It’s Time to Ask Aright

It seems axiomatic at this point in our political lives, that Christian values are compromised by most of our leaders most of the time.

Now I could quickly say, there is nothing wrong in this, since I firmly believe in the separation of church and state, and therefore don’t require any politician to adhere to so-called “Christian” values.

The trouble is that those values which I find embodied in Matthew 25:35-37:

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.

are shared by most religions on Earth. They are embodied in the near universal saying “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

I, as some of you know, blog during the week about all things political (See “my other blogs” along sidebar). I note that while everyone gives lip service to God, lying has become an art form.

I wonder how that squares with intense self-identification as a Christian. Take Mr. Romney for instance. He is by all accounts a devout Mormon. He  is as a bishop in his church and went on the usual two-year missionary exercise. He donates reportedly quite extensively to it. While I know little about the actual theology of Mormonism, I seriously assume that truth-telling is honored as a virtue and lying is considered sinful.

Yet, each week a certain political pundit lists in detail with proper linkage Mr. Romney’s untruths of the week. These are no small white lies, but are statements of stark lie, used apparently to paint a picture of the President that is untrue and designed to reach a particular audience who wish hear such denigration.  (I’m not saying the other side is devoid of such practices, but independent fact-finders declare that the most egregious number and quality are found coming from Mr. Romney and his party.)

I ask myself how this squares with a man who professes such a strong and dedicated faith?

The only answer I have found was a couple of days ago, one writer noted, and I paraphrase:

Of course Mormonism doesn’t condone lying. However, Mr. Romney is like so many others. Politics is a dirty business, and one “renders unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar.”

In other words, since politics has been a dirty game, everyone must play it on that level.  Or, the “ends justify the means”.

Politicians must it seems, tell themselves that “once this is all over, I’ll govern by the values I really do hold, not the one’s I’m forced to ignore right now in order to win.”

Is this an excuse?

I rather doubt it. Rather, evil begets evil and every disorder. It becomes easier to make another exception. It becomes easier to find the “ends” more and more essential and thus the means slide further in to the abyss of sin.

We so far, have not decried this. Oh sure, we say we hate the “negative” ads, yet apparently studies show that they must work. How else would otherwise fairly bright people continue to pour millions of dollars into their production and use?

We demand that our children “tell the truth” and we stand by silently as our leaders taking lying to the highest art form yet imagined. We expect truth from our friends and our family, yet we expect politicians to spew “rhetoric” and we justify our ignoring most of the political season for just this reason. It’s our excuse for not being involved.

“They are all just trying to get re-elected. They all lie. They will say anything for a contribution. They talk out of both sides of their mouths.”  These are just some of the things we say to ourselves and each other.

Yet, by this passive response, we enhance the probability that this sort of thing continues. We go with the flow as it were. Until we hold our politicians accountable in a real way, we will reap the state of our Union.

If we want politicians to tell us the truth, we must reward truth and punish falsehood. The ballot box is our weapon. We must state unequivocally that we will consider any bold faced lie reason alone to disqualify one for office. We will work hard for those who deal honestly with us, and with their fellow congressmen and women. We expect compromise on big problems; we expect politicians to work for the common good, not special interests. We value honest in government and we will tolerate nothing less.

Are you  as James suggested:

Where do the wars
and where do the conflicts among you come from?
Is it not from your passions
that make war within your members?
You covet but do not possess.
You kill and envy but you cannot obtain;
you fight and wage war.
You do not possess because you do not ask.
You ask but do not receive,
because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Ja. 4:1-3

Are we subject to every glowing offer made because it is what WE want to hear for our own selfish interests? Or are we asking rightly?



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tim
    Sep 23, 2012 @ 13:10:57

    I couldn’t agree more, Sherry. Our quick and easy juxtaposition of faith and politics is producing a schizoid mentality that makes exceptions, not for human rules, but for heeding divine principle. It is truth, Jesus says, that makes us free. And when we tolerate prevarications and fraud as “part of the process” we invite tyranny–perhaps not of the military or dictatorial sort, but most certainly of a kind that infests the culture and leads to chaos. I pray we all have the courage to follow your suggestion and demand truth and integrity from our leaders. It’s often said “a fish rots from the head down,” but at this late stage we too are rotten with complacency and cynicism about the democratic privilege we’ve been given.

    Timely, oh so timely. Thank you!



    • Sherry
      Sep 23, 2012 @ 13:46:34

      There was a time that a politician caught in a deliberate lie was done for. Today, the only question is–did it work? I am so sickened by the lies being told especially those that are the cut and paste variety, just re-editing remarks to make them say what you wish rather than what they were clearly meant. We are indeed on the brink of losing our democracy, but not to socialism as the right maintains, but to the plutocratic environment of monied interests that count nothing of value except cold hard cash. It is sad indeed, and we are all responsible.


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