Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Five Politics

I love politics. So, here's the Friday Five from RevGalBlogPals

So what do you think about the mix of faith and politics:

1. Jesus a political figure: discuss...

What is a political figure? If one were to go back to the Greek root, polis, then the answer must be no because politics has to do with citizenship and democracy. And there was no democracy under Roman rule in Palestine. Unless one was a Roman citizen, I don't think there was a way to influence decision making. Of course, I might be wrong. OTOH, if politics has to do with the way we live our lives, with how we respond to those who rule us, then I'd have to say yes. I do believe Jesus did have something to say about the response to Roman rule and to the wrongness of Roman rule. Luke's gospel in particular is full of political responses from God: He has overthrown the mighty, the rich go away hungry, etc.

2. Politics in the pulpit, yes or no and why?
No and it's unavoidable. I don't believe in preaching my political beliefs as God's word. On the other hand, I do believe the scriptures speak to political situations and scripture has influenced my political beliefs. I believe that politics are a part of life and that we are called to preach to and about all of life. So, I believe that it is unavoidable to preach about politics. Everytime I remind people that we are called to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, visit those in prison, it's a political statement. I don't say vote Republican or Democratic, though.

3.What are your thoughts on the place of prayer in public life...
Hate it, pure and simple. I believe religion in the public sector gets co-opted to serve the purposes of the public sector. I believe that religion should critique the public sector. When religion becomes entwined with the public sector, then it cannot.

I believe that prayer in the public sector is diluted prayer or offensive prayer. I am concerned that public religion will become state religion and infringe on my right to profess beliefs that may be contrary to the state religion. I believe our First Amendment protects me from the imposition by the state of beliefs to which I do not adhere. One only has to look at the take over of the Texas State Board of Education to see the dangers. They are promoting a religious belief system that I do not adhere to as the acceptable religion and perspective through which one should view history and science.
4.Is there a political figure, Christian or otherwise that you admire for their integrity?
Jimmy Carter, of course. Nelson Mandela.
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?
Yep. It frustrates me to see Greens in the US vote in close elections so that a Republican is put in office instead of a Dem. In the small political realm which I used to inhabit, I was a tactician. Getting into office is the important thing, getting those who most closely favor your position is what is important, IMHO.

I will say based on my small experience, making public decisions is far more difficult than it seems. It looks very different from the inside than from the outside.

Bonus- is there a song which might sum this all up- if so post a video or a link...

Canticle of the Turning


altar ego said...

You gave voice to some of my own thoughts that I don't articulate well. Thanks for that. And thanks for the canticle of the turning. Wonderful piece!

Sally said...

love that Canticle!