Thursday, October 21, 2010

Democracy and the Gospel--Can I Believe in Both?

I heard today that one of our candidates for office wants to dismantle the national parks. That isn’t as bad as another political meeting I attended where an office holder and a member of the audience got into a love fest over the possibility of eliminating not only national parks but public roads and public schools.

Really. Really? Do these people understand what they are proposing? The idea of a utopia free of strong government and public projects appeals to these people. A lot of people in this area must agree because they vote for the same party year after year. I suggest they use their free time to visit a country that is living the model of freedom they espouse. Why don’t they take a junket to Somalia to see how nice a land can be when the population is free of political structure and education.

The fact that in a county filled with people who profess to follow the Lord, people who should live lives filled with charity, people who should work together as the body of Christ, people continue to vote for leaders who represent platforms based on selfishness, hate and fear is troubling. If democracy means our leaders represent us, represent us in government but also represent our values, then I can’t accept that the gospel is working in my area.

When a local leader is questioned about apparent bribes and favors his poll number go up. That does not bode well for us. A generation ago the same party that is in power talked of family values. Then came the stalking, the prostitutes, the hot tub party with a minor, the fraud, the booze, this list goes on. Today we don’t hear about family values we hear about freedom and state’s rights. I believe the only right these people want is more power for themselves.

We are bombarded with messages of hate and fear that are not spread by people who care about the truth. There is such a fear of anything short of complete individual freedom (read leave my money alone) that I expect to hear the scriptures paraphrased to “whenever two are gathered in my name…it’s socialism!”

Across the nation the same party these people are associated with has issues with racism, perverse e-mails, homophobia, and a curious embracing of ignorance as a value. Is that representative of us? (Odd how no one mentions the perception that the majority of the party doesn't value our religion much.) Of course simply voting for the other party won’t change things in the long term. The people who love power and their own wisdom may simply shift their allegiance and we won’t bother to learn about them.

We appear to be an intellectually lazy people. It does not appear that we are lead by leaders with vision and integrity. In a few days the majority of people in this area will go to church where they should learn about Christ. A few days later they will go to the polls where many will vote based on fear, hate and petty greed.

Will we choose the right? Only politically I suspect.

On second thought, Jesus lived in a land with no national parks, no large public school systems or fire stations. He didn’t have hospitals and highways. There were no big public water and sewer systems. He didn’t benefit from educated people finding cures for leprosy and smallpox. If that life was good enough for him I suppose I can’t complain about where our leaders want to take us.

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