Over the past several months we’ve been offering a daily reflection for your reading enjoyment, consideration or deletion. Throughout this time we have received thoughtful comments, clever ones and critiques as well. One of the observations that has been shared (more than a few times) is the notion that one of the Wismers (who shall not be named) should keep his/her politics out of his/her religion.  As early voting has begun and we move closer toward the “official” election day, the Wismer who is more apt not to heed the critique of keeping politics out of his/her religion has been pondering just the opposite, meaning, how much influence does the politicization of religion have in the “living of these days”.  Now what I realized is that the critique “to keep your politics out of your religion” depends on your religious beliefs.  So, lots of time in my thinking chair pondering what if instead of religious principles being elevate over politics, we find ourselves in a time where partisan politics is taking priority over religious principles?
David E. Campbell, professor at Notre Dame and author of American Grace: How religion Divides and Unites Us writes: “It is one thing to have a political disagreement with your family, neighbors, and friends: those political differences are couched in personal relationships that incorporate politics. In our current state of polarization, fewer and fewer Americans have crosscutting social relationships. Americans’ party preferences align with where they live, where they shop, and the media they consume. Add to this an alignment with one’s religious or secular worldview and those divisions burrow even deeper.”
It seems to me or at least it feels to me that this politicization of religion not only contributes to greater personal and political polarization, it diminishes my ability as a religious/spiritual leader to speak pastorally and prophetically on important issues.  It seems to me that I am not able to talk theologically to the issues that speak to the problem of our day because it has been determined (by both the politicalized religious and the secularized) to be political rather than religiously true or at least spiritually helpful. I stand as a “marginal phenomeno.” My quandary! I guess I should probably keep that to myself.

Scripture Reading: Romans 8:31-32
“What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 

Reflection Questions:
How is God for you?
What do you think is causing the polarization?
Is the church becoming a “marginal phenomenon”?   Why or why not?

Prayer:  Holy God, let your Spirit rest upon me that I may be helpful.  Remind me that you always are for me – for us.  Amen.

To view previous readings click HERE