I've been reading some interesting things from Christians the last few days. Well, I would argue the Christians are always good for some interesting reading, but the last few months it's been kind of a bit of a circus. With the health care debate, the religious right seems to have found a few problems with our President, and have even begun to use the Bible to justify defying the government we find ourselves under.
Some of these arguments might carry some weight. Some wise people are weighing in with some ideas that perhaps we haven't completely thought through. I don't mind that. I don't mind a well meaning person challenging the ideas being suggested by our leaders. They absolutely must be kept in check. I have even found a few areas that I disagree with Mr. Obama.
What bugs me to no end is that some of the people who are so very against Mr. Obama and his agenda tend to attack not him, but the entire federal government and it's role in our lives. They would try to convince you that the federal government is trying to completely control our lives, based on the fact that they want to give us flu shots. Again, that doesn't bother me. Some people think that a larger government means less freedom for them. I disagree, but I understand their view point. What bugs me to no end is the fact that a lot of the people who are upset with our government are the same people who were singing it's praises when President Bush was in office. They're the same people who suggested that opposing a war in Iraq (again, I would remind you I'm equally as not happy with President Obama for the war in Afghanistan) were unpatriotic or anti-American. The fact is, it would seem to me that some folks oppose the government not for legitimate ideological issues, but simply because their guy didn't win, and fear is easy to sell.
As someone who (in spite of my hate of labels) finds himself lining up on the liberal side of the isle, I know this looks like someone just lining up to defend his President. While I would remind you that I have some pretty big disagreements with our President, I would also tell you that my real beef is that when we as Christians use all of our influence for politics, we are selling ourselves entirely too short. Jesus Christ has called us to be an influence in the world, to speak up for those who are oppressed and neglected. I don't know that the current political culture allows us to do that, or at least not through the arguments we're making.
Because I've been in trouble before brining up political debates, I wanted to make sure I threw in some scriptures that have been buzzing in my brain. The biggest one is Romans 13:1:
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

So for those who would say that this government is not ordained by God, how does that square with this passage? God wouldn't let this happen if he didn't have a plan for it. But more than that, if I had to summarize this passage, I would say that Paul wants us to know that there are bigger things to occupy our time than getting tangled up with politicians. Jesus would seem to hammer home that same message in Matthew 22:21.
Now, of course there are some issues in the political sphere that we need to involve ourselves in. Anytime we hear the cry of the oppressed, or worse we discover the oppression is happening at the hands of our own government, we are obligated to act. And to those who do so, I applaud your efforts. But again, I feel like there's a healthy amount of anger and fear mongering that has nothing to do with anyone who's oppressed. It has to do with a particular political party who lost, and needs to take it out on someone. By itself that's no problem, but when we use Jesus to justify such actions, it makes a mockery out of the savior.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Leave some comments below!



shallowfrozenwater said...

i'm not American so take my opinion as an outsider only but i've always been troubled by the conservative right who seemingly chooses to ignore opression and pain right in front of them because they want to pursue an agenda across the world (an agenda that also brings oppression and pain).
bigger government doesn't mean that your spiritual life is affected. in fact it probably hurts your wallet but in so doing you're probably going to be a healthier people as a whole. we as Canadians have bigger government but we also have a much smaller population (about 1/10th of you folks) so yes our taxes are higher but we don't have nearly the same issues that many of your population has when they're sick and they have no help to get better.
if i were American i'd work to help fix this problem, but i'm not American and so i can only spout off from the sidelines.