I do a lot of talking in a given week. I spend a minimum of three hours a day teaching Monday through Friday, plus an additional two hours a day driving my wife crazy with perceived nonsense wrapped in theoretical theology. One of the things that frequently consumes my loquacious behavior is the concept of compartmentalizing life. In a nut shell, I don’t think it’s prudent, or for that matter truly possible, to make decisions that are isolated from other aspects of our life. Decision A will always be impacted by the faith of Individual X, just as much as Decision B, C, D and more. But those Decisions are also affected by X’s politics, which is affected by X’s faith and so it goes.
This doesn’t mean there is no segregation in life though. Take the concepts of the sacred and the profane.
Sacred – from the L. sacer, meaning sacred, holy, cursed, damnable. We here see the connection between sacredness and secrecy. The sense is removed or separated from that which is common, vulgar, polluted, or open, public; and accursed is separated from society or the privileges of citizens, rejected, banished.
Profane – from the late 14c., L. profanus “unholy, not consecrated,” from pro fano “not admitted into the temple (with the initiates),” lit. “out in front of the temple,” from pro- “before” (see pro-) + fano, ablative of fanum “temple.”
To have something sacred, you must have something profane. It’s not just an issue of secrecy or exclusion. For the Christian, the sacred is a means of redemption. In a sense, redeeming is the process of bringing things “into the temple.” To some, this may sound like the Augustinian questions about dancing angels and the heads of pins, but I think it’s actually more practical than that. This is how we become a peculiar people. Bathing becomes baptism when it’s made sacred. Dinner becomes the Eucharist. You get the idea.
But it doesn’t end there. Education becomes discipleship. Marriage breaks down walls. Speaking brings grace and healing. In this line of thinking, there is no aspect of your life that God wants to remain profane; He wants all of you engaged in the business of priesthood.
That includes the way you vote.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be musing out loud about the consequences and benefits of sanctifying your vote. I welcome everyone’s thoughts.