Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Attention, Sports Fans!

There is a morning show on CSPAN in which the host is required to drink coffee, read the morning newspapers, and, with what time is remaining, field some calls on a hot topic of the day. I've often thought I'd be good at this job.

Yesterday, the host mentioned that CSPAN would air the Alito hearings at noon, and then he deadpanned: "We will have a pre-game show at 11:30."

Indeed, politics and sports are very similar in our country. You root for your team, and you boo the other guys.

Yet in sports, you can get really mad at your team. Ask anyone in Philadelphia. But increasingly in political discourse, you can't get mad at your team -- they can do no wrong, the fault is always on the other side of the aisle (or, shall we say, in the opponent's locker room).

The challenge for Christians, as we think about political issues, is to think as Christians - not as Republicans, not as Democrats. In other words, to avoid a partisan spirit even though it is so easily confused with "team spirit."

As I read the Bible, I notice that Jesus rarely approached the issues of the day according to the pre-packaged options. In fact, the Bible speaks about Jesus often escaping from the "trap" of the two options he is given. (Think, for example, about the time he was asked about taxes.)

Are we caught in the trap?

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