Yesterday, Texans approved Propsition 2. Unfortunately, that’s no surprise to me. What troubles me, though, is the direct participation of Christian congregations and pastors in the political process: many congregations and pastors publicly endorsed prop 2, and the election-night gathering for supporters in the Austin area was held at Great Hills Baptist Church.
This direct endorsement of political candidates and initiatives contradicts my beliefs. I used to be a member of a United Methodist congregation that is widely recognized as one of the most liberal in Texas, with one of the most politically outspoken pastors. The pastor frequently spoke about issues that were hotly debated politically, but even in that environment it was taboo for the pastor to come out for or against candidates or specific political solutions. Instead, his task was to help his congregants decide what is right and just, but he left it up to them to decide how to act on those decisions in the realm of politics.
I prefer to think globally, but act locally. I’m always inspired by my Christian friend in Germany who was staunchly against abortion. I don’t necessarily agree with her, but I’m inspired by her actions. She believed that the best way to avoid abortion is to avoid unwanted pregnancy, and that she could have a direct impact on this issue. Instead of getting involved in political debate about abortion (granted, the political situation is different in Germany than in the US), she would spend her Saturday afternoons handing out information on birth control in the main square. I remember with a chuckle her explanations of her and her husband trying out each new birth control method so that she would be able to offer experienced advice.