on them: Jesus.
Jesus is running for office?
I laughed with my kids at the idea of the Savior of the World standing at a podium in a suit and tie, trying to win votes. We could not imagine that He would ever be so self-promoting.
But the more I thought about it, the less ridiculous it seemed. Christians would unanimously agree Jesus is the perfect leader. Even folks of other faiths recognize Jesus as a decent fellow and an excellent teacher, so surely they could get behind His campaign, too.
And as for His platform, well, it works for everyone. Love your neighbor, forgive those who have wronged you, repent when you’ve made mistakes, don’t be a hypocrite or judge others, stay humble and stick up for the weak, poor and vulnerable. Sounds like a lot of problems could be solved right away. I’m sold!
While actual American politics and policy may be more nuanced and complicated than these simple Biblical guidelines, our daily interactions don’t have to be.
“Please strive to live the gospel in your own life by demonstrating Christlike love and civility in political discourse,” reads the most recent statement issued by the presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Because I am petty and struggle to demonstrate Christlike love all the time, my first thought when reading this letter was of the Savior flipping tables in the temple. While I love to dwell on His infinite compassion — as we all should — He was no passive milquetoast, and we’re missing out on His divine majesty if we forget this.
But I don’t need to flip tables much in my life. In fact, I lose credibility if I do. My greatest hope, with my political vote or any other action of my life, is that I can more completely serve God. No points are scored for Team Jesus if I act like a jerk, so I need to love my neighbor as enthusiastically as I cast my vote.
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