I lived on a conservative, missionary center in Papua New Guinea for 15 years with around 400 American Republicans. I'm sure there were also liberal people there, but they kept quiet when it came to politics. We had no TV, radio or newspapers and slow, expensive Internet (which meant no YouTube); the result was my knowing virtually nothing about American government except what everyone said: Bush was good! Clinton was bad! Sarah Palin was doing the LORD's work! Was Obama the antichrist?
When I moved back to the States for college in 2010, I wasn’t dead-set on my political views, but virtually everyone I knew and loved thought the same way about government, so who was I to disagree? What I thought to be true was that American liberals weren’t Christians — they were atheists and baby-killers who wanted to give people money they didn’t earn. Republicans, on the other hand, loved God, babies and independence. Sounded good to me — I liked all of those things.
Ironically, it wasn’t until I began attending a Wesleyan-Arminian school in Kentucky (Asbury University, if you're curious) that my views were challenged. I met my then-boyfriend, now-husband Luke, who was passionate about racial equality. Having grown up in Alabama, he’d observed the effects of institutionalized racism (he is white). Luke showed me that treating everyone as your equal is essentially the core of the gospel (Mark 12:30-31). Not that I didn't think discrimination was an issue in America, but as a white girl who'd grown up in the jungle, I was far from an expert on the matter.Read more