Jennifer Gingerich

Mike, you remarked on having trouble understanding the way that certain religious folks tend to join a political party whose actions can seem un-Jesus-like.  (You said it more tactfully than that).  Very often I agree with you, but having some family members who lean that way, on my more generous days, I try to glimpse their perspective.  An email from my sister sticks in my mind.  She and her family go to a non-denominational megachurch-with-satellite-sites.  We don’t talk religion much – we go with what we have in common and gloss over the differences.  For some reason just after the 2016 election she sent me and my dad (maybe mom too) and email explaining that she and her husband had voted for our current president because of the likelihood that he fill at least one Supreme Court vacancy, and it was very important to them that the new justice(s) be pro-life.  She’s an authentic person, intelligent, raised in the same Presbyterian household I was.  I don’t totally understand how she could look past some very unchristian behavior by then-candidate Trump, but at least she explained what was important to her.  Taking a wider look at this, I can see some ways in which it would appear to conservative Christians that Republicans are creating an environment that allows certain aspects of Christian belief and life to flourish.  For what that’s worth – just my attempt at empathy on that subject.  It all goes with the sticky issue of commitment vs. humility from the first article.  I believe in making room for many people’s belief systems, but if one has great conviction that Christianity is the best and only way, then they will want to do whatever it takes to elevate that religion.  (Though like you, I see a different focus in Jesus’ ministry than these hot-button issues.)