I'm A Christian, But I Don't Support 'Christian Politics'

I'm A Christian, But I Don't Support 'Christian Politics'

It violates the principles our nation was built on.

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On January 28, President Donald Trump tweeted, "Numerous states introducing Bible Literacy classes, giving students the option of studying the Bible. Starting to make a turn back? Great!" First, as an English major, I have many questions. What is a "turn back?" Does he mean "come back?" Second, as a Christian, I disagree with his statement altogether.

As a nation, we have decided that we will not force religion on our citizens. It is a choice. And while Trump's statement about Bible Literacy classes provides a "choice" it also includes a clear bias. If we are going to offer Bible Literacy classes, why not Koran Literacy classes? Or Vedas Literacy classes? Adding the word "option" to the statement doesn't mean people are barred from being offended.

The first amendment clearly says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." So why then do people insist on making religiously based arguments?

Here's a long-debated topic: Gay Marriage. It seems the core arguments or at least the ones that enter into the public sphere, about gay marriage are religious. "Marriage is sacred." "God said Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." And of course, the infamous Bible quotes: "a man shall not lay with mankind as with womankind. It is an abomination" (Leviticus 18:22). If we are attempting to limit what the citizens of the United States can do based on biblical precepts, shouldn't we make sex before marriage illegal? What about watching porn? The Bible clearly says "But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband" (1 Corinthians 7:2).

If we are going to go against our constitution and enact laws based on religious arguments, then shouldn't we make sex before marriage and watching porn illegal?

Here's another hot topic: Abortion. Why is it so vehemently contested? Most of the prevalent arguments surrounding this topic are religiously based. We are not a country built on religion. Even further, we can't be a country built on religion. We decided nearly 230 years ago that we would not be a nation that forces religion. We decided that we would not make political decisions purely based on religion. So why, then, do we continue to fight for political change with religion?

I am a Christian, but I believe in a woman's right to chose. I believe in being well-educated on an issue before claiming it is "unholy" or "murder." The New York law does not state that a woman can kill her baby at any time during the pregnancy for any reason. It says that abortions are legal as long as they occur before the 24th week of pregnancy, the abortion is "necessary to protect the patient's health or life," or there is an absence of "fetal viability," or the ability for the fetus to survive outside the womb.

When the Cuomo, governor of New York, responded to the various religiously-based arguments he'd received, he said, "The Catholic Church doesn't believe in a woman's right to choose. Yes, I understand their religious view, but I'm not here to legislate religion." Cuomo, an outspoken Catholic, understands the difference between what he believes, and the right of the nation to chose. Though he may not agree with the choice, it is not his job to "legislate religion."

I am a Christian, but I don't use my beliefs to enact political change. I acknowledge we live in a nation of choice, and we cannot and should not be permitted to limit the choices of others based on individual religious beliefs.

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When God Says, “Not Right Now.”

“God give me faith to wait and not manipulate. To trust You fully, no matter how my circumstances may appear." — Lynn Cowell

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One of the most frustrating yet beautiful things is when God tells us “no" or “not right now."

At the time, you may have agony or desperation for this one thing to work out in your life, but it slips away from you. You may ask God why. Why does He want you to be unhappy? Why does He want to take away your dreams?

At the time, you cannot see how much God truly is working in your life, but He is. In my life, every time that I was disappointed that a plan or dream didn't work out, I was devastated. I didn't want to be in a position where I was challenged and tested. I wanted all the blessings to flow and to fulfill what I thought was my plan in life. But that's exactly what it was: my plan.

I did not see at the time that that is not what God intended for me and that He actually had far greater plans than I did for myself. He needed to mold me into who I am supposed to be today. Along the way I have met the most amazing people that have had a huge impact on my life, have gone through the most amazing experiences with God, and I wouldn't trade going through all the trials because it has truly made me into the woman I am today.

“What God does in us while we wait is as important as what we are waiting for." – John Ortberg

God is continually, endlessly, working in our lives.

We may not see it, but He is. We may blame God for all the things that are going wrong in our lives, but we never see that in the end, we were supposed to go through the low valleys to get to the high, amazing, and beautiful mountains in our lives.

I truly believe that it's when you're at the bottom of the darkest pit in your life that you can actually see the light of God shining brightly upon you. During these times, pray to Him to lead you to understanding that this is all a part of His plan for you.

It hurts God to see that His child is suffering, but in order to carve out just the person that you are supposed to be, you must go through challenges. Where you are today is no accident. God is using the challenge you are in to shape you and prepare you for the place He wants you tomorrow. When it comes to God's plan, timing is absolutely everything.

Looking back on all the events that I had to endure before getting to where I am now, I know that I had to go through the trials in order to be just who I am today, which is happier than I have ever been because I know God and His plan for me. Waiting is the most difficult job of hope, but you must remain faithful and know that God is guiding you.

“When I wait, you strengthen my heart." Psalm 27:14

When you are waiting for God's righteous plan, don't lose faith in His goodness. He only wants the best for you, and in the end, you will look back and see just how much He truly was working in your life. Be patient and the blessings will flow.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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Dear Young Voices Of America, Stand Up, Speak Up, And Do Something

Our time is now.

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Dear young voices of America, I think we can both agree that we are sick of being told we are America's future while simultaneously being told our opinions don't matter. Now I personally do not listen to the people that tell me I'm better seen than heard; however, I know there are people that are a little timider when it comes to raising their voices. I am here to encourage you to be loud and speak up on topics that matter to you. There is no better time than the present to make your voice heard. Whether you are advocating for change in your school or the government, your opinion matters and is relevant.

We are the future of our country. How are we supposed to evoke change and reform if we can't have our voices heard? I call bullshit and I think it's time to take action. Even if you're the first or only person to advocate for your cause, be that person. Don't be afraid of anyone that tries to stand in your way. The only person that can stop you from speaking up for yourself and your cause is you. No matter how many nos you have to hear to get a yes or how many doors you have to knock on to get someone to open up, never give up. Never give up on your cause, never give up on yourself or the people you're representing, just don't do it. There is someone out there that supports you. Maybe they're just too shy to raise their voice too. Be encouraging and be supportive and get people to take a stand with you.

It is never too early or too late to start thinking about your future or to take action. But don't hesitate to say something. The sooner you start speaking up, the sooner you have people joining you and helping you, and the sooner you start to see and experience change. So get up, make that sign, write that letter, make that phone call, take part in that march, give that speech. Do whatever you feel fit to get your point across. Shout it from the rooftops, write it on your profile, send it in a letter, ignore everyone that tries to tell you to give up. Maybe they don't understand now, maybe they don't want to listen, maybe they're afraid to listen, but the more you talk about it and help them understand what exactly you are trying to get across, they will join you.

Even when it feels like you have nobody on your side but yourself, I am on your side. I will cheer you on, I will march with you hand in hand, I will write letters and make phone calls and help you find your voice. My life changed when I found my voice and yours will too.

So dear young voices of America, the time is now. Your time is now. Don't be afraid of the obstacles that you may have to face. Someone is out there waiting for you, waiting to grab your hand and march on with you. As Tarana Burke once said "Get up. Stand up. Speak up. Do something."

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