Who knew that peer pressure is something you never outgrow?
When I was a teenager growing up in Indiana, peer pressure consisted of your basic alcohol/drugs/growing a mullet issues (and yes, I managed to avoid all three).
But peer pressure didn't stop there. In my twenties, the pressures almost stayed the same. Drink this, smoke that, cut your hair like George Clooney (admittedly, I gave in to the last one. But doggone if I didn't love my Caesar cut).
Now I'm in my thirties and peer pressure seems to have shifted a bit. Instead of "don't give in, you'll ruin your life" the pressure has become "don't do that, you'll ruin the lives of everyone around you." And of course, I'm talking about politics.
We're a few days from Election '08 and the debate between Obama and McCain rages on. And you know what? I'm sick of it. Really. Mostly becuase it's raging on among some of my friends whom I usually consider sane people. I can't stand talking about politics and yet here I am blogging about it. Go figure. I see the irony in that but I've gotta get a thing or two off my chest.
The thing that bugs me the most are the people who tell me (or infer) that if I vote this way it makes me less of a Christian. Unless I vote with you, I'm voting against God's will. Issue X is what matters the most and as a Christian we MUST vote "this" way. God would want me to vote for this guy and to do otherwise is to bring about the demise of the human race. This guy's stance on Issue Z offends you personally, so as fellow followers of Christ I must vote along with you and make it my most important issue as well.
I'll bring this down to extremely simple terms. It's kinda like buying a new house. What's the most important thing to you when you're looking to move? Price? The neighborhood? Condition of the house? School district? The crime rate? The color of the carpeting? Whether or not it has a garage? Proximity to the grocery store?
I realize it's not the best analogy in the world and voter issues are much more important, but just because the school district is the thing you feel most passionate about when you buy a home, why does it have to be my most important issue just because we both call ourselves a Christian? And because you feel most passionate about the school district, why does that automaically mean God feels the same? And if I make my decision based on the neighborhood rather than the school district, what right do you have to tell me that's not the Christian thing to do?
I'm not going to use this blog to push one candidate over the other because, frankly, I feel that says my opinion is more important and bears more weight than yours. Especially if you disagree. And it's just not true.
Sadly, though, I realize that's what's starting to happen around me.
Maybe this sounds insensitive, but you need to settle the freak down. This may come to you as a news flash but guess what? I don't think either of these candidates are bigger than God. Neither one of them is big enough to stop what Gods wants to happen. He's God, and He's pulled His people through situations a lot worse than President McCain or President Obama. To push the idea that God can't work or do His thing if this guy is elected over that guy...I don't know...I don't know about you but I never want to be accused of robbing God of His power.
How about this: You vote for who you feel would work out best, and I'll do the same. And when the dust settles and some of us are happy with the outcome and some of us aren't, we all continue to keep praying for each other, the country, the world, and yes, even the President. Even if he's The Evil One you didn't vote for.