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Friday, August 27, 2010

What I'm Reading Today: James 2

The notion of connecting the faith one professes with how one lives took on special significance for me today as I read an article on the front page of Yahoo news. The story was about a gentleman named Ken Mehlman.

Mr. Mehlman gained some degree of fame during the 2000's because of two positions he held. He served as campaign manager for former President George W Bush's re-election campaign in 2004. The very next year Mr. Mehlman took the position of chair for the Republican National Committee.

While holding each of these offices is in itself a notable achievement, what struck me about Mr. Mehlman was that he used his position to oppose equal marriage rights for members of the LGBT community. Not only did he publically oppose equal marriage rights - he became a master at exploiting other people's fears in this area to garner votes for his candidates.

Guess what happened this week?

Mr. Mehlman disclosed that he is a gay man.

On some levels, the disclosure shouldn't surprise me. That's because the world has lots of people who say one thing and do another. The sad part, however, is how the disconnect that Mr. Mehlman lived caused untold pain to tens of thousands of people.

The book of James does a brilliant job addressing what happens when we allow ourselves to buy into this disconnect between one's faith and one's actions. "Separate faith and works," James says, "and you get the same thing: a corpse."

That imagery is indeed very powerful.

It would be easy for me to get on my high horse and attack Mr. Mehlman – but I shouldn't do that. That's because I - like everyone else on the planet - have moments in my life where there is a disconnect between the faith I claim and the life I live. Instead of wasting my time raging about Mr. Mehlman, I should re-channel that negative energy into positive energy by focusing on my efforts to bring my own faith in line with my actions.

So how about you? How consistent are you in living by the principles of the faith you profess?

Til next time …

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