We are already inundated with news about the views of candidates running for president in 2016. As I listened to some of that coverage this past weekend, I was reminded of a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr:
“Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. And one of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites – polar opposites – so that love is identified with a resignation of power, and power with a denial of love. We’ve got to get this thing right. What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive… Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”
When we hear politicians talk about how they would use their power to shape policy, we may not be listening for expressions of love and compassion, but what if we did? What if, when we hear politicians speak on a particular issue, one of the ways we evaluate them is by how well they demonstrate concern particularly for the most marginalized in our community?
As people of faith, may that be a determining factor, so that we choose to support candidates and positions that most reflect the heart of Jesus, and that are a corrective to those conditions in our society that stand against love and justice.