LETTER TO THE EDITOR: I see a different vision

Published 8:26 am Saturday, August 29, 2020

In response to a recent letter by Rev. Clint Lewey ( https://www.thesnaponline.com/2020/08/23/letter-to-the-editor-turn-to-jesus-this-election/ ), I invite SNAP readers to consider an alternative Christian perspective on the importance of the upcoming election in November.

When we indeed “turn our eyes to the Lord Jesus Christ,” as the pastor advises, what do we see?

In Jesus, I see a man who welcomed outcasts into his circle of friends without prejudgment; I see a man who angered the religious elites of his day — calling out their hypocrisy; I hear the words of the Beatitudes about the importance of meekness, humility, mercy and peacemaking. Above all, I see a person who gave his life for all people in an unselfish act of love. So as a follower of Jesus, I am called to follow this example as best I can, and to stand for those values that I see revealed in Jesus’ life.

Another of my favorite Bible verses is Micah 6:8 which tells believers that God requires us to “do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.” Here are some questions to ponder: how does sending federal troops to disperse protests that are peaceful reflect justice? How are continual smearing of critics and labeling as “animals” and “criminals” immigrants fleeing desperate circumstances in other countries reflections of “kindness” or love of neighbor? How is the use of federal troops to clear the way for a photo op with an upside down Bible in front of a church “walking humbly with your God?”

As a Christian believer, I cannot in good conscience blindly support an individual whose narcissism, lack of empathy, lack of respect for honesty, truth and ethics reflect the complete opposite of everything Jesus of Nazareth stood for.

I agree that religious freedom is important — for those who profess faiths other than Christianity as well as for Christian believers. The right to life also is important — for people of all ages whose quality of life is impaired by health, economic or social conditions which need improvement.

My Christian tradition celebrates diversity, and seeks to open doors for those who are different than me. My Christian tradition grapples with the collective American sin of racism and how we can work together with people of color to dismantle it.

In a recent op-ed piece, pastor and seminary professor Samuel L. Adams wrote: “… the Bible demands a more inclusive faith than what the media often depicts as Christian. The Jesus we meet in the Gospels dines with outcasts, lifts up outsiders as part of the beloved community, and rejects the lure of empire for an alternative kingdom based on love of God and neighbor…. Following this model, Christian believers should promote wide and affordable access to health care, racial justice, compassion towards those escaping persecution in their home countries, and respect for God’s good creation.”

This is the vision that I plan to vote for in the upcoming election, and I believe that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris share it.

Anna Lipe

Richfield