It’s been a while since I played the RevGals Friday Five, but I have a few minutes and a few thoughts on this week’s prompt, so here it is…
Well it may or may not have escaped the notice of many that over in the UK we have been awaiting the results of the General Election…. it has been the most closely fought election for many years, and the result… a hung or balanced Parliament, with no outright winner… and it has got everybody talking… <I actually have been very interested in this, as I am fascinated by the differences in the US and UK forms of government, but that’s another post for another day>
So what do you think about the mix of faith and politics:
1. Jesus a political figure: discuss… Yes. Very much so, in that the Kingdom of God that he preached invited and still invites people to shake off the constraints and expectations of the government and live in the freedom of right relationships. He preached God as the one to whom we owe our allegiance. He expects his followers to be inclusive and to stand up/speak out against exclusion and exploitation.
2. Politics in the pulpit, yes or no and why? No… at least not in terms of aligning with one political party or another. Does God have things to say about politics? Yes… but in a broken world where power wins, there are no political parties that personify the self-giving love of Christ. I do believe that we should speak out against injustice where we see it, but not use the pulpit as a place to air grievances against a particular leader or group.
3.What are your thoughts on the place of prayer in public life… I think it is foolish for Christians to pretend that praying in public is inoffensive to all. The truth is that we live in a world that is diverse and in which Christianity is becoming a minority world view. That said, it is appropriate to pray over your meal, do prayer walks, meet with others for prayer in public places. If a prayer is used at a community event that is not a specifically advertised as a Christian event, then the person praying should be careful about using exclusive language. The Boy Scouts have had this policy for quite some time, and while I wouldn’t use their adaptation of Native American language, they do have some good interfaith-friendly prayers and meditations in their materials. I guess what I’m saying is that prayer is prayer- a conversation between us and God. It should not be used as a tool for proselytizing or bullying.
4.Is there a political figure, Christian or otherwise that you admire for their integrity?
Jim Wallis is doing some amazing work as a Christian engaged in the political process on behalf of those who have little or no voice. I haven’t dug too deeply into his past or his record, but I’m impressed with the way that Bill Richardson has been working in New Mexico.
5.What are your thoughts on tactical voting, e.g. would you vote for one individual/party just to keep another individual/ party form gaining power?
No. Sometimes I feel like I’m voting for the one who will do the least harm… what I look for is someone who seems to have the interests of the whole in mind, not just one small slice of the population. That gets harder and harder as we become more polarized and vocal about which pole we stand near.
Bonus- is there a song which might sum this all up- if so post a video or a link…
I suspect Kinky Freeman and the Texas Jewboys have something to say about all this.