It’s been a while since I’ve chimed in on what is going on in the political world, and I think it is high time to
do so. If you haven’t been paying attention, there is no shortage of material to deal with here. Let me provide some color commentary on all the action.
First off, as Christians our affirmation that “Jesus Christ is King” is not merely something that happens to fit nicely in a toe-tapping song, it is a socio-political statement that has bearing on every last aspect of human existence and experience. The political cycle in front of us is not about leaving all our gods at home, it is actually about which god we, as a nation, will worship.
Most politicians, though often giving lip-service to God, make it clear by their voting records & lifestyle, that they are, in actuality, narcissists who are obsessed with the glory of man. Man must either worship and serve God, or else he will endeavor to shape a god who worships and serves man. Remember, politics is the natural habitat of charlatans and thieves. So tread carefully, and carry a big Bible, or something like that.
As Christians called to discernment we must walk with great care and wisdom as each election presents to us a test as to how faithful we are in growing in godly wisdom and maturity. This primary season is a test of our discernment.
Thus, this primary season ought to be a pronouncedly prayerful season. This might come as a surprise but as my Granny would probably have said in her Carolinian drawl, “Oh them politicians will say anything to get elected, they’re all crooked deep down.” Meaning, just because Trump says the Bible is his favorite book, doesn’t mean he’s read it, appreciated it, understood it, or imbibed it. His now famous statements on not asking God for forgiveness are, perhaps, a most telling glimpse into the man’s character.
True Gospel faith humbles a man, it does not lead to boasting (Gal. 6:14). Furthermore, it must be kept in mind that while Trump is obviously a genius of a businessman; nevertheless genius combined with stubbornness and arrogance is a toxic brew for despotic tyranny. As Aristotle once said, “A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion.”
Also observe that one thing Trump has going for him is that he doesn’t care what people think about him or what he says. Many Christians could stand to take notes. He has a spine. This is a good thing, but spines generally don’t travel alone. Spines come with bodies. On the conservative side of politics we are so accustomed to spineless jellyfish that the first guy to come along with some hutzpah must seem like the fearless leader we’ve been waiting for. But what is the body that comes with the spine? And is the meat of the matter in alignment with our Christian principles?
Now for the other side of the isle. It seems that we have two options and some other guy who keeps sticking around but no one is sure why he is still campaigning (and I’m not talking about Gov. Kasich). Clinton is bound and determined to ascend to the Oval Office and has fought, scrapped, lied, and acted her way to be in this position. The theatrical performances she has given could earn her an Oscar, but if she won she should chock it up to white privilege and #OscarsSoWhite. She may appeal to establishment Democrats, but it seems she will have a tough time shaking the clandestine baggage of her past political escapades. We shall see.
Bernie is one that has surprised me, mainly because I’ve seen younger Christians rallying to his progressive, socialist, social injustice mantra. The main appeal here seems to be that he wants to stick it to all those greedy, rich, white guys and bring equality to the masses.
For a Christian, equality is not a fundamental virtue…liberty is. Equality is usually more than happy to sacrifice liberty in the pursuit of its goals. Fairness is advocated by the Scriptures (Pr. 11:1); but not equal outcome (Read Matt. 25). For those considering supporting Sanders, remember that justice cannot be meted out apart from a biblical foundation; which Sanders is not built upon.
I believe the one deal-breaker is any given candidate’s position on abortion. A president swears to protect and defend the constitution, which itself is intended to secure for US citizens life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Any candidate that can’t identify where life begins, probably will also be unable to see where liberty’s bounds are.
Finally, my off the cuff thoughts about the rest of the Republican field. There are some rather fine and decent fellows running for the Republican nomination. Cruz seems to be shaping up to be the most viable and the most consistently conservative (both fiscally and socially), but Rubio has impressed me numerous times with his very clear and lucid enunciation of why his Christian faith is fundamental to who he is. I like Carson a lot, and whether I agree with all of his policies, I would point out that he seems to be the SORT of man we ought to elect. Paul is hard as nails (which I find rather refreshing) and is looking to be a long shot, but I think he’s a swell option (wouldn’t mind if he ended up as VP).
Jeb and Christie have their faults to be sure, but I think either of them would be a much better alternative to what we have had the last 8 years and what we’d have should Trump, Clinton or Sanders were elected. Fiorina never got enough traction, but I like her doggedness and sobriety about the state of where our nation is. And finally (did I cover them all?), Huckabee has been one of my favorite political figures for about 10+ years. He’s made some policy proposals that I’d have to hold my nose for, but he is clearly a very witty and well-humored man that isn’t afraid to fight for his convictions. Think King Lune from Archenland
So, do not fail to participate in this process. It is part of our Christian responsibility, namely to bring the word of God to bear upon the shaping of our culture. As a father I don’t twiddle my thumbs hoping my home is a good and godly home…I actively labor to shape it. Why should our national home be any different? It shouldn’t…but that is a topic for another, more Kuyperian post…
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