I don’t know about you, but I’m honestly beyond sick of politicians injecting Jesus into their platforms. I’m not saying faith isn’t political. It absolutely is; Jesus died a blatantly political death. But Jesus himself as the spokesperson of this party or that one? Color me skeptical and a little nauseous. If I want to know how much a politician follows Jesus, I’ll watch actions, not words.
Anyway. The other day I was thinking about a podcast I heard a couple of years ago now about this very topic, and to date, it’s one of the best interactions I’ve heard on the matter. I’m sharing it here in the hopes that you’ll give it a listen the next time you’re in the car or out running. It’s from the Intelligence Squared podcast (there’s now a US version, but this one’s actually from the UK original podcast). The format is admittedly a little nerdy, so here’s a heads up on how it works. The moderator puts forth a statement, and then four people argue point-and-counterpoint to the statement. They each make opening statements, and then they each have a chance to respond to the other side. At the end, audience members are polled to see if the debate changed their minds from the way they voted before the discussion began, which is always an interesting final twist.
This podcast’s statement is “Jesus Would Have Voted Democrat.” Give it a listen here.
At the very least, these podcasts serve as an example of rigorous discourse done with respect. There’s no yelling and no name-calling and no rushing to the lowest common denominator. It helps you realize the complexities involved in any given statement, even if you don’t change your mind about where you decide to land on the topic. And Lord knows we could use a little more appreciation for complexity, not to mention a LOT more respectful dialogue across the aisle.
If you listen to it, let me know what you think!