Life is too short to cede every last bit of it to contentiousness
Regardless of what your thoughts might be on Catholicism, the Pope, or politics, I believe we can all agree that the decision to view everything through a political lens is a great way to miss some of life’s best offerings. This has never been more apparent to me than it is today.
This morning I watched the fanfare around Pope Francis’ historic visit to the US.
You can watch Pope Francis’ remarks here. They’re brief, less than ten minutes.
Pope Francis covered many things: he offered encouragement, Christian persecution across the globe, America’s heritage of religious freedom, climate change and above all else, our responsibility to love one another.
Punditry responded in kind:
Pope who claims to stand up for the poor embraces climate change policies that hurt the poor. #PopeInUS
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 23, 2015
The juxtaposition of everyone celebrating arrival of the Pope while refusing to just VOTE to save babies is really too much.
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) September 22, 2015
Leon Wolf has a thoughtful piece up at RedState addressing the same.
These assessments (save Wolf’s) missed a crucial element: Pope Francis is not speaking as a politician. He’s not an economist. He’s never claimed to be any of the above. He speaks as a moral authority.
There’s also an annoying insistence that Pope Francis must acquiesce to everyone’s individual political preferences.
“He said climate change! Does he now what that does politically?! Why is he in Cuba?! Does he know their government is tyrannical?! Abortion! Pro-life! Me! ME! MEEEEE!”
Because even religion should be self-gratifying, revolving around our world view and political leanings, right?
If we could extricate ourselves from the political cess pool for a measly ten minutes, perhaps we could appreciate Pope Francis’ words of encouragement. Maybe we could heed the gentle reminder that we have a responsibility to be diligent stewards with what we’ve been entrusted. We might even be able to enjoy the perspective of an Argentinian who recognizes and reveres America’s long-standing tradition of religious freedom. We might even remember that we are all on a journey — irrespective of our partisan leanings, and that even those with which we disagree respond to truth and love.
And it’s this view I choose.
Don’t get me wrong — politics matter. Activism matters. Policy matters. Voting matters. Truth matters. The compulsion to find political equivalencies in everything is one I understand well. Heck, it’s what I do for a living. But there’s more to life than politics.
I refuse to let the poison of bitter partisanship detract from this rare occurrence — that Christianity is receiving wall to wall media coverage and creating a nation-wide conversation. Life is simply too short to cede every last bit of it to contentiousness.
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