Over 78% of Americans identify as Christian. On the other hand, as of January 2015, Gallup found that 29% of Americans identify as Republican and 28% of Americans identify as Democrat (44% lean Republican, 43% lean Democrat). If there is so much similarity in religious backgrounds, why does American continue to be so staunchly divided politically? I believe refocusing on commonality in religion and morals can begin to close this severe divide.
Recently, it has come to the attention of the conservative and political pundit world, that the outspoken Holly Fisher isn’t perfect. In fact, all of the gory details of her mistakes are now plastered around the Internet. It seems that last year Holly Fisher lost her faith and cheated on her husband. This matter was being dealt with in private, until a blogger brought it to the surface.
Although initially denying the affair, eventually Ms Fisher came clean. While many argue that due to the fact Ms Fisher was gaining the spotlight because of her “Christian Conservative” values, her lack of faith in God is relevant. This point is understandable. However, virtually crucifying another Christian for their mistakes is never appropriate. Beside her the entire time was her husband. The response to this piece of information was enormous. Many conservatives went out of their way to show their support. Ms Fisher elaborated on her return to her faith, repentance, and continued work to become a better wife and Christian.
As a Christian myself, I understand that Christianity is based on repentance, forgiveness, and mercy, the latter two taught to us directly by Jesus. I find the support for Mr and Mrs Fisher during this rough time to be heartwarming and appropriate. However, I’ve noticed a bit of a hypocritical reaction to liberals who makes similar mistakes and conservatives who do so.
During the summer of 2011, it came to light that then congressman Anthony Weiner had had an affair on his then pregnant wife, Huma Abedin. For days every news media was filled which jokes in relation to this affair. Eventually, Anthony Weiner chose to resign from his position as a member of the House of Representatives. At a press conference, Weiner apologized and expressed remorse for his actions. During this time, his wife stood beside him. However, the reaction of his wife standing beside him amidst an affair received much poorer comments than our recent conservative blogger did.
As much as 48% of the public believed Huma should have filed for divorce and left Weiner, despite the fact she would soon have their baby. This is a starkly different response from “Christians” who applaud Mr and Mrs Fisher (who also have children) for working out their problems. Anthony Weiner’s affair was continuously brought up during his mayoral bid. Despite showing remorse for his actions and their effects on his family, friends, and constitutes, few conservatives came to Weiner’s aid. Unlike Ms Fisher’s repentance and plead for mercy, Weiner and his family were continuously attacked for his past mistake.
Christianity, a love of God and fulfillment of His word, should come first; party loyalty should be (at the very most) second. Matthew 18:21-22 says, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how may times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” As Christians, we should always be ready to forgive our repentant neighbor, no matter how many times they mess up or what their political affiliation may be. I think the best way to close the continuously widening gap between the American right and let wings, and become better Christians, is to show every repentant sinner the same love, respect, and support Ms Fisher recently received.