Political Attack Ads

November 02, 2006

Pastor Brent Beasley has a great column today at Ethics Daily about those dirty negative political ads that are running in many election races. The piece is entitled “Zero Tolerance for Political Attack Ads.” And that is exactly what his point is—Christians should have zero tolerance for these shameful ads. Here a few highlights:

I have an idea; tell me what you think. Christians have become known for taking strong stands on certain political issues in political campaigns. I’m starting to wonder if perhaps we should take a break from advocating specific issues and focus instead on taking a strong stand on the methods by which politicians campaign. In other words, instead of focusing only on the ends, maybe we should take a look at the means.

What if all of us who claim to be followers of Jesus ... said something like this: “We’re not going to put up with sleazy campaigning. We don’t care if we do agree with you on certain issues; we’re not going to stand for telling half-truths and lies about other people. We’re not going to support you if you engage in character assassination. We’re not going to allow you to fuel division with misleading ‘us and them’ rhetoric. We will not vote for you if you treat your opponent like dirt.”

What impact would it have on campaigns if candidates knew that in order to get the “Christian vote” they would be held accountable, not just for their positions on issues, but for how they conduct their campaign and treated their opponent?

... Jesus had a lot more to say about how we treat other people than he did about the hot-button moral issues of the day that many Christians seem to be solely focused on. For Jesus, the ends never justify the means.
Amen! We need more Christians to take a stand like this. Let us vote only for the candidates willing to play clean and fair. If you lie, we will not vote for you. If you twist the facts or try to mislead us, we will not vote for you. If you resort to unethical attacks, we will not vote for you. That could sure shake up politics!