Tis The Season to Quit Being Ridiculous

Before I begin, you should know that I’m a libertarian, basically. I’m not going to bore you with just exactly how I’m a libertarian, but my essential view of government is “the smaller, the better.” You should also know that I listen to — nay, enjoy — NPR and can only tolerate so much of the Rush-Hannity-Levin-Savage radio barrage, but I like to listen to both sides of an argument because I want to be informed. I like truth, and you can’t trust any single person to speak it clearly, so I want to hear as many sources as possible as a means of getting to the truth.

As the next round of elections comes down around our heads and you’re posting a link to every bit of journalism possible, I have one request of all you on my Facebook feed: Stop being mean. Just… stop it. I say this especially to my fellow Christians. Your vitriol isn’t Christlike.

I want to get specific about what I mean. I know that most of us (Christians) don’t agree with the other side of the aisle, but that’s where it should stop. The absolute disrespect (and outright lies) I see being dished on our current leadership is shameful, especially in light of Romans 13:1–7, which I present to you in its entirety (from the NLT):

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.
Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.

The apostle Paul wrote this as a man often persecuted by both Jewish and Roman authorities, and under the very kind of totalitarian regime that libertarians such as myself fear the most. He wrote it to the citizens in the capital of that same regime, the same regime that crucified the very Man to whom Paul had devoted his life.

I’m not outlawing political dissent. I’m outlawing nonsense. If you sincerely believe that Obama is a muslim or that the Clintons murdered political opponents, please back up your argument with clear, reliable facts and sound reason. Anything less than that is slander.

Please, take a minute and think before you hit the share button.