I have officially become partisan. Of course, I have acted partisan for some time but never came out and admitted it publicly. Recently, I was named the acting chair of the Minister's Caucus of Over The Mountain Democrats. This has been an interesting journey and retains all of the tensions that I have become comfortable with over the years. And it has also caused me to dialog with folk on more than one occasion recently about what, if any, role does partisanship play if one desires to maintain a prophetic voice.
Many of my minister friends will argue that you can not be partisan and still be prophetic. It is an argument that has substantial merit. But I have found that they are are partisan in action. So what matters? What you do or what you claim? I have also found that much of this idealism is often no more than cowardice and a desire to keep a comfortable job. Which I might add is not very prophetic.
Here is where I am on this issue at the moment. Sometimes your prophetic role demands partisanship. I am a member of the God's universal church, and I can still retain a prophetic role within it. I can also be a member of a political party and still say a prophetic word to it. To say that membership in something precludes a word of prophecy is just not correct.
Now, I don't like claiming that Christ on my side or anything like that, but when I vote I do try to vote like I think Christ would vote and that is how I choose my political allegiances. What, you may ask, is my criteria for discerning what I think Christ would vote for? Simple, it is what Christ talked about and acted on.
Since Christ didn't speak to abortion, and since he did not have one, no not one, thing to say about homosexuality, and because the family values that Jesus preached doesn't resemble the modern day home school crowd, I don't feel compelled to vote for the party that seems to have alot to say about such issues. I choose to vote for the party that does have something to say about things that I understand to be issues that Jesus was concerned about: Peace, Poverty, Oppression, Justice to name a few.
When a party hijacks religion as the Republican party has done with evangelical Christianity, then I believe one of the prophetic actions I can do is to become partisan. Since Christianity's history has been fraught with lust for power, it is prophetic to make sure that the party that is seducing them gets kicked out of office.
I have become officially partisan. I am offended by the Republican use of my faith for their own ends. I will not stand by and let it happen saying that I am above partisanship. No my friend, I am voting Democrat this year. It is my prophetic compulsion, even if I am a lone voice crying in the wilderness.