On Double Standards

Remember when Bush was president of the US? Remember how people would make fun at him and basically call him a monkey? That wasn’t good or right; I think we can all agree on that. I personally disliked the man’s policies, actions, and his Texas cowboy impersonation annoyed me. It seemed–and in retrospect is almost certainly–a façade put on to endear him to the common man, whoever that is. I think he did a lot of evil during his time as president. I don’t think he was a good president at all, and I’m pretty sure in retrospect however many years from now his time in office will be viewed as dimly as it is now.

That said, I have a right to disagree with the man. I have a right to talk about him and what he does. I don’t have to agree with George W. because I’m a Christian and he claimed to be a Christian, or because I’m supposed to be a conservative, or because he’s a world leader, or because I know a bunch of people who just seemed to like the guy through thick and thin.

They would tell me, “Dan, I know he’s got his issues, but you still have to respect him for who he is.” This is borne out in scripture as well as just making good sense. The office deserves honour even when the man filling the office doesn’t exactly engender respect. They would point to a bunch of people saying some pretty stupid things and dumping on the guy and his party and his intelligence and whatever. And they would tell me these people are doing something wrong.

I agree. So where’s that respect and tolerance now?

Where’s the spirit of respecting the office and not going around calling the president stupid, or saying he’s just a media icon, or attacking him because he’s on the wrong team? Where did that go? Or does extending the sort of grace and love to the president of the US only apply when you’re talking about the other guys? That’s the sort of double standard designed to shut other people up. I can’t really think of a better way not to have to hear bad things about a guy you like.

Having a president from the other team is really a crisis of morality for conservatives, seeing how closely the evangelical establishment is tied the conservative Republican party. It’s a crisis of, How do I act when I’m on the losing side? And from what I’ve seen, the character of Evangelical America is pretty ugly. If anything its uglier than the unwashed, unchurched masses that voted for Obama.

Which is sad. It’s another reason the church shouldn’t be involved in political brinkmanship. There’s nothing like politics to bring out the bad in some people. I know I’m like that. I said some of the same stupid things about Bush and made some pretty unkind remarks about him. I’m sorry I said those things. I should be better than that, especially as a Christian.

But I’ll repeat the question: Where’s that spirit of grace and love? If the president wins a pretty meaningless award–just as a for instance–where a lot of people agree it could have gone to someone more deserving, do you use the opportunity to make snide remarks about the man and pretty much dump a bunch of crap on him? And if so, what does that say about your character?