How do we react to our political opponents?
Especially in an age of harsh political divisiveness.
On the one hand, there is the danger of compromising one’s beliefs since at the Capitol –whether in the District of Columbia or at the statehouse — your political opponents become your work colleagues.
Isolated from constituents and from the familiarities of your hometown — your political colleagues and their beliefs can start becoming your touch points. You start bending your convictions to please your colleagues. It’s almost like joining a cult.
But on the other hand, as politics has increasingly become scorched-earth cruel,
it prompts some to see people of different positions acting as more than opponents, but as bitter enemies.
Then there’s Rep. James Comer.
Comer (R-Kentucky), describes himself
as “very conservative” and identifies as a born-again Christian. He’s a thorn in the side
of the Biden administration.
And then there’s Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland), a strong abortion advocate
and supporter of recognizing same-sex unions as marriage. He was active in the second Trump impeachment and the January 6 committee
Both serve on the House Oversight Committee, of which Comer is chair.
In December, Raskin received bad news — a diagnosis of “diffuse large B cell lymphoma, which is a serious but curable form of cancer,” and it would entail out-patient chemotherapy, message to constituents
Comer took note of that Tuesday as Raskin was able to attend a House Oversight Committee meeting and Comer was formally recognizing him.
“But first I want to say, Mr. Raskin, we’re all rooting for you,” Comer said. “We know that you’re going to win this battle.
“You’re in our thoughts and prayers, and it’s good to see you here today.”
Raskin, wearing a bandana apparently covering chemo-caused hair loss, removed a face mask (he has said his condition is threatened by COVID, the flu and other viruses) and thanked Comer.
“It means a lot to me,” Raskin said. “I’ve been gratified to receive so many kind words of encouragement and sympathy from colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
“And I hope that these expressions of concern and solidarity will become seeds of friendship over the year,” he continued.
“I certainly plan on getting through this thing and beating it, and I thank you for your patience and indulgence,” Raskin concluded to applause in the committee chamber.
Despite the critical issues in contemporary political battles, it is important to remember that these are issues involving human beings.
As a political activist, I continually have to check myself to make sure my attitudes and opinions toward those who disagree are aligned with Jesus’ teaching regarding loving one’s enemies.
That includes those who want to kill unborn children, who want to mutilate other children, who want to groom children toward perversion, who hate righteousness and those who desire it.
We have to remember that God’s grace
holds us from following their beliefs. And we need to look to the example of Jesus
on the cross praying for forgiveness for those “who know not what they do.”
It’s a careful balance — resolute standing with convictions, and instead of wanting to call down fire from heaven, remembering Jesus’ admonition in Luke 9:55 of what spirit we are to be.
Thanks, Rep. Comer, for reminding us of how we are to behave. And may Rep. Raskin be rapidly restored to health and by God’s grace brought to all spiritual truth.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal
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