Post-Debate Fast: Keeping Our Mouth Shut

The Exercise:

Refuse to use the following words: Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal, left, right, idiot, stupid, etc. (you can probably add some of your own).

The Why:

Already Facebook and Twitter, water coolers and drive time radio are buzzing about the Vice Presidential debate.  Unfortunately, the reactions are mostly predictable and lend themselves to further polarization and easy ideologies.  Christians have a better way, a way that calls us to truth, but truth that only makes sense within the context of Love.  In our churches and Christian communities, places where we understand that electoral politics offer no salvation, we should refuse to get caught up in the half-truths, false salvations, and idol kingdoms offered to us through national politics.

David Dark in his excellent book The Gospel According to America suggests that for us to really begin to get at the truth we must discipline our language so that we no longer use easy short cut words such as left and right, liberal and conservative.  These words usually carry very little content and meaning, and more often than not help us to preserve our mental status quo rather than truly engaging with an issue through authentic dialogue.   By refusing to use these easy words we’ve already made a step toward a deeper truth.  God’s kingdom come.

 

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About Ragan Sutterfield

Ragan Sutterfield is a writer and Episcopal seminarian sojourning from his native Arkansas in Alexandria, Virginia. He is the author of This is My Body: From Obesity to Ironman, My Journey Into the True Meaning of Flesh, Spirit, and Deeper Faith (Convergent/Random House 2015).


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