Monday, November 17, 2008

One more political thought

I love reading, but it's hard to find the time and energy to do it now that there aren't assignments and deadlines anymore. So I have given myself a star for reading at least 30 minutes a day on the weekends. 

Last night, I had already climbed into bed before I realized I hadn't fulfilled the reading requirement that day, and in my nightstand I had Bird by Bird and Peppermint-Filled Pinatas, a book by Eric Bryant (one of the pastoral-types at Mosaic). 

I remember starting this book and not getting too terribly interested, so I cheated and picked out a chapter that sounded interesting from the Table of Contents. And of course, the one that stood out to me was entitled "Compassionate Conservatives and Loving Liberals."

The chapter was interesting and challenging, but what I really wanted to blog about coming out of it was this passage:
Often, whether we realize it or not, we assume that real issues can only be solved politically. As we study the history books, we hear of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil War, and the Thirteenth Amendment, and we assume that Abraham Lincoln and other politicians ended slavery. Ironically, however, the goal of the Civil War was the bringing back of secessionist states while allowing slavery to continue in those states. As the war took its staggering toll, public sentiment in the North and in the border states shifted. Slavery's end was no longer just a concern for abolitionists. The public accepted the idea before the legislation ever went into effect.

Lincoln understood the dynamics of what was happening and proclaimed, 'With public sentiment nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed... Consequently, he who holds public sentiment goes deeper than he who erects statutes or pronounces decisions.'

For those who have worked so hard politically and legislatively to bring about an end to abortions, if public sentiment remains divided even as the laws change, abortions would continue illegally until a shift in political power legalized them once again. To reduce abortions, people need to change their view of when life begins and see the consequences of their actions. This change would become noticeable with or without a law in the books.

We need to vote, and we need Christian men and women who work both within the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. The political arena represents a tremendous mission field filled with people who have great influence or at least a tremendous potential to influence others. More than anything, our politics should always be secondary to our practice as followers of Christ.
Amen. Amen. Amen.


  1. Glad you liked that chapter! I have just recently discovered MLK said about the same thing as Lincoln when he said:

    “The Civil Rights Act was expected by many to suffer the fate of the Supreme Court decisions on school desegregation….massive defiance. But this pessimism overlooked a factor of supreme importance….this legislation was first written in the streets.”

    We forget that our power is not limited within the confines of the voting booth!

  2. I also had one more political thought. What if the poligamists want to legalize their lifestyle. Should they have that right? Where do we draw the line on morals? Or do we just not do that anymore. Have we really gotten to a place where we can all just feel good and give everyone the rights they want regardless of the moral right? Some people want to marry underage girls, what about that? Why not change that into a law. Is the new standard of acceptability one of "if its popular enough it a 'right', and who are we to take away people's rights".

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