After the Tuscon tragedy there is call to end the vitriol of our speech. I shared with our church that we are called to love our enemies perfectly. We are called to pray for the best for the shooter. To be a Christian in the United States means that we strive to bring those values of grace, truth, and compassion to the public square.
The shear childish response of people is bothersome to me. To claim it is alright to use hate speech because the other side does is wrong headed. We are not children. We are called to do the right thing, not follow the crowd. I have sat with liberal pastors who have said Bush is evil. I shared “I may disagree with him, but he is not evil. He is a good man, a child of God.”
Calling Obama a Nazi, communist, or socialis represents wrongheadedness as well.
Praying for one’s enemies and loving them so much that you want the best for them is not a part of the fabric of society. Victory and power rule as values, but that is what makes Christianity so at odds with the culture. We are to love those we ought to hate. Whether they are Republicans, Democrats, Bikers, Raider fans, Taliban, Jared Loughner, or Osama Bin Laden.
Three times, I failed. I thought Timothy McVeigh needed to die to assuage the public. It did not heal the United States. After 9/11, I failed to preach love our enemies. I knew that my congregation did not want to hear it. I sold out. I preached peace before the Iraq war, not as liberal, but as a Christian. It was not received well. Today, I pray for Jared Loughner. I pray for Sarah Palin. I pray for the voices on the left taking aim. I pray for all of us. We are a special country and God can use well if we let Him.