Today I begin with a confession. With shame, I admit that I used to have a slightly judgmental attitude toward the uninformed. I could not understand how anyone could be oblivious to current political issues–or worse yet, how anyone could be completely uninterested.
Questions like, “Do you live in a cave?” would find their way into my thought process. Depending on my relationship with the individual, those questions may have graduated to actual verbalization.
If I were to prognosticate, I would say those thoughts will undoubtedly cross my mind again in the future. For now, however, I feel like I have become one of the “cave-dwellers.” I have been without cable service now for about a month. The never-ending price increases and the fact that it seemed to suck a significant amount time out of my day are the reasons for my decision to “cut the cord.”
Admittedly it makes writing about politics a bit more challenging. It is also helping me to view politics from a different perspective.
Those of us who are passionate about the political process are called “junkies.” We can watch the talking heads and listen to talk radio to the exclusion of all other media and entertainment. I may not have been that hard-core, but my political interest is rather significant.
2 Peter 2:19
“They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.”
Since I have forsaken television and I don’t receive a newspaper, I get the majority of my political news from news/talk radio during a 40 minute commute to and from work. My 80 minutes behind the wheel is the only time I fill my need for political information. Working on a computer all day makes me want to stay clear from it (except for the fun stuff, like writing).
It has been an eye-opening experience living as a “cave-dweller.” I am not comfortable being uninformed. I felt my own condescending attitude toward myself, when listening to a co-worker’s radio. I heard the words, “What are they talking about?” spill out from my mouth. The comradery of the outrage was not mine to share. Because prior to that moment I was blissfully unaware of the cause of this particular controversy of the day.
It’s true, there is a certain degree of bliss in ignorance. There are very legitimate reason some would prefer to remain oblivious to the political climate.
- The investment of time, energy, and emotion is exhausting
- Hearing about inadequacy and corruption can cause cynicism
- A little bit of involvement can inspire feelings of guilt about not being able to do more
- There just isn’t enough time
- And the ever popular: “I have enough problems of my own .”
I no longer view the low information/no information voter with a critical spirit. I still believe and would advise every citizen to get educated, be informed, and engage our elected officials when they are concerned about an issue. Now, however, I can understand how they can, at this moment, not care about what is happening in their local government, courts, statehouse, and in Washington. They are living their lives.
Some genuinely (and somewhat irresponsibly) just don’t care and never will. Others, however, simply don’t know what they don’t know. They are busy managing the business in their own lives. They are trusting (and expecting) elected officials to manage the people’s business.
We need not be “political junkies” to share in the responsibility of citizenship. Christians can be engaged in the political process yet remain free from the burden. We are citizens of Heaven first.
“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.”
Is there anything that enslaves you? Do you believe responsible citizenship is a Christian duty? Citizens of Heaven, how are you sharing the Good News?