Identity Politics & the Christian-American Conundrum

I get a certain plebeian amusement from observing the desperation of candidates pounding the pavement willing to say or do almost anything for a vote. More recently, when a Democrat hoping to run for City Treasurer stopped by to request my signature on a petition that would put his name on the ballot, I wanted support the American democratic process by showing him the ropes, old school style. 

Up front, I managed his expectations by asserting that I was the proud owner of a MAGA hat, three blends of Donald Trump coffee and a Trump presidential seal mug. This is not fake news. With some understandable confusion in his eyes, the candidate-hopeful hastily flipped through his paperwork and noted that I am registered as “Independent”. (This is intentional, because nobody defines Alicia except God, and then, also Alicia. And also, nobody puts Baby in a corner.) I then demanded answers about his stance on abortion, gun ownership, the SAFE Act, raising taxes, illegal immigration and the Wall. 

Rallying quickly, the man (still admiringly persistent to stay in the game for my signature) reminded me that he was running for the position of City Treasurer and noted that these issues were not really in his wheelhouse. “That doesn’t change my questions,” was my stony reply. Then, I stood quietly on my porch and allowed the ensuing awkward silence to do its work while he stammered out answers that he hoped reached across the aisle far enough. I grew up without a television, so this is how I get my laughs, pray for me.

Food for thought: Can a Christian be a Democrat? Does a Christian have to be a Republican? When I was a kid, I once asked a pastor friend this question: Can a Christian be demon possessed? You know what he said??? A Christian can do whatever he wants.

I often think of life in Forrest Gump terms: Christian is as Christian does.

And there you have it. At the end of the day, it’s not about who is right, it’s about what is right. That includes how we vote. For a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, our guiding principles are found in the Bible, but you have to actually read it, learn it, and understand it. Anyone can flip to a page in the Bible and condemn homosexuals to hell or demand a stoning for someone for carrying a sack of grain on the Sabbath. Anyone can also flip to a page in Gray’s Anatomy and rattle off how to remove a gall bladder, but am I letting them near me with a scalpel? N.o.p.e.

The City Treasurer hopeful gave it the old college try and I had to admire how determined he was to remain as politically neutral as possible and answer my questions in a way he felt I would accept, rather than just telling me the truth about his actual stances on things. (Not that they ever mattered for obtaining my signature. I just wanted to support him having the full experience of good, old fashioned, American front porch, whistle-stop campaigning.) 

I did eventually smile and tell him I was kidding (…ish) and that I would put my name on his Democratic ballot list because I am an American, and I believe that every American deserves a fair shot in the game of thrones. We both had a slightly uncomfortable laugh across the aisle and he left trying not to look like he was running. God Bless America.

Published by Alicia Purdy

Alicia Purdy is an independent, multi-media journalist with an M.A. in Journalism and a B.A. in Broadcasting. Learn more at: www.PurdyAlicia.com.

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