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Christians and Politics

Who needs your fierce civility?

Introduction

This past July most of us missed an anniversary celebration. Thirty years ago, our government passed a law that has helped millions of Americans. I’m talking about the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990—or the ADA. Before the law passed, a state judge called people with disabilities “the most discriminated against minority in our nation.” A state facility for children with disabilities was described as “sub-human,” a place where “the most helpless and defenseless of our citizens are left … rotting in inadequate warehouses.”

The ADA was passed to redress these wrongs. It was also a model of bipartisan cooperation. A Republican and a Democrat sponsored the bill. A Democrat-controlled Congress passed it, and the Republican President George Bush signed it into law.

Now let me take you back to a sadder story in the history of American politics. On May 28, 1830, despite strong opposition from Christian leaders like Jeremiah Evarts, President Andrew Jackson signed into law The Indian Removal Act. Nearly 60,000 indigenous people were removed from their native lands and forced to migrate to “Indian Territory.” Thousands died as they traveled on what became known as the Trail of Tears.

Both stories show the power of politics … to do good or to do harm. To bless or to curse. To ennoble or degrade human beings.

How do you feel about politics in our nation? Anxiety? Outrage? Cynicism? A recent survey found that most of us just feel exhausted, worn out by the wrangling and polarization. Politics is deeply broken.

As Christians we believe that everything is infected with sin, including politicians and our political systems. But we also believe that politics ...

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Matt Woodley serves as the Editor for PreachingToday.com and the Pastor of Compassion Ministries at Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Illinois. He is also the author of God With Us: The Gospel of Matthew (IVP).

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