Politics and The PhxP
To be completely honest, it makes me angry to have to address this.
My primary concern is the faith once delivered and I’m only interested in political issues that the Scriptures address and politics in general as it affects the faith.
(We’ll talk about what those issues are in a future post…I think the OT prophets are a basic primer along with the Gospels and the Sermon on the Mount.)
My foundational belief is that we as Christians are to live as exiles and strangers on the earth looking for a heavenly country…that place which is not yet here.
I believe that we will enter that promised land when Jesus returns, the kingdom is consummated ,and heaven and earth become one place.
While we wait, we act as ambassadors of that coming kingdom, representing the King to come.
Nether political party represents anything of the King or kingdom, except by accident and then only to further earthly agendas.
My main concern in my blogging career has been to protect the people who have come to seek the kingdom safe from those who would use and defile them.
It’s hard to be a stranger and an exile…more so when threatened and harmed by those who claim to be one of the separated people.
Thus, I have labored intensely to fight such people and the forces behind them.
The church is diminished and marginalized and its message perverted when it allows itself to be affiliated with any nation or political entity.
We are a separated, peculiar people who must embrace our identity to accomplish our mission.
Everything we do must be done incarnationally…meaning we act in faithful, sacrificial, love, following the example of our Lord.
Now, I do not have time to nuance this and there is nuance needed…but these are my basic beliefs.
Thus, I do not give a tinkers damn whether you identify as a “conservative” or a “liberal” or any other label other than “Christian”.
(I wonder what constitutes a “tinkers damn”…are “tinkers” more adept at cursing? I digress…)
I am all over the map categorically as some biblical issues are recognized on one side and rejected by the same…thus I find the categories presented unhelpful at best and damaging at worst.
Comments and participation here are not allowed on the basis of your chosen labels or policy preferences, but on whether they are compatible with reasoned discourse and our common faith…if there is such a thing anymore.
Most of my friends and parishioners would consider themselves “conservative”…and that matters to me about as much as where they prefer to buy groceries.
Their faith and love of Christ matters supremely.
We may not always (or even often) agree about peripheral matters.
Disagreement is not “hate”.
Disputes are not “censorship”.
Finally…this site may not be your cup of tea.
It doesn’t mean that you are bad or those of us that write here are.
It means that sometimes people love each other better at a distance…
One final note…I could be wrong…my journey isn’t over yet.
Americans have enjoyed peace and prosperity to the point of growing illogical, spoiled, entitled, and divisive. Christians in America have followed suit or led the procession. Either we of faith reckon with our own far-afield-ness, or something much more corrective will be in order.
I opt for the former. Lord, have mercy.
Hear, hear! (Or is it here, here?)
I best like this site when it reflects the spirt of the Internet Monk: Conversations that center on Kingdom focus/advancement in the post-evangelical wilderness. Consistent political posturing and wrangling cause me to lose interest rather quickly.
It’s odd that the late, lamented, Monk and I did not get along well at all.
I think in time we would have…and I regret that we didn’t have that time.
Thank you for this! I’m all over the place myself, and I frustrate people who can’t pigeon hall me into a convenient compartment that explains my behavior. I just wish we could get back to the days when we actually discussed politics, instead of yelling at each other all the time.
There is a notion circulating that I’m anti-conservative and anti- Republican.
In reality, I’m anti anything anti-kingdom…and pro everything pro kingdom…
Have you noticed that in a conversation with many people, especially (but not exclusively) online, that many such people hear or read everything with a political filter. So if you mention something, almost anything, on virtually any topic, it is judged as being pro- or anti- politician such and such? Then you are judged as being conservative or liberal based on your perceived support or opposition to politician such and such, even though you may have just been providing a biblical view of an ethic or a secular social view of an ethic.
I’ve done my fair share of political posturing here, despite thinking that I was holding back. I do confess that other’s political views have colored my view of them here, and I truly hate that.
yes, and that pigeon-hole thing irritates me to. Some just can’t deal with gray/grey.
For me there is a dichotomy that i can’t define….
“One nation, under God, indivisible…”
do we fight to keep that or do we simply conclude that the Kingdom we serve is NOT of this world? ? ? …. 🙆
The IMonk could prove exasperating at times. Not a perfect person. The flaws were quite evident. But I’ll take that over someone who seeks to create a glossy, lofty, holier-than-thou image of themselves. I guess I’m more at ease with messy than manicured. 🙂 Michael wrote some amazing essays that cut through a lot of the evangelical crap.
It is the sad state of American Christianity that such words need to be written.
In my Facebook writings, I have so many times been accused that it’s so obvious that I’m being led by my “politics” and my “hatred”. And yet, at least most times, those accusations couldn’t be further from the truth.
So much of American Christianity (most especially white evangelicalism) has so badly bastardized the faith with right wing politics, and now Trumpism, that they themselves cannot tell the difference between things of the faith and things of the earthly political realm. They are all rolled together in one convoluted, ugly mess. And if you dare say anything about it or criticize any aspect of it, then you are of the enemy who is being led by hatred and are adhering to or at least being duped by the liberals/democrats/marxists/MSM/etc. It is a sad state of affairs.
And of course, the qualifier – not all politically conservative Christians or even Trump supporting Christians act this way, but way too many have that it has created this sad state of affairs.
This nation is no more under God than my favorite football team.
The kingdom is not of this world, but it is in this world and coming soon…
I think what a couple have said here about binary thinking is, indeed, a starting point for those who wish to see change. When presented with only two options, we must understand that is a false dichotomy–very few things in life are heads or tails. It forces us to look to deeper, wider, and broader–and disallows the rampant laziness of thought and practice.
He was a prophet and a genius…
Michael..I love to hear you say your journey isn’t over yet. I hear hope. And that makes me happy for you, because many of us have struggled to retain hope in this present darkness. I just wish to remind you that you personally, and the blog corporately, have been used as an instrument in God’s Hand in myriad ways.
For me, this blog and the believers here sustained my faith when it had been nearly destroyed. And I am only one. How many abuse survivors have found this blog a refuge where they can, at the very least, tell their story and be supported and seen and heard? Many have come here and think of the many who have been strengthened but never wrote one comment.
This is not a small thing, in my view, in the eyes of God. He is not unfaithful to forget your labors of love toward His sheep in this way. I am looking forward to see how God will continue to use you and the blog as we all go forward. Then…there are the felines. And that, my friend, is also not a small thing. 😻❤️😎🕊🌎 👑 ✝️
I couldn’t tell you how many times it has happened to me or I have observed it happened to others.
You say something about racial equality and people automatically assume or accuse you of supporting the BLM organization.
Or you say something in concern for immigrants at the border and suddenly you are all for open borders and don’t care about our veterans who don’t get enough support from the government.
Or you say something about needing to help those in need and merely suggest that the government could be part of this and suddenly you are a socialist or a marxist.
Or you say something about the wrongness of Trump’s actions and concern of Christians supporting them and you are accused of hatred and Trump Derangement Syndrome and of being fooled by MSM and being a liberal.
Even when it is made clear that you’re only addressing things from a vantage point of how God calls us to live, the political assumptions and accusations are still often automatically made.
Well said…both times.
Thank you, my friend.
We need hope and light…and we’ll try to find some and share it…
With someone like the Internet Monk in mind, I’ve often wondered about some of my internet “heroes” (I use that term loosely). How much would I like them if I actually spent a lot of time with them in real life? And vice versa…would they like me? We can create such a limited, edited view of ourselves online.
Here’s a bottom line for me: I think we spend way too much time thinking about what other people think/believe/say/do, and way too little time thinking about what we think/believe/say/do. Our personal development as a human being is crucial, and if we apply ourselves to more abiding in Christ and character development, we will see the world around us in a lot of new, different ways. As Elvis Presley once sang, “clean up your own backyard…”
That’s a whole article…I wish you would write…
Anyone can call themselves a patriot, nothing wrong with that. Anyone can advocate policies they see as patriotic or in the best interests of America, provided, if they’re a Christian, they ought to advocate for policies that are consistent with their understanding of biblical ethics.
However, many, if not most political policies are not covered in Scripture. So one must infer what a wholesome policy might look like, while searching one’s own heart for selfish or selfless motives.
As a result, for many or most policy cases, we cannot judge with certainty whether our own policy position is more godly than someone else’s.
Well said and well articulated. My concern is the Church and the Faith… In saying that is my concern, I cannot limit myself to just the here and now, i.e. America in the 21st century. The Church and the Faith are global and have a history and a future. When we marry the Church and the Faith to the politics of the moment I think we betray that vision of the kingdom that is not of this world…
“When we marry the Church and the Faith to the politics of the moment I think we betray that vision of the kingdom that is not of this world…’
If you can’t cross the ts and dot the is correctly for some who say they are conservative, you’re automatically a liberal. If you happen to pro-life and pro-immigrant, you’re not liberal enough. I’ve been yelled at by both sides, and I’m changing my party affiliation to independent.
True…I’m changing my party affiliation to “let’s have one”… 🙂
Love it! i am so excited that there may be a path to citizenship for those already here…I know so many of them and have taught their kids. That will be a party!!!
Kevin—I’m finding the same in nearly all my communication with others, even not online. Accusations. Unmerited many times. And being accused of things that aren’t true is one of the most difficult things for a person like me, filled with ungodly pride, to stomach. I literally feel compelled to defend myself, to vindicate myself. It’s a real sense of injustice to be accused wrongly. It hurts me emotionally for some reason, and I find it incredibly difficult to “let It go,” to simply put my “image” amongst others in God’s Hands and trust that even if people believe something wrong about me, God knows. This journey is hard sometimes.
That’s been my prayer for years…we will celebrate indeed…
I’m hoping as things simmer down, that there won’t be all this politicizing of damn near everything. It’s so tiring. And it also leads people to feel outrage. Yecch.
Plus, it’s so shallow. Do I really think I know anything substantive about someone because of the type of car they drive?
Michael, my thoughts are not cohesive enough to articulate an article nor is my emotional stability healthy enough to withstand critique. I’m managing two shuttered businesses, a classroom transitioning from Zoom to hybrid over the next two weeks, and a bride with some health issues…
But. I’ll give it some thought.
Praying for filbertz’ bride and filbertz.. . 🙏
Life is in many ways easier when political views are jettisoned, and replaced with apolitical views. There are consequences of course, and it does lead to a sense of estrangement from fellow congregants. That can’t be helped.
great post Michael
Thank you, my friend!
Well said Michael and I concur.
For me, Christianity is not a lock-stock-and-barrel-fully-self-contained-belief-system based on a particular view of the Bible. I hold to the tenets of the Apostle’s Creed as non-negotiables.
The rest of the stuff beyond that?
I keep my own counsel and pick and choose as I see fit.
Thank you, Muff!
Michael,. I think this is a well balanced post. I’m a political conservative and I probably would vote for Trump again but I understand all the concerns folks have. I hope revealing my vote doesn’t make people assume I am a white supremacist and racist, fascist, etc. Primary I’m a conservative because I want government smaller and less powerful. My thinking is this gives more freedom back to the people and out of bureaucratic control. So maybe I’m a libertarian. I’m not sure but if libertarianism is the opposite of fascism , I think there maybe be a left wing fascism that is something we have never seen before which scares folks on the right side of the political spectrum.
What wing of conservative do you identify with, the currently popular wing and perception of reality led by the Marjorie Taylor Geene/ Josh Hawley wing, the offspring of Trumpism, or the more traditional wing with its emphasis on truth and adherence to the Constitution led by Saase/ Cheney/ McConnell?
There is such division within conservatism presently that the distinction is a necessary clarification when someone identifies as conservative.
Jean,. I don’t identify with either wing. What wing do you put Rand Paul in? Anyway,. I could probably ask the same about the liberal side. There seems to be much division there as well.
Rand Paul is someone who gets nothing accomplished. He makes sanctimonious speeches, and votes against most everything. I’m just being honest. Can you name one legislative bill that he wrote that passed?
We are governed by nitwits and curs.
This president is an upgrade over the last only because it would be impossible to find a more base and venal person than the former
He has done some things I applauded, others that make me gag.
This is my new “life verse”.
“What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord,”
(2 Corinthians 6:16–17 ESV)
Jean,. Maybe accomplishing nothing is an improvement over making things worse. All I can say is I don’t look to government to fix every problem. They always seem to create more problems than they fix now days. Biden just undid all Trump’s executive actions and has some of his own. So the pendulum swings the other direction until another 4 years where everything will get erased again. This is a reality.
I identify with a list of deceased Oregon politicians who were legendary for faith and courage across political boundaries.
All dead as are my state and country.
Wayne Morse was a living legend.
He was as old as the mountain when I met him.
I had asked him to come to speak at the graduation ceremony of the high school.
The class size was 25.
The principal laughed, the superintendent laughed, the kids laughed.
Alone, without press.
He was barely audible when he began, but sounded like thunder at the end.
There was a time when giants walked the earth.
Now is the time to come out…
I’m not interested in debating political philosophy, you said you were conservative and I was asking you if your in the current popular group who traffics in conspiracy theories, lies and some of whom run around in animal pelts carrying flags of various sorts including anti-semitic symbols and conflations of Christian religious symbols with political figures or the nation? Last time we dialogued here, you were espousing that the election was stolen and you were hoping it would be overturned. Are you over that now? Do you acknowledge that your candidate lost a fair and secure election?
There is a traditional conservative wing in America which still believes in evidence and fact based truth. I don’t agree with everything they do, but I find them upstanding public servants, though they are under tremendous pressure to toe the Trump line. I mentioned some above and here I would add, Adam Kinzinger.
Michael, et al,
Within the next couple weeks I will be re-registering as an independent. I support some Dem causes, but not all (abortion being the main opposing point), but I can’t deal with a party that thinks it’s okay for the president to incite a riot or not put a gag on a QAnon supporter (Taylor). I’ve been voting my conscience for years, so now I will make it official.
It does make one wonder: If a party cannot repudiate with tangible consequences the ideology of Taylor, what does it stand for and how does that bode for our country?
Mark Hatfield was a hero of mine. His books were highly influential when I was of college age. A wiser and more intelligent Xn in the public sphere, you’re unlikely to find. He was a liberal Republican and so pxxsed off all sides, especially his Baptist brethren. Means he was right where he should’ve been.
I still remember in an interview, talking about all the conservative Baptists who sent him hate mail and called him names. Hasn’t changed a bit — just gotten worse. Sad.
Back in the day, Oregonians didn’t care much about party, they cared about character.
When two of our popular officials evidenced moral failure we canned them very quickly…(Goldschmidt and Packwood)…
“Back in the day, Oregonians didn’t care much about party, they cared about character.”
I keep going back to Augustine. The best we can hope for in the leaders of the City of Man are the qualities of character and a desire to do justice…
Hatfield, Morse, and McCall. along with Bobby Kennedy made me excited about the potential for leaders to be noble and for the common good.
I’ve since been disabused of that notion.
I only have the energy to contend for the church, which has fallen to the depths of whoredom for the sake of power.
“Only 30% of white evangelical Protestants assign a lot of responsibility to media platforms that spread conspiracy theories and misinformation, and even fewer (23%) say Trump bears a lot of responsibility. Majorities of every other group assign a lot of blame to such media platforms, and at least pluralities say Trump holds a lot of the responsibility.”
Similar situation here in Pennsylvania. We had a history of at least the past 30-40 years of having a lot of governors/senators/congressman who were not as beholden to the political extremes and the my way or the highway attitudes and appeared more dedicated to serving all the people instead of just those in their own wing. These last few years things have really pulled to the extremes, especially in my Republican party. The Republican candidate for governor in the last election in 2018 was a Trump wannabe who I could not vote for. And now many Pennsylvania Republican congressman have been leading the spurious charge of a stolen election and even now after the inauguration are still active in it. We still have a couple decent Senators in Pat Toomey and Bob Casey, Jr., but I’m concerned how long that will last. Toomey is retiring in 2022 and I fear who may end up replacing him.
This article details some of these current conditions: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/26/pennsylvania-republican-party-trump-support-462843
Jean,. Your comment at 9:09 is uncalled for and uncharitable. I never said the election was stolen but I will say that I’m not confident about it. I would have liked to have seen an audit that will instill confidence in our elections but I’m not worried that the wrong guy is in office. I liked Michael’s post and thought it was fair. I have no intention to debate political philosophy with you or anyone else. I have challenged you specifically here because you have put words in people’s mouths that distort the truth of what people say and you are doing it again.
I have seen no one here say that the states who circumvented the Constitution to put into place new election procedures were troubling.
I assume that means our Constitution is a has been document?
The hardest example our Lord left me was His statement, knowing what was ahead, “nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done.”
No one is in a position of political power outside of God’s will, i don’t think, but, at present, this is a fallen world of compromise and self justification.
For me it is time to pray for grieving souls to be given hearts of flesh and an understanding of God’s great salvation. Faith overcomes, does it not?
Steve, there are saved souls that haven’t really grasped grace i believe… Dunno
Here are your words in quotations:
“Jean, I know you don’t like Trump. But his election rigging claims aren’t phony. The attorney general in TX just filed suit against Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. I hope it goes right to the SCOTUS so our constitution doesn’t get trampled in and the country, media and folks like yourself understand there was tremendous fraud in this election. I honestly doubt Biden will ever get to the white house.” – 12/8/2020 12:09pm
Now, I will accept an apology and give you another chance to recant your claim that the election was stolen. If there was tremendous fraud, then the election was stolen. I put no words in your mouth.
“I have seen no one here say that the states who circumvented the Constitution to put into place new election procedures were troubling.”
In my case, that’s because I don’t agree with your premise that states circumvented the Constitution.
Anyone who says the 2020 election was fraudulent is either deluded or a fool…or maybe could use some therapy.
Take your pick.
You don’t get to make stuff up without evidence…and still, however many months after the 2020 election, there’s — still — NO EVIDENCE.
Put up or shut up…again
bob1 and Jean, did you miss the fact that the Constitutiom designates the States’ legislatures as the bodies who are allowed to change a State’s voting protocols?
Now i will…. shut up. 😇
I didn’t say anything about that.
The Republicans in Wisconsin were so desperate that they argued that their own laws that the Wisconsin legislature passed, which were in force for prior elections without protest, were somehow in violation of the State or Federal Constitution.
As I said regarding your claim, we have a court system which adjudicates constitutional issues. Many cases were adjudicated by judges appointed by Trump. The courts did not find constitutional malfeasance. It doesn’t matter how many times a falsehood is repeated; it’s still false.
Georgia was litigated six ways to Sunday. The Governor and Secretary of State were both Trump voting Republicans. If there had been merit to any theory whatsoever, from the Kraken to fraud to the constitutionality of the voting process, they would have produced it to a court.
Was anyone concerned about the Constitution when the President tried to coerce the Vice President into not counting the electoral college votes from the six contested states? That was a direct assault on the Constitution, the Rule of Law, the Democratic Republic and the American voter.
To those Republicans who can read: You own all of this. The party isn’t doomed; it’s dead. The chance to move away from Trumpism, toward a more respectful, civilized approach to governance that acknowledges the realities of a diverse nation and that doesn’t surrender to the clenched fist, has slipped away. What comes next is anybody’s guess. But anyone who doesn’t speak out against the myths and lies of fringe groups, domestic terrorists and demagogues such as Trump deserves only defeat — and a lengthy exile in infamy. Good riddance.
I’m only saying this once, then people will disappear.
Speak respectfully to each other or not at all.
Jean,.you are doing it again. I do think think there was fraud and a lot of it. Just examining the number of dead people voting should clue you in. I believe I was responding to you when you said there was no election fraud. I still believe the Pennsylvania case where I live may hit the Supreme Court eventually and I hope it does. This isn’t because I have a wish to overturn the election or even if I have an opinion on whether the election was stolen but rather so some semblance of integrity can be restored to the electoral process. I think it would be great for the country to have a debate on this in congress and have a thorough audit so we can restore trust.
There is a minimal amount of fraud in every election.
The bulk of the fraud claims disappeared when Dominion sued the stuff out of the liars.
The source of this is Trump and his coterie of liars who made false claims about mail in voting and a host of other nonsense then spread by political-porn purveyors like Newsmax and OAN.
An audit will do no good…Jesus could descend and set everyone straight and most would still believe Trump.
How is this still even remotely interesting?
I’m teaching on the kingdom in an hour…now that’s interesting…
Georgia conducted 3 audits. If there was widespread, massive fraud, then they did a very poor job of covering it up. Makes no sense. The video evidence out there is just poll workers doing their jobs.
Michael’s 8:43 comment is the truest and best in this thread. Selah.
He wrote a few times: “come out”
I’d say it like this: release the grip on the idol
That is going to be a recurring theme here…
The fraud thing is old, tiring, and a false narrative. Move on.
In a spirit of respect, send me a link to a reputable article evidencing “the number of dead people voting.” I understand that dead people voting is (1) on both sides, (2) is rare, and (3) would not have made a difference in any of the swing state elections. But, if you can produce a reputable article demonstrating a material number of dead people voting, then please do and I will consider it.
By the way, when States find dead people votes, I expect that they (1) take that dead person vote out of their tally and (2) investigate the cause.
I have no distrust in the system. Although I was severely disappointed in the down ballot results, as well as the results in my home state (and others) where mail in voting for convenience has been around for many election cycles, I do not attribute the disappointing results to fraud, conspiracies or dead people voting.
From everything that was done in states like PA, WI and GE, I think there was tremendous integrity.
You know, there’s always the chance that…Biden just plain won. It’s possible that a majority of the electorate had had enough of Trump. Believe it or not, a lot of folks don’t like his leadership for our nation. Folks that are just as patriotic, just as American, just as rule of law oriented, just as American dream championing, wanted change.
Or for the Frozen generation: let it go… 🙂
PH and Michael,
I’m all for respect and moving on. When When anyone promotes claims that there was election fraud, a stolen election, or unconstitutional voting, that is a direct attack on the legitimacy of our President, and it is a slight at all of his 81 million voters. We’re not fraudulent voters, and our votes are as legitimate as anyone else’s.
I’m honestly at a point where I don’t care.
I believe it was actually a staggeringly successful election based on turnout alone.
However, I have folks I love who believe all manner of nonsense.
I still speak to them in love and no longer try to connect them with reality about this stuff.
Okay. Note to self. Thank you for the advice; it is good advice.
If congress decided to get to the bottom of the election results, I’m sure I could point you you to one authoritative source. That’s kind of why I support an audit. Regarding PA I don’t trust the system here. But that is beside the point. I’m convinced what happened in PA was unconstitutional. I’m not alone on that by any stretch. The only reason it matters are for people who care about the constitution. But the constitution in is not my bible so I can sleep at night.
So you’ve got nothing, but insist it’s there? That’s a logic I can’t refute.
How about we drop the convo out of defence to our host.
Q Anon Shaman reportedly wants to testify at the impeachment trial. (You people do realize what shaman is?)
Anyway, I think he’s great. It was the open tunic, loose trou and fur hat, that grabbed me. But I practically had a man crush over the horns. Two horns.
Somehow, I don’t think we will see a repeat of the horned manhood at any Congressional trial.
Christian Post just ran another podcast bemoaning the lack of raging masculinity in the Evangelical church. CP ought to reach out to Q S immediately with a position offer. I would follow that sort of podcast .. .religiously. In fact, they could revamp the entire site. Make QS the featured personality on a permanent basis.