Dear Christian politician:
I am not your pastor but I am a pastor and a professor and a brother in Christ. Your position in the Congress of the United States is a remarkable accomplishment, a high honor and a grave responsibility. Though you may differ from me in my political philosophy, I commend you for your desire to be servants.
But I appeal to you from within our shared theological circle and ask you to consider how you reduce the Gospel to pulp and shred the compassionate teachings of the compassionate Christ when you deny health care to people but find a way to purchase the most heinous weapons conceived by humanity and science; when you vote to take food stamps away from hungry children and single mothers; when you shut down the government out of a fanciful and misguided rage, affecting the lives of millions of your fellow citizens.
Right now, at what is a most precarious moment in the life of our nation and world, I would ask you to take with utmost seriousness the acronym engraved on your bracelets and bibles: WWJD, remembering he was hungry and made feeding the hungry the center of the prayer he taught his disciples; recalling that his mother and father had no place to stay for the night as she entered labor and thus gave birth to our Savior in a cave; that he whom we follow, worship and adore, was led to death by citizens of another empire who believed him to be smitten of God because of his poverty and his radical call to compassion.
Open the government so servants can return to their jobs and citizens can benefit by processes currently shut off to them. Pay for the debt you have already incurred. Twenty Christian politicians could turn this around before we all head over the cliff. You should do that. Do it without hesitation and give no consideration to the petulant crowd that takes pleasure in suffering and death. Open the government. Pay our bills. Stop talking to the echo chamber. Listen to the still small voice. May God grant you wisdom and courage. May the idolatry of ideologies fall crashing to the ground so the people are raised up.
Pastor Michael Bledsoe