Wednesday, March 05, 2008

politics

Call me burned out, but I just can't get all that excited in the political process here in the United States in election year, this time around. I am wary and weary of the culture war and diatribe dished out on talk radio, which I don't listen to, and its impact on people, including us Christians. The lack of civility in all of this, is not helpful for clear thinking and needed dialogue to try to understand others and be open to constructive critique. And the confidence placed in a candidate, any of them, can be near idolatry or just overblown.

Do I think there are important policies that we as Christians here in America should be concerned about? Yes. A number of them. I find that most all of us Christians have basically the same set of moral values, but we don't always agree on how they should be achieved. We see life from different perspectives and we need to hear each other out, instead of thinking the other is lax or wrong in this or that.

Do I think politics has its place? Even as one with Anabaptist leanings, I certainly strongly believe this to be the case. And we can't compare America directly with the Roman Empire of Paul's and Jesus' day. There are similarities: Paul most certainly used his Roman citizenship, and there are differences: we have some say on what happens in the local, state and national political scene.

Am I pulling for a particular candidate? Yes. But mildly, and wanting to remain open to hear them all out. Though I must confess I've not been listening well lately.

As those who profess allegiance to Jesus as the King of kings and Lord of lords, let's be careful not to think that anyone here is the answer. They all have feet of clay, and any of them will and do fail along the way. We need to voice our values and concerns, participate in the process, pray for those elected, and above all, know that God alone is the only sovereign. Our hope, confidence and allegiance is supremely and finally to him.

What might you like to add here?

13 comments:

preacherman said...

I had such a fun time yesterday voting. I was able to do the Texas Two Step. I got to go back and vot again in the Caucos. I was elected democratic chairmen and represented how our precinct voted. It was so much fun. I loved it. It was so much fun.

NaNcY said...

i agree with all you say. it is easy to get caught up in the hoopla that goes along with it all and forget to be loving and understanding. i think that it is used as a way for all of us to want to be united but it is a false way...so it does not work to unite us.

also...this feeling of detatchment is made easier for me since i live fairly comfortably, do not own very much, live in oregon...a state that does not mean much to the process, and because i do not place my faith in this process or in our politial system or the people that serve in it...no matter how wonderful they are.

lorenzothellama said...

Why is it that candidates are so nasty to each other? You would hardly think that Obama and Clinton were on the same side.

It's the same over here. They hang around TV studios slagging each other off. It's enough to put you off voting.

NaNcY said...

ps...looks like the texas two step is quite a dance! hehehe!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Kinney,
Glad to hear you were part of that! And that you had a good time. I kind of like the way the Democrats divide the caucos votes as compared to the Republicans, winner take all. I'm sure there are good arguments for both sides, but your process there sounds like an interesting one. And you must have been up rather late.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
I think I'm with you in much that you say. I do try to take an interest in it as a duty, and sometimes, and on a some issues I am most interested.

It's important in its place.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Lorenzo,
I think it's an old tradition in our country. Though I must say I get tired of it, and disinterested.

We used to have a politician in the U.S. Congress who died, Paul Henry, who seemed most exemplary in how he thought things through (voted only half the time with President Reagan, of his party), from a Christian perspective, and was most congenial to his political opponents. A great loss; we need more like him.

But I'm not all sour on the candidates that are left, though I'm not going to do cartwheels over any of them, either.

You Brits are interesting in your political process from what I've picked up. (ran out of time, must get back on the floor)

Ted M. Gossard said...

Lorenzo,
Speaking of British politics, I really love this movie, Amazing Grace, the story of William Wiberforce, who with John Newton's influence, and the help of a good wife he wed relatively late in life, ended slavery by his tireless political work, in the British empire, and was much respected by the founders of the United States. The acting and story is great; and actors are all from the UK, so nice accents. :)

Anyhow, that movie is most interesting too, in regard to the politics of Britain during that time, and it has some romance too! I think you'd like it. One of the very few movies we own.

Ted M. Gossard said...

at least far as I know, they're all from the UK. Not all together sure about lead ones.

Allan R. Bevere said...

Ted:

Well said. An excellent post!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Allan,
Thanks much.

Mike said...

Amen,

I feel Christians are starting to get into idolitary around Politics.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Mike,
We all struggle with idolatry in the heart (Ezekiel) as Calvin said, and I agree.

There is a certain kind of nationalism here, which though I'm wary of, may be more than okay in its right context and way, as long as its fixed not just on its own interest. But even national interest and the kingdom of God seem to have no real correlation.

At the same time, I think the interest of many Christians in the political process, and their participation in it, does not have to deny Christ, and in many cases doesn't.

Just my little take. And thanks.