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How Faith Can Help You to Understand Both Political Sides

Maina Mwaura | CrosswalkHeadlines Contributor | Updated: Feb 16, 2024
How Faith Can Help You to Understand Both Political Sides

How Faith Can Help You to Understand Both Political Sides

If you’ve listened to conservative radio or watched CNN you may have come across columnist Erick Erickson who is known to many for his common sense, while at the same time living his faith out loud. Erickson isn’t ashamed to live his faith out in an arena that can be known as being hostile and combative.

However, for Erickson he wants his listeners to know and understand that although they may disagree with him they can always count on him being true to his faith and handling them with respect. Erickson has been known to appear on Fox and CNN at the same time and he likes it that way in knowing that both the left and right can count on him to be the person that Christ has called him to be.

In a sit-down interview with Christian Headlines, Erickson opens up and gives his opinion about the Republican Party and the state of American Politics while making it clear that the voice that he listens to the most is not that of his own, but that of Christ.

CH: Many people are asking what is going on within the Republican Party? 

Erickson: I actually believe that both parties have their issues. We see every probably eighty to hundred years social upheaval in this country.

What we’re seeing on both sides is political realignment and that's what's happening with the GOP. We're watching in real time a political realignment. Unlike the prior ones now we've got social media and 24/ 7 news to document the realignment.

CH: Where do you see the realignment taking the party? 

Erickson: We're not through it yet. The Republican party of five years from now is going to be profoundly different than the Republican Party of three years ago.

It's exhausting. As somebody who has to cover this all the time, I get really exhausted by it. We always will get through it.

I think we will be faced with some financial or global crisis that will force us to have to be serious again. We've had the fall of the Berlin Wall and after 9/11 and other tragic events, the country seems to rally together again and come together. That’s probably what will happen this time to bring us back together again.

CH: Can you forecast for us on what will Evangelicals do come November on who they decide to vote for? 

Erickson: The New York Times talked about this the other day. People who describe themselves as evangelicals but never go to church vote differently and behave differently than people who describe themselves as evangelicals or Christians who actually go to church.

For people of faith who take it seriously, who are a part of a Christian community, you have to trust in the sovereignty of God. Ultimately, if you read to the end of the book we're on the winning team.

So, don't be so obsessed with Washington that you alienate yourself from what you're supposed to do which is to glorify God in everything you do.

CH: Many of your listeners I’ve spoken with who agree and disagree with you, find you to be fair. Why do you think that is? 

Erickson: I'm not a caricature and I'm not play-acting when I do radio. It’s me.

It's not Eric playing someone on radio. It's Eric Erickson, dad, husband, I’m running a business, have friends, live a life that's not online. I try to be relatable to people. The thing that I never want to do is tell people what to think.

My biggest frustration is with a lack of intellectual honesty on both sides these days. I'm guilty of it to a degree as well. I believe that conservatives typically have always understood the other side better than the left understands conservatives. I'm mindful now as our isolation has grown in the country that to some degree I have to explain to my conservative listeners why progressives think what they think.

We may think they're wrong or think it's bad but at least understand why they think it so that you can argue it. I try not to caricature the other side but try to tell you what they actually believe. It gets hard sometimes, but I've also found that being seen as a reliable narrator for my listeners, I don't want to abuse their trust and lie to them.

CH: How do you keep friends on both sides?

Erickson: I get attacked by my own side a lot for having friends on the other side. Honestly, it's from my time at CNN where I got to be friends with Donna Brazil, Paul Baggalla, and James Carville, and others who I grew up thinking they were the enemy because they worked for Bill Clinton.

Then I started working at CNN as, the lone conservative voice and realized that although we see the political world differently, we have a lot in common like James and Donna and I are from Louisiana. I have found that the more people obsess over politics, the harder it is to have friends on the other side.

CH: How was Tim Keller influential in your life? 

Erickson: Tim Keller got to be a friend of mine over time. One of the things that Tim told me, early in our relationship was that if every single person is created in the image of God, which we do believe, we have something we can learn about some facet of the image of God from every person even if we disagree with them.

So we shouldn't be so quick to close doors to people because we disagree with them. And, and that's held true, in every encounter I've had with people.


Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Elena Mozhvilo

How Faith Can Help You to Understand Both Political Sides