Talking Politics on a Thursday

The postscript for the second chapter was a section on politics.  Grandma always said that we shouldn’t talk about religion or politics so this discussion could take off also.  As much as I am a closet science geek, I am even more a politics guy.  Politics is, and has been, a passsion for me since I was in Junior High.  I have missed very few elections since I turned 18 and that number will not rise significantly in the future.  I believe that it is important to be involved in the political process.  I also know that some people Hate(strong word but accurate for many) politics. 

People do not like politics and disengage from the process for many of the same reasons that Hamilton highlights.  Politics has become a game filled with hate, false hope and blatant exageration of the facts, both pro and con.  There is not a major party that plays fair in their own primaries or caucuses let alone general elections.  When we say that we are Christian and then play in the same manner as others we confuse those who are looking to us for something different.  We should be involved in the process, but as disciples of Jesus we need to act accordingly.

For Hamilton this is not about which party you align yourself, nor should there be a litmus test for believers.  He is reminding us how some (most likely a minority) Christians “too closely associate their faith with a political party, or they lay aside Christian ethics and Christ’s call to love even our enemies, and instead they engage in slander and mean-spirited partisan politics.”  Our church is very similar to Adam Hamilton’s church in that we have many people from both sides in it.  We have those that call themselves Democrat, Republican and “the true Iowan’s” the Independents.  There is no official political party of our church, so we can not expect everyone to fall in a line that we arbitrarily draw.

There is a tension created when Jesus commands us ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ ; AND, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” When I look for this tension in life, especially in opionated areas like politics, I see where people are coming from when they say things that at first seem crazy to me.  The highlighted AND is not an or, we need to both.  Luckily we see the key to how that is done when we see Love used with both attributes.  Whatever we do it comes back to acting in Love.

Where have you seen faith misused in politics?  How have you misused your faith in political reasoning and conversation?  What does faith in politics look like?  Can a person of faith be involved in this sometimes messy arena?  I wait for your thoughts on those and so many other areas of faith and politics, please share with us.




3 thoughts on “Talking Politics on a Thursday

  1. Trent

    I think in Politics, as well as all parts of our life, we have to remember that we are Christians and act as Christians. Too often you see people who have great faith, but it is quickly thrown aside or tossed around in order to obtain a short gain. To me it is much more important to be a Christian first and then whatever adjective one chooses second.

    Politics is a terrible game that people can get caught up in and make a lot of bad decisions (ex: Ex-Illinois Govenors). These decisions reflect upon whatever groups or organizations that they align themselves with and thus causes a poor reflection of that specific group.

    I do believe that someone of deep faith can be involved in the political sphere, as long as they keep in mind that they are still a Christian. If someone remembers that they are in fact a Christian first and God’s reward will be greater than any political achievement, then they can compete in the political arena. They also need to make sure that they do not get caught up in the negatives of politics as many often do.

    There is a fine line to walk between being a politician and a person of faith, but if one can carefully walk the line, they can and will be successful.

    1. John McDowell

      Successful in so many ways. I apologize I have not had time to post on this subject. I hope to have more time to dedicate to this tonight after work.

  2. John McDowell

    Well I think I will focus my comments on this post on Pastor Ron’s comment “Politics has become a game filled with hate, false hope and blatant exaggeration of the facts, both pro and con. There is not a major party that plays fair in their own primaries or caucuses let alone general elections.”

    This is what I have the most problem with. To me an exaggeration is a lie. I am not perfect, but these are the people that are representing our country. If the corruption is even 1/3 as prevalent as press on both sides of the aisle make it out to be, why don’t we hear more about it from any of the elected officials. Sure I have heard people say I am tired of the game playing when they are getting out of politics, but to me even using works like game play minimize the seriousness of what is being done. I don’t consider the things they do games. I do want transparency on both sides, but I also don’t agree with the tactic of we will do nothing to make the other guy look bad. All of these “games” are not what I expect from my elected officials.

    I too have voted since I was 18 and consider it an honor and a responsibility. I have never missed a national election. I find it hard to reconcile that so many “Christian” politicians act they way they do. Surely out of all of the Christian people elected someone would talk more truthfully about what is happening in Washington. Never the less I try to make the best decisions I can make when voting and I definitely do not think one party is the Christian vote. I too am one of those Iowa Independents. The thing is (and maybe it is just foolish me) I believe once somebody is elected they represent me whether I voted for them or not. I have not done the best in my life at this, but I am trying not to leave my responsibility at voting. I also try more and more to write elected officials to let them know how I feel and appreciate reading the letters I get in return. I do hope some of them are even more honest then I have given them credit for. I do find in my life the people I have found it easiest to pass judgment on is our elected officials.

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