An Open Letter to my Brethren on the Unbecoming Conduct in this Election

‘Brethren, we have met to worship’ was once the familiar refrain on Sunday mornings, now it is ‘if you vote Democrat, you a godless, unpatriotic baby-killer. Instead of friendly and encouraging emails, we are faced with an onslaught of letters promoting fear and hated, filled with lies. Frankly, I am disgusted with the conduct of ‘church-people’ in this election. Don’t take the letter below as an endorsement, but it is time for those of us who hold to Christian decency to correct our brethren from the sins that they are committing.

So, this email will go out quickly, to a large collections of emails. I wonder how much trouble I will get in to with this one?

Dear friends,

You may not know me or like me, but that is not my concern. My wife and I have received numerous emails concerning this election and you just happened to be in the email trail, so I am going to take this time to respond, and hope that in the waning days of this election, if you purport to believe the Scriptures, you who are doing such things will stop the gossip and the spreading of filthy lies concerning Barack Obama (and if you are doing so about John McCain – cease those as well). If you are going to focus on the issues, do some fact checking. This might not apply to all of you on this email list, as many of you may just be the recipients; if that is the case, and if you have read the lies, then forgive me and read the truth.

We are better than this; we who are called by His name must wear that name with honor and integrity and not bring a reproach upon it or ourselves.

We are better than this, we Americans.

I am not going to write a letter in support of Barack Obama or John McCain; I am not going to trash John McCain, but I am going to call upon you to check your gate, to see if the things that you are spreading is  wholly the truth – and if not, then to cease, and make amends.

I will try not explain the command by Paul to one Timothy that we are to refrain from entangling ourselves in this present world. I will also try to refrain from the my high-church notion that the Church is pure, and it is a shame that many would use it as a cloak for politics (truly, if not the oldest profession in the world, then the most sinful). I will further try to refrain from stating the obvious that too many forget the overwhelming number of commands to protect the poor, to do justice to our fellow man, to take care of those who are weaker of our society, to keep and dress our home here on earth, the precept that to whom much is given much is required, and to be peace makers –  and comparing those commands with the intentions of the Democratic and Republican Parties.

I will not, however, refrain from mentioning that speaking evil, telling lies, and spreading gossip stands squarely against the biblical precepts of Christian men and women. Yes, yes, you may very well be upset with me for ‘quoting’ the bible at you, but perhaps you have forgotten a few key points:

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.  (Exodus 20:16 KJVA)

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour; Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein: Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found,
(Leviticus 6:1-4 KJVA)

To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. (Titus 3.2)

The Hebrew word translated “gossip” in the Old Testament is defined as one who reveals secrets going about as a talebearer or scandal-monger. Let me remind you of the biblical commands against those that would do such things:

He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace. A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. (Proverbs 11:12-13 KJVA)

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (Romans 1:29 KJVA)

Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. (1 Timothy 5:12-13 KJVA)

The Lies Emails:

There is an email going around with a picture of Obama standing with his arms by his side with the flag standing behind him. This is used to say that he is unpatriotic and unwilling to say the pledge of allegiance. The truth is – yes, that is a precious commodity these days – is that it was during the playing of the national anthem, which more commonly has people merely standing in respect. This was not during the pledge of allegiance, as there are many, many more videos that actually show him pledging allegiance.

I do not pledge allegiance to the flag, or the Republic for which it once stood. I simply cannot. My eyes are set on my heavenly home, not on the temporal; however, if I didn’t, how could I stand by and watch this Republic be taken from us in the name of God, fear, hated, and terror? Please, by all means, call me unpatriotic, but if you do so, keep in mind the ancient Romans,

“Our patriotism comes straight from the Romans. … It is a pagan virtue, if these two words are compatible. The word pagan, when applied to Rome, early possesses the significance charged with horror which the early Christian controversialists gave it. The Romans really were an atheistic and idolatrous people; not idolatrous with regard to images made of stone or bronze, but idolatrous with regard to themselves. It is this idolatry of self which they have bequeathed to us in the form of patriotism.” – Simone Weil, Prelude to Politics (1943), p. 220.

Keep in mind that the American patriots in 1776 – they were the ones who took up arms against their government because their government was in error of the social contract. Keep in mind that the most patriotic of the lot are not those that follow blindly, but fight for the change for the better.

So, have you sent that email around? Did you spread lies and gossip?

And another email list the ‘issues’ – let’s examine but a few – as a little leaven makes the whole impure.

Barack Obama is in favor of drilling off shore

Obama said Friday that he would be willing to compromise on his position against offshore oil drilling if it were part of a more overarching strategy to lower energy costs

gun rights,

The non-partisan Factcheck.org has even demonstrated how shameful the NRA’s deception is:

The NRA, however, simply dismisses Obama’s stated position as “rhetoric” and substitutes its own interpretation of his record as a secret “plan.” Said an NRA spokesman: “We believe our facts.“… [T]he NRA has cherry-picked, twisted and misrepresented Obama’s record to come up with a bogus “plan.”

Barack has clearly spelled out his position on guns to Field & Stream:

“I am very mindful of the fact that sportsmen in America may have gone hunting with their fathers, their grandfathers, their mothers, their grandmothers, and that this is part of a tradition and a way of life that has to be preserved. And there’s nothing that I will do as president of the United States that will in any way encroach on the ability of sportsmen to continue that tradition.”

supports mandatory health insurance (along the lines of what Republican Governor Mitt Romney instituted), he will not immediately pull troops out of Iraq, and he does not support gay marriage.

Although Barack Obama has said that he supports civil unions, he is against gay marriage. In an interview with the Chicago Daily Tribune, Obama said, “I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”

Barack Obama did vote against a Federal Marriage Amendment and opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.

He said he would support civil unions between gay and lesbian couples, as well as letting individual states determine if marriage between gay and lesbian couples should be legalized.

“Giving them a set of basic rights would allow them to experience their relationship and live their lives in a way that doesn’t cause discrimination,” Obama said. “I think it is the right balance to strike in this society.”
Sources: Chicago Daily Tribune

Nor does the Senator from Illinois support abortion for the entire term of the pregnancy,

On an issue like partial birth abortion, I strongly believe that the state can properly restrict late-term abortions. I have said so repeatedly. All I’ve said is we should have a provision to protect the health of the mother, and many of the bills that came before me didn’t have that.

Part of the reason they didn’t have it was purposeful, because those who are opposed to abortion have a moral calling to try to oppose what they think is immoral. Oftentimes what they were trying to do was to polarize the debate and make it more difficult for people, so that they could try to bring an end to abortions overall.

As president, my goal is to bring people together, to listen to them, and I don’t think that’s any Republican out there who I’ve worked with who would say that I don’t listen to them, I don’t respect their ideas, I don’t understand their perspective. And my goal is to get us out of this polarizing debate where we’re always trying to score cheap political points and actually get things done.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2008 presidential race interview Apr 27, 2008

Again, more lies that you may have spread. Friend, is this what you want on your eternal record?

There is another email quoting Barack from his book. One of those quotes, read like this,

I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.

The entire quote is this:

In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific reassurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.

If we believe that we must hold to the Truth, then how can we be accused of spreading such lies?

Then there is that email that questions Obama’s money and ends with the line,

A phrase that keeps ringing in my ear – ‘Beware of the enemy from within’!!!

Again, with the lies and suggestions that too many of my dear friends have spread. The truth is, is that he can account for his money.

Is Obama a Christian? Let’s be frank here, and discuss this as we would on Sunday mornings. By many of our doctrinal standards, he is not. He has belonged to the United Church of Christ for years. They are of the reformed tradition and very liberal. But is McCain or Palin? He is an Episcopalian; she is a trinity Pentecostal. Again, by our standards, can any of these people be called a Christian? And does this really matter? Many of my dear friends would decry Obama for being Muslim, but by his standards, he is a Christian. Palin, by her own standards, is a Christian as well, yet not one of those that would stand up on Sunday morning and preach against her doctrine has denied her Christianity as they have done so vehemently against Barack Obama.

Friends, if the charge is laid out, before the judgment seat, and these lies are presented, will the spreading of these tales be laid at your feet?

You have a few options, the way I see it – you can either get angry at me, which is fine, and repent of the lies and gossip that you have spread; you can get angry at me and write me nasty emails; you can get angry at me and send me more lies.

Remember, you don’t have to answer to me but one day, you will have to answer to God.