While faith and politics often intersect, and while the Bible itself says a great deal about politics and politicians, I try very hard never to turn this faith column into a political column. But with the Virginia elections already passed, I believe I can now weigh in on a particular moral aspect of it without risking that.
Just a few days before Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin's stunning victory over Terry McAuliffe, a race hoax was perpetrated by the utterly inappropriately named Lincoln Project. How exactly an organization names itself after "Honest Abe" while making lie detectors everywhere blow their circuit boards is beyond explanation.
Nonetheless, this particular lie was more egregious than most, a new low even by the standards of an organization that, based on numerous well-known iniquities, apparently has no actual standards. Days before the election, the Lincoln Project sent multiple tiki-torch-holding individuals in khakis and white shirts to pose as white supremacists in support of Glenn Youngkin.
Now, at first blush, one might be tempted to simply laugh all of this off since their ploy was discovered and backfired on them spectacularly and since one of their "white supremacists" was clearly an African American. (On that one, I suppose either they were trying to ensure enough minority representation in their gutter-level mission, or perhaps they don't really grasp the "white" part of white supremacy). But no one should laugh off what they did, not at all. It was vile, sleazy, scummy, wretched, filthy, debased, demonic and perverse. Common people are out here trying to live their lives and get along with each other, and trashy stunts like this, when they are gotten by with, make people who would get along just fine hate each other instead, and for no good reason.
Many years ago, God wrote a little thing called the Ten Commandments. The ninth one reads as follows, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." That commandment did not give a loophole for political activists. Bearing false witness against people, lying, is a violation of the highest order, and no amount of spinning will ever make it right, especially not when it is a lie as huge and potentially deadly as the one vomited out by the Lincoln Project. Being tagged as a white supremacist is enough to make one a target for deranged killers; thus, a stunt like this is neither cute nor edgy; it is just wicked.
Politics, in general, is not a nice thing, and that is understandable. If everyone agreed on everything, we would not even need to have elections, much less political parties. But having honest, even heated disagreements is way different than acting like a bunch of self-entitled jerks who are willing to cause a race war to get your way.
So stop it.
You who are either politicians or part of the political apparatchik in this country, listen very carefully to this nobody of a preacher: You have no right to put yourselves and your "team" above everyone else, whether your jersey has an R or a D or any other letter on it. What you do affects the relationships and day-by-day interactions of factory workers and schoolkids. It affects how the police and the public relate to each other. It affects how families relate to each other. Getting your guy in office is not an important enough thing for you to risk having people hate each other based on your thespian endeavors.
In I Kings 21, King Ahab wanted the vineyard of a citizen named Naboth. When Naboth would not give it to him, Queen Jezebel staged a very Lincoln Project-like drama of her own, hiring some actors to pretend that Naboth had blasphemed God. Poor Naboth ended up getting stoned to death, and Jezebel "won that political battle."
She also got thrown out of a window and eaten by dogs for what she had done.
I am not advocating anyone throwing anyone from the Lincoln Project out a window, and I would never risk the health of any good dogs by having them ingest such poisonous meat. I do think they should be thrown off of social media and off of the news and out of politics. Anyone who intentionally breaks the ninth commandment in such a spectacularly hideous way should forever be relegated to a level of credibility far worse than a supermarket tabloid.
Do I sound angry? I hope so, because I am.
We all should be, no matter our political leanings.
Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina, a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books available on Amazon and at wordofhismouth.com. Email him at email@example.com.