Stop Slogan-Voting. Stop Hate-Voting. Stop Being Manipulated. Part 8. Hate-Voting = Using the Devil’s Weapons Instead of the Armor of God.

Hate-voting for Christ is an oxymoron if there ever was one.

Hate-voting is the fine art of defaming the people you disagree with in order to punish, diminish and hurt them. Hate-voting destroys your Christian witness. When you say you are a Christian, other people will judge Jesus by you. When you spout a steady stream of invective aimed at people you disagree with politically, you are telling the world that following Jesus means being full of hate, rage and engaging in slander.

Hate-voting destroys your witness for Christ. It also separates you from Him in your heart.

I have no right to attack other people in the name of Christ and neither do you. As the bumper sticker says, we aren’t perfect; we’re forgiven. Stop for a moment. Think honestly about your own sins. You deserve to go to hell. So do I. We are saved, by the horrible price of the cross, from getting what we deserve. We owe a debt we can never repay. We who have been forgiven so much, do not have the right … we don’t have the right … to put ourselves in the place of AlmightyGod and viciously attack other people made in His Image.

It’s not all our fault. We’ve been deliberately manipulated into hate-voting by political pros who make extraordinary amounts of money for getting us revved up and full of hate. Remember the first equation: Your Vote = Their Power? That’s what this expensive manipulation of little ole’ us is about.

Political demagogues abound in our world. They mouth hatred at us from their “news” desks in the corporate press. Faux religious leaders, bent on gaining political patronage, follow suit, declaiming slander from their pulpits. Over in the cheap seats, bloggers chime in by passing along scandalous lies and making up a few of their own.

The political candidates themselves wage campaign battles focused on personal attack and talking about the other guy. We almost never hear one of them talk about what they would do with the power of government if we gave it to them. Even when they do, they confine their discussion of “the issues” to bullet points and bumper-sticker-speak. Both sides do it. Every election.

So, hating isn’t 100% our fault. Anyone who spends too much time listening to the loony hate-filled invective that passes for political discourse in our country today will find hate-voting hard to resist. However, no matter how much we are provoked, no matter how skillfully we are incited, each one of us is responsible for what we say and do. We’re not children. Children don’t hate-vote. Hate-voting is, by definition, the act of a legal and moral adult. I don’t think the old “the media thou gavest me” tempted me excuse will work for us any better than it did for Adam.

Hate-voting gives us the fruits of another, darker, spirit than the one we claim to follow. It’s fruits are bitterness, anxiety, self-righteousness and grandiosity.  It’s like a drug that clouds the mind, and like all mind-altering drugs, it is highly addictive. Hate-voters become addicted to the satisfying sense of power that comes from hurting other people, the grandiosity they feel from elevating the person they oppose to demonic status and then seeing their vote as a high moral drama with themselves as the hero of the story. This sense of power and grandiosity is the high of the drug hate-voting.

The search for another hate-vote fix leads people to keep on piling on the invective between elections, and then to continue hate-voting over and over, election after election. The names and faces of the candidates they oppose change, but their self-righteous certainty that this person is the devil incarnate transfers from one candidate to the next.

Hate-voting is the antithesis of how a Christian should approach their responsibilities as citizens in a democracy.

There is something evil in each of us, me included. None of us escapes original sin. We take nasty delight in repeating vile accusations. We enjoy the feeling of camaraderie that comes with being part of the crowd that hates together.

On the other hand, we do not like the aloneness of being the one who says “Wait a minute. I disagree with this person, but I don’t think he or she is a monster.”

Anyone who takes this stand will immediately find themselves on the outs with the hate-voters in their world. It is never enough for hate-voters that a person is willing to stand and fight for the issues they both believe. They will only accept people into their tribe who are willing to cast aside their thinking faculties and join them in their invective and hate. It is a tribal thing, and it has nothing, nothing, to do with Jesus Christ.

The cost of refusing to join in with the gang hate-offs that inspire hate-voting can be, will usually be, the loss of that cozy in-with-the-crowd belongingness that feels so good to most of us. Following Jesus almost always means standing for Jesus against the crowd. It just does. This is true even when the crowd in question is a group of professing Christians.

The surprising benefit to it is that refusing to hate-vote tends to clear your mind. The addiction to hate, bitterness, and slander fogs your brain. It swings the door to your heart wide open and lets the devil sashay his way in to control of your life.  From what I’ve seen, the more you focus on other people’s sins, the more you forget about your own. The more you forget about your own sins, the more self-righteous you become. The more self-righteous you become, the further away from God you move.

Refusing to hate-vote doesn’t mean you also refuse to say the truth of the situation. It doesn’t mean that you make excuses for sinful acts and give up your intellectual and moral capacities to weigh, evaluate and decide the right or wrongness of policies and behavior. It simply means that you focus on the wrong that is done, and not the person. This will make you more effective in your stand for what you believe, not less so.

The early Christians were confronted with living the Gospel in a world far more hostile and pagan than our own. It must have been tempting for them to turn to violence and terrorism. But St Paul told them to follow another way. “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil,” he said.

And what is that armor that he spoke of? Was it swords and shields and clanking breastplates? No. It is righteousness, truth, peace, faith, salvation and the Holy Spirit.

There is not one word in this about calling other people names or tearing them down to build someone else up. St Paul further said, that they — and we — are not engaged in a war against people. We are fighting “powers and principalities.”

We can not defeat the devil by using the devil’s weapons. That is why I am so emphatic that we must stop attacking persons and begin talking about the ideas and ideals that we believe. We must lay down the sword of defamation and put on the armor of God — truth, peace, faith, salvation, the Holy Spirit and true righteousness born of a humble awareness of our own sinful state.

This brings us to our final equation. It’s simple to understand and hard to accept. But if we want to live as Christians, we must make the effort.

Hate Voting = Using the Devil’s Weapons Instead of the Armor of God

  • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com neenergyobserver

    Wow, Rebecca, Outstanding. Now if we can find a few politicians who are FOR something rather than against..

    Very well said, completely agree, a fundemental fault in many of us, including me, often.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Me too.

  • http://servusfidelis.wordpress.com servusfidelis

    At the risk of sounding like a bumper sticker, our old adage that says Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner is always a good rule of thumb in these situations. We should pray for those engaged in the crimes they perpetrate on their constituents. But Christian love should drive us to practice the virtues of longanimity and meekness and live our own lives as examples of how we expect them to live theirs.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Well said.

  • http://theshepherdspresence.wordpress.com theshepherdspresence

    May God multiply your kind! Sharing with my friends on facebook.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you for both the kind words and the share!

  • http://21stcenturyxstian literary lew

    A hearty “amen”!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks Lew!

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com JessicaHof

    A truly outstanding post Rebecca – a salutary reminder to us all.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Jessica.

  • Peter Wiebe

    “From what I’ve seen, the more you focus on other people’s sins, the more you forget about your own. The more you forget about your own sins, the more self-righteous you become. The more self-righteous you become, the further away from God you move.”

    Amazingly accurate insight. Please keep fighting the good fight, Rebecca.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Peter. Back at ya.

  • Catholic Glasses

    People stop reading when it is a diatribe. Their eyes glaze over and you loose your witness. Think: and ask yourself “Who am I angry at?” Then, tell them privately. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will abtain mercy.” ~ Jesus.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Great advice!

  • http://greenlightlady.wordpress.com greenlightlady

    Well said! Your wise words are applicable not just at election time… A good sobering reminder to have the mind of Christ and not the hypocrites’ ( been there). ~ Wendy

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Wendy!

  • http://rabattye.wordpress.com/ rabattye

    I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Congratulations! You can read more about it at http://rabattyedaily.wordpress.com :)

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Rob. I read you blog about the Girl Guides removing “I promise to do my duty to God” out of their pledge. Sad.

      • http://rabattye.wordpress.com/ rabattye

        true hey, it is sad and it’s the way society is going. Just need to keep praying for this world hey…

        • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

          I agree.

  • http://inalienablewrights.wordpress.com InalienableWrights

    Not sure if you are asking people not to point out “facts” about a political candidate or not. I don’t find that hateful in any sense of the word, and is appropriate in that arena IMHO. If you are – then I disagree with you whole heartily.

    We certainly need to know what a candidate stands for, but just as importantly we need to know things about the other candidate that they might NOT be eager to disclose.

    Let me ask each of you:
    Would you be happy voting for a candidate that says all of the right things, and not know that he attended Bohemian Grove, Builderberg, and was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, because you think this is hateful?

    I think that is a recipe into getting snookered by more politicians than we are already getting snookered by. The things that a person does gives larger and more verifiable clues to their character than what they say. Until the perfect truth detector is invented I don’t think I will believe anything a politician says until I have a lot more information about them and I thank anyone that provides that information.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks for your comment.

    • vickie

      Hi Wright: I am a definite sympathizer to your point of view. But Rebecca has touched on something here. We can get so caught up in “trying to expose the system” that we forget what we are trying to do. Remember the line from the song from Buffalo Springfield:

      “What a field-day for the heat
      A thousand people in the street
      Singing songs and carrying signs
      Mostly say, hooray for our side”

      We start looking at the “unconverted” like their the enemy but we are not fighting flesh and blood….

  • http://inalienablewrights.wordpress.com InalienableWrights

    Thank you for publishing my comment even though you are less than enthusiastic about it. That IS what America is all about is it not?

  • http://deprofundisclamaviadtedomine.wordpress.com/ Rev. Karl Hess

    Excellent. A lot of times people will like you if, in the pulpit, you rail on things that they want you to. But neither moral renewal nor the renewal of the church is going to be advanced by Christians hating their political adversaries. We have to speak the truth and we have to participate in civic life (without embracing sin), but these works, like everything else we do, has to serve the greater end of loving our neighbor.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Well put, Reverend Hess!

  • http://deprofundisclamaviadtedomine.wordpress.com/ Rev. Karl Hess

    Reblogged this on De Profundis Clamavi ad Te, Domine and commented:
    Exactly right. You don’t have to like what political opponents. You don’t have to be quiet and not say anything in order to be nice. But if you are a Christian, everything–even painful, truthful things that need to be said–have to be done out of love for your opponents. And whenever we fall short of this we ourselves need to ask Christ for the compassion we so often deny to our adversaries.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      What you said, Rev Hess.

  • http://mytestimonyofgrace.wordpress.com 2010amazinggrace

    Love this! I shared on FB…Especially liked the [blockquote] I don’t think the old “the media thou gavest me” tempted me excuse will work for us any better than it did for Adam.[/blockquote] Well said!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      I’m glad you liked it! Thanks for the share on Facebook.

  • http://milenanik3.wordpress.com milenanik3

    Reblogged this on S'halom alechem and commented:
    God,please bless this child of Yours.She is a blessing to many of us.Rebecca,thank You for Your amazing soul&heart.Be blessed!May God always be a on Your side!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you for the re-blog!

  • David

    There is a lot of good here (as far as I can see), yet I would like to see it go further and spell things out more finely. You speak of “being the one who says ‘Wait a minute. I disagree with this person, but I don’t think he or she is a monster.’ ”

    But are not some people, practically-speaking, to varying degrees ‘effective-monsters’ – and more so than others? Saul of Tarsus seems to have been a pretty self-satisfied, self-righteous ‘effective-monster’ – who, happily, did not remain so. Antiochus IV Epiphanes, by contrast, seems to have been an ‘effective-monster’ who did go on being so. I am not sure it is clear what the Maccabees thought about the possibilities of his conversion, or that they ‘demonized’ him or improperly ‘hated’ him, but it is not clear they should not have opposed him – or only have done so in some different way.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      David, I would never say that people do not do monstrous things. I also believe that we must oppose them when they do this. What I would argue is that we are all of us made in the image and likeness of God, and thus we are (1) capable of evil, and (2) capable of redemption and nobility of purpose. That is WHY we can be monsters. A pack of dogs who attack a child are clearly a danger and may need to be put down, but they are not evil. A pack of humans who do the same thing are committing evil, monstrous evil, that they can go to hell for.
      I’m rambling here. Apologies. I really am drugged. :-)
      In a couple of days when the pain meds wear off, I may make more sense. (Then again, maybe not. :-) )

  • http://www.realityofchrist.me Elissa

    Right on!!! Great Post!! So true!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Elissa!

  • http://tljax.wordpress.com tl

    I thank God for giving you the sanity to think this way, the ability to articulate it so artfully, and the courage to do it publicly! I thank you for your faithfulness to the message that was given you.
    Your brother,
    ~tl

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you, my brother in Christ.

  • http://PublicCatholic cris

    Rebecca, the articles you present are respectful and thoughtful. More importantly, they reflect a moral position on each subject addresses. All articles are Christ-centered. You address current issues and apply G_d’s word to the discussion. You remind us that every issue/challenge we experience in our daily lives must be seen through the eyes of our faith. Many believe faith and religion are limited to Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Wednesday services, depending on religion or denomination. They feel and believe their faith and religions should be placed on the shelves, along with the song books and missals, as they exit their houses of worship. They miss the entire point. We are invited to live our faith each day in the public arena, as well as in our churches and in our homes.
    In my opinion, you are an instrument of the Holy Spirit. Your words and thoughts, seem to me, to be from the Father, through the Holy Spirit. Thank you for your “fiat”.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Cris, thank for your this wonderful comment. This is what I want to do. The extent to which I succeed is only through the graces of the Holy Spirit. Blessings.

  • http://myyearlongjourney.com Marisa

    I needed this post!! Probably because I feel out in left field much of the time where politics are concerned. When I suggested that those who posted heavily political posts on Facebook should merely develop a FB page and those who wish to participate with them can “like” their page, I not only was given the riot act and was informed that “they will use their FB page in anyway they choose,” but I was also defriended by a couple I have known for many, many years. I am still in shock that if I don’t buy into their mud-slinging I’m not worthy of their friendship! You post explained very eloquently why I’ve been ousted… Though I’m saddened, I get it now… Thanks, Rebecca!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Marisa, that is the saddest story I’ve heard in a while. Friends are the elixer of life. I’ve lost sooo many friends because of Jesus, and it does hurt. But a FB page? These people have allowed their politics to unhinge them. Blessings to you.

      • Arkenaten

        Not nice…bit like having one’s comments deleted. It sucks, big time. :(

  • http://www.keeplifelegal.com Rev. Katherine Marple

    I wish you would consider moving to the great state of OHIO! WE NEED YOU in our legislature.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Rev Katharine, but I’m dug in here. Maybe you should run for the legislature. Have you ever thought about it?


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