I generally hesitate to talk politics, especially because I really don’t think Jesus was a Republican or a Democrat. I see a lot of damage done to the gospel by Christians invoking their faith in support of one party, one candidate, or one issue, over the others. While I do think that employing our faith in our ethical and political decision-making is essential and logical, up until this week I thought one-issue voting was a misguided practice. I believed that it was a tool used by people of faith to try and manipulate one another – as if Christ came to earth to reshape the American political environment around a single issue – a particular sin. That without examining any other aspect of a person’s life, choices, or faith practices, you could conclude whether they are truly a faithful follower, exclusively based on their voting record, sounded absurd to me. That, of course, changed in 30 short seconds, when I saw the powerful message I’ve posted here:
Many churches want to tell me how to vote. Many pundits want to tell me how to vote. Many powerful, well-funded special interests want to tell me how to vote. But now my dog wants to tell me how to vote? For real? My dog gets a say in how these elections should turn out? Animal cruelty is now the single-issue litmus test I should employ for electing candidates?
Take it easy – I love animals and Steve King does kinda sound like a creep. But I also love steak, and I could definitely see the sport in pelting a deer with an arrow and taking it home for dinner. I absolutely love going to the races and seeing the swift and majestic horses run, even though it sometimes results in their untimely demise. No, of course, I don’t support dog fighting. And I definitely wouldn’t take my kids to watch two animals fight to the death. But I’m not sure how heavy my concern is for whether pets get included in disaster plan legislation. If my own home were to catch fire, I can assure you, getting the dog out would definitely be at the bottom of my "disaster plan," compared to making sure all the people get accounted for; it would, frankly, make me sad if first responders had to weigh a legal obligation toward my pet against getting back to the firehouse and being available to help other humans.
Let’s get real. When we are consider the plethora of issues and problems with which our communities are struggling, when we confront all the exploitation and injustice that goes on around us, when we dream of how to make the world a better place – has the propagation of special interests gotten so out of hand that now even our pets get a say in the political process, provided they make a donation large enough?
He responded, “The children have to be fed first. It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” Mark 7:27