News from the Tennessee Valley Religion

Rev. Cameron Douglas

Ninth Commandment politics

I really hate to watch television right now. Those negative political ads are upsetting to me. I find them offensive for several reasons and, yes, I am using the mute button on the remote a lot more often.

First and foremost my mama taught me, "If you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say anything at all." Amen to the wisdom in that.

The negative ads give me the impression that the candidate doesn't have anything positive to offer either. They are both apparently scum bags, and I'm to choose the lesser of the two corrupt, self-promoting egomaniacs.

Talk about pushing the hot buttons. Let's see just how many times you can say, "I'm the one and only, 'true' conservative, faith-based, family value-oriented candidate" in 30 seconds. The best sermons ever preached are in the lives of those who live their faith and don't brag about it. If the candidate really was a true conservative, faith-based, family sort of person, how about "loving your neighbor as yourself?" How about giving the other candidates the respect they are due just for being nominated by their parties and for participating in this great American institution called the electoral political process?

After I see and hear one of those ads, I say there is clearly another side to the story. There is a conservative Judeo-Christian value called the Ninth Commandment, or have we forgotten that one? It tells us not to bear false witness against our neighbor. Do you think that half-truths, blatant exaggerations and unflattering pictures of your opponent count as bearing "false witness" against your neighbor? If I was so concerned about the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, I personally would do more confessing than accusing. But then again, I'm not in public politics. I wouldn't make a good candidate because I would respect my opponent and debate the issues passionately, openly and honestly and not defame my opponent's character.

There once was a man who liberally loved God and his neighbor and accepted people for who they were regardless of political, social and economic status. He lived a good, honest, humble life of healing, caring and loving. He didn't run for office and his character was not up for debate, but truly the Ninth Commandment was broken and violated time and again against him. Some who had political means and motive told half-truths, blatantly exaggerated and gave a very unflattering picture of who he was, and he died because of that violation of the Ninth Commandment. He arose from the grave to forgive his accusers and offers them life abundant and everlasting.

I vote for him, who forgives. My life hasn't been perfect either, and I'm patiently waiting until Nov. 7 is over so I can go back to enjoying television; aren't you?

The Rev. Cameron Douglas is minister of First Christian Church, Decatur. He is one of several local ministers writing religion columns for THE DAILY. For more information, call Melanie Smith at 340-2468.

Rev. Cameron Douglas Rev. Cameron Douglas

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