Political passions run amok can be self-destructive, and in this election, I have noted that passion's target of destruction is often the Christian character of integrity.
Political passions run amok can be self-destructive, and in this election, ... that passion's target of destruction is often the Christian character of integrity, Schillinger writes.
Integrity means adherence to moral and ethical principles, and soundness of moral character in the whole person. The opposite of integrity is compromise for lesser principles and inconsistency in living out one's morals and ethics.
Election 2012 has left integrity in short supply nationwide.
The Democratic Party lacked integrity when it passed the motion to restore the God and Jerusalem language in its platform. The party chairman heavy-handed the motion, which needed a two-thirds majority verbal vote to pass.
In each of the three different calls to vote, the vote came up obviously short. (You be the judge: watch the two-minute video of this infamous vote.)
Alternately, the Religious Right lacked integrity in quickly spinning the event to further disgrace the Democrats by saying they had "booed God."
It would have been impossible to say with certainty (without interviewing a good many of them), but in all likelihood, they were booing the bogus call of the chairman.
Given my conservative circle of friends, I can provide more examples of a lack of integrity from Republicans than I can from Democrats.
As A Ron Paul supporter, I nonetheless found myself continually defending Obama from slanderous attacks upon his faith and personal character, trying to reason with my friends who, for example, circulated the spliced, diced and pre-cooked video, "Obama Admits He is a Muslim."
I understand, however, that not everyone who circulates a fallacious video or article is actually lacking in integrity. Many people are lacking in discernment.
In failing to engage a filter of reason between receiving garbage and forwarding it to one's entire e-mail list, we neglect the question we should always ask ourselves before endorsing something: "Does this seem reasonable?"
Still other individuals are simply uneducated about what constitutes reputable journalism.
Yet for many, lack of discernment is no excuse. It is certainly not an excuse for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
After meeting recently with Mitt Romney, the association removed Mormonism from a list of cults on its website.
Was Mormonism on the list to begin with only because no "important personage" had ever been a Mormon? That's all that has changed here.
No, the association's decision makers removed it because to them, it was apparently more important to change the political regime in this country than to remain truthful about Mormonism. The decision-makers sacrificed truth at the altar of political power.
Integrity, however, is not like virginity (thank God!). You can get it back.
The first step, as always, is to repent of having compromised on certain values, morals and ethics. Then it's as easy as just being, through and through, who you say you are.
And when you botch it – which we all do from time to time – humbly get back on track as quickly as possible.
Are you a Christ-follower? Do these words mean something to you: "Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone" (Titus 3:1-2)?
If these words are among those you value, if they are formative in your morals and the basis for your ethics, I urge you to wholly, integrally embrace them and live them out – whoever wins the election.
Donna Lee Schillinger is the founder of On My Own Now Ministries, which encourages faith, wise life choices and Christ-likeness in young adults.