My own shifting of political views in many ways mirrors that of Miller. Here are some excerpts that resonated with me:
"Having met the enemy, I discovered the enemy wasn’t who I thought they were. They were flawed, even as we were flawed, but they were no less patriotic, and no less good. And what’s more, they weren’t out to get us like my conservative friends had told me. I began to see, honestly, the far conservative right, the radical right (not the balanced, objective right) as being paranoid. The advertisements on conservative radio talk shows were about guns and alarm systems.
I wondered how I could be made to feel so prejudiced against Democrats. And then I took a hard look at the culture I was raised in. I realized every church I’d ever attended had been an insular community. Every church had been far off in the suburbs, off a bus line, protected from the poor and marginalized and, quite honestly, racial minorities. It’s not that these churches did this intentionally. I don’t believe that. The decisions to reside in the suburbs had to do with property value and opportunity. But the end result was an insulated existence."
Unlike Miller, I was raised in a rather apolitical household. My parents seldom mentioned politics and didn't subscribe to any particular political persuasion. I haven't a clue who my parents ever voted for. However, I did grow up around people--first at church and then in college--who staunchly supported right-wing politics. For some of these people it seemed that being a beet-red Republican was imperative to calling yourself a Christian.
As I've come to care more about politics (though I feel safe in saying I'll never be a political junkie), I've developed a strong distaste for such views and the insular, divisive, and un-Christ-like behavior they foster. Of course, the far-left's labeling of conservatives as greedy, racist, anti-intellectuals is no more productive or reflective of a Christian attitude than the right's demonizing of the left.
I'll add more to these thoughts in a follow-up post. It's lunchtime.