By Brent Andrews
Generally speaking, I do not consider myself a particularly political person. I like to think that I am civically engaged and conscious; however, I have never wanted to hold a position in any office or run for county mayor. I try not to avoid political discourse all of the time because I think it has the power to bring up interesting conversation, but I am rarely the one to bring it up. However, I have found myself more confused and frustrated this election cycle. I do not think I am alone in this feeling. I can hardly believe what I am seeing and hearing on the news as of late. The train of conversation about our nation’s political system has de-railed. It has been about lies and scandals. It has been about sexual assault and hate crimes. The name-calling brings me back to seventh grade lunch. Through all of this, I have found it hard to want to talk about politics. I shut down and have very little patience when the conversation comes up. I am quick to become cynical and frustration is an automatic response. The culture of competition in the United States seems to have come to a breaking point and I have been pummeled by its constant wake.
Frankly, I struggle with the how faith should interact with politics, especially in times like these. People have used their faith to justify almost anything, including their political positions. In addition, I am not voting for Christians or religious people, I am voting for what I think is the greater good. To me it seems that the role the church and religion should play in politics is one of spreading love. I say that at the risk of sounding cliché, but I think it is true. If we go out into the world and live intentionally, change will come. I have a hard time believing that for myself, but I have seen the power of love and, for me, it is the closet thing I have found to truth. As followers we are called to live a unique lifestyle in which we love others with no conditions. We tell a story with the way that we live and our story is often times told for us by the way we interact with the world around us, no matter how cold it can feel at times. My prayer is that we tell our story by listening to others and sticking with them in times of trial. That we love strangers and give with few bounds. Let us learn to fight for equity and mourn for injustice. At the end of the day, what we can do by voting pales in comparison to what we can do by loving one another well and never deciding that our work is done.
Brent Andrews is from Nashville, Tennessee and is currently a sophomore at Western Kentucky University. He loves to spend time outdoors rock climbing, hiking, camping, etc. This is a very transitional time for him and he is excited to be able to lean in and share with Ignited as he continues to grow.