Here are some of the highlights, in written form:
1) Feel free to disagree with others, but don’t take cheap shots, don’t label, don’t demonize, don’t besmirch anyone’s good name, don’t assume the worst of others and model that same behavior for those who might be influenced by you.
2) Rather, assume that you may have something to learn from others, that you may be wrong on some things, and perhaps that one need not be right 100% of the time to be a true follower of Jesus.
3) Don’t be quick to take offense when you feel provoked. Ask, rather, the good and wise God to gift you with patience, and to see that reasoned discussion with other Christians is not “compromising the gospel” but a way of living the gospel.
4) Work to preserve the good name of your opponents, even as you disagree. Be charitable, avoid slander, and promote the good name of others.
Teach them about the political process. (branches of government, the checks and balances put into place by our founding fathers, what it means to be a democracy, what it takes to run a campaign, the popular vote and the electoral vote, and the role that exaggerations, half-truths, and potentially empty promises play in political races. Learning about politics is essential but it should not be a chore.
Teach kindness and fairness about the opposing side. Model good Christian behavior, being careful not to belittle or demonize those you disagree with. It’s okay to disagree — this is a founding principle of our country’s freedom. But teach them how to disagree well, how to disagree fairly and compassionately.
Have healthy discussions about the issues. Talk about what constitutes an important issue and why. Talk about what we as the common folk can do to get involved. Let the political discussion lead to a talk about how we can actively carry out the things we feel strongly about, rather than just expecting our politicians to do something about it.
Teach young people about the separation of church and state. Not only that religion should stay out of the political discourse, but that the church may have a different goal than that of politicians. God has called the church to be the light of the world, to care for the least of these, to build up communities and honor the image of God found in every human being on this planet.
P.S. Why do I always botch my joke delivery?! That should be “don’t blame me, I voted for the other guy”
P.P.S. ALL HAIL KLORVACK THE YOGGLE!! (or else…)