I don’t need to tell you this, but we’re in an election year. Sorry; you just can’t get away from it, even on this blog. And every election there is one constant – discussion of “voting blocs.” Politicians and pundits divide people up into categories, and then proceed to say how many of each a candidate has to get to win.
So, for example, they’ll say: Hillary’s got the Latino vote; Trump is counting on white male voters. Hillary has the unions; Trump needs the evangelicals. And those are just some of the bigger voting blocs. But they are not the only ones. Oh, no. There are plenty of ways to slice, dice, and categorize the American voter.
For example, there’s the “vaping” voter bloc. What, you don’t know what vaping is? How 2006 of you. Or how about Uber drivers? They motor for money. And they vote.
There’s also those who advocate for a higher minimum wage, or the voting group that wants to see all GMO food slapped with a label?
I guess I kind of feel left out for not having my own voting bloc. So I’m starting my own. It’s a group of tall, thin middle-aged men who like to read, hike, drink decaf tea, listen to The Lost Dogs, and make jokes that no one else thinks are funny. That may only be a voting bloc of one; but, hey, it’s mine. You’re welcome to join me (if, of course, you meet the very strict criteria).
Right now, number crunchers for Clinton and Trump are sitting behind computers, figuring out just how many of what blocs each has, and how many they need. In other words, political operatives are figuring out how to label Americans to get just enough of them to vote for their candidate.
But it’s interesting how that’s the opposite of what Jesus does. When we come to him, he doesn’t label us (oh, you’re a white guy, or a black woman; or, you’re gay or Republican or rich or a redneck). Instead, Jesus sees us as human. As a person. As one in need of the love and grace of God. Which means that when we say Yes to Jesus, we are choosing not to identify first as one labeled by: the world, or our feelings, or our past, our struggles or our successes. Instead, we are simply called: His. Child of God. Co-heir with Christ. Friend.
So, you can have your voting bloc. If it works for you, great. As for me, I prefer to find myself in the One who invites everyone, regardless of label, to become One with Him; and, despite our differences, to become one with all those who wear the only label that can truly transform: Christian.