Do Unto Others. Yes, even in Politics

There’s a little verse in the New Testament that pretty much sums up how we Christians are to live our lives: “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7). The wisdom is not for Christians only, however, since versions of the Golden Rule are part of most every wisdom tradition. “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful” is the way of Buddhism. “Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others that which you wish for yourself” is the way of Islam. “What is hateful to you do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary” is the way of Judaism. Tragically, a cynical twist on the Golden Rule has enticed some people into a darker way: “Those who have the gold make the rules.”

I’ve been watching with amazement as the U.S. Congress debated whether to approve an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the events of January 6, 2020, and I’ve seen this darker way play out before my eyes. Thirty-five Senators and 175 House members voted to block this investigation and therefore hide the hard truths of what happened on that fateful day. After years of clamoring for investigations into email servers and Benghazi, they seem to be living their lives and deciding their political opinions according to a scornful perversion of God’s own truth: “Do unto others before they can do it unto you.”

Everyone who believes the 2020 election was fair ought to support such an investigation and anyone who believes the election was not fair ought to support it. Everyone who believes the people who broke into the Capitol building were MAGA vigilantes ought to support such an investigation and anyone who believes those people were secretly “Antifa” ought to support it. Anyone who has ever sat on a jury and had the heavy responsibility of making a judgment based (hopefully) on facts and evidence and anyone who has ever been judged by a jury ought to support such an investigation.

The search for truth is the very foundation of our U.S. justice system; it is the basis and context for law and order in our society. “Self evident truths” of equality, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness justified the founders’ original decision to establish this nation. The search and embrace of truth—no matter how uncomfortable—defines us as a civil and civilized people.

If my Republican friends want the truth to be known about the 2020 election, then treat others as you want to be treated and seek the truth around the events of January 6. If my evangelical friends believe there were cover-ups that tainted the election, then demand that your senators uncover the events of January 6. “What is hateful to you do not do to your neighbor.”

All people of faith—and especially Christians—must let our faith inform every part of our lives, including our politics. Those of us who claim Jesus as “Way, Truth, and Life” (John 14) must also stand for truth in politics. Those of us who wear the name of Christ and who believe the “truth will make your free” (John 8) must also stand for truth in politics. Those of us who trust in God’s Spirit to guide us “into all the truth” (John 16), must also stand for truth in politics.

Every American who loves this nation ought to demand a bipartisan independent investigation that sheds light and seeks truth. Every loyal American ought to stand against those elected officials who prefer to keep us in the dark and cover up the truth. Anyone who says they care about the truth of November 3 ought to care about the truth of January 6. Treat others the way you want to be treated.