Watching the Republican and Democrat National Convention, I wonder aloud “…how does something supposedly so good go so bad?” When has life become so you against me? I versus them? We against the world?

Given the extremism, the angry and pettiness, maybe we need to reflect. Maybe we’ve become too black and white, living as though life either so black and white, one extreme versus another. If it becomes too black and white, it’s insiders versus outsides.

We become to the point where we cannot even honestly criticize each other. We the people have become arrogant and mean. “You don’t love like I love.” “You don’t sing the right way … pray the right way … love the right way nor forgive the right way.” Jesus hated exclusion.

Our politics have become an end unto itself. People get too attached to it. Rather than a springboard into life and the world, a springboard unto others, selfish political faith defines our issue and hearts. One can belong, but only as long as it’s my way. My way is the only way. Thus, we lose that sense of relationship and our ability to connect to a living God. We failed to have kept our hearts in our life and love.

Unhealthy faith and politics demands an enemy. Some in our church and political offices see anything else as only evil, only dark. We use shame to put forth our doctrines and convictions. I remember former Pastor and Governor Mike Huckabee’s speech during last week’s Republican National Convention:

No small differences among us in our party approximate the vast differences between the liberty-limiting, radical left-wing, anti-business,  reckless-spending, tax-hiking party of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy  Pelosi, versus an energized America who knows that we can do better.”

If you see leaders that more concerned about their own welfare and the loyalty of the people of they serve, then they lose their love. We reinforce our ego centered life. Healthy religion and government never uses shame. In fact, we go out of way to free others from their own daily struggle. We do not choose “respect” over “love.” Our culture, our lives and our love is a mixed bag of messiness. It is piled high with the poor, of those who lack.

But in that dark messiness is the beauty. There in the heart is the real faith and real love. True religion is to forget yourself, your pains, your aches and your life. It is about giving.

When I leave for work each day, we must work harder for the transformation of the world. We must become people of deepened compassion. Challenge things with love and love only. I am committed to love, to work as hard as possible. It is my hope that you find love as well.