Last night, Senator Wendy Davis prevented an abortion law from passing in Texas by filibustering until midnight. It is being hailed as a momentous act. A demonstration of democracy at work.
It also demonstrates the reality of politics in the U.S., and the dangerous game that religio-political groups are playing.
For a follower of Jesus, I struggle with this at two points:
How can we “Love Thy Neighbor” in this political system?
Politics in America has devolved into a stalemate between two parties. The argument is over how a third party, “the government”, should act. The very word polis refers to the way WE organize ourselves as a community, not how IT should act.
As an American, I would rather celebrate the times we use politics to work together to build our society. As followers of Jesus, our highest calling in society is to “love thy neighbor”. When we buy into the “Us vs. Them” mentality, we’ll never be able to do that.
Who are we to rule?
Political groups that brand themselves as Christian are acting on the assumption that Christians should use government to enforce their ideals on the world around them. Jesus chose to embrace suffering at the hands of the empire rather than to embrace those who wanted to crown him king. Christians need to remember this as they approach their interaction with government.
I’m not sure this fight is about what the two sides say it is. Let me be clear that I am no fan of abortion. Nor do I think politics can be totally avoided. But there has to be a better way.
Are your celebrating or mourning after last night? Or have you found a Third Way?