In my past life in the blogosphere, I wrote about nearly everything; for such, running everywhere all at once, is the gamboling nature of my mind and thought. This is not to suggest that what (anything!) I wrote had depth, but I’d like to think so.
This said, now that I’ve launched my website/blog (not yet two weeks old), I note that I’ve confined myself to two principal areas of focus, biblical/theological reflection and poetry, and of all the words (so far!), not a transparently political syllable among them. Hmmm, I awoke this morning wondering why.
On second and third and…and…thought, I believe I made an unconscious decision to eschew political commentary. Largely, because I am aware that I find, I feel the current (indeed, the past generation’s) American political character is vastly and, for me, distastefully prejudicially partisan. This “party-spirit” (and I don’t mean fun!), I think, imbues the fundamental labor of elective representative government in service of all the people with daily difficulty, perhaps a well-nigh inherent impossibility.
This said, I follow my Lord’s declaration of the nature of discipleship, couched in his prayer to God, that his followers are to be in the world, but not of the world.(1) In the main, I interpret this to mean that Christians, I live in this world, but that their, my ethos is to be rooted in and to bear the fruit of Jesus’ gospel of love and justice, unconditional benevolence and fairness for all people at all times and not the worldly culture and code of selfish self-interest.
This said, I will write about politics, for to be in this world means that I cannot divorce myself – my interest and thinking, my observations and writing – from what I consider this elemental aspect of all human living…
To clarify: 3 personal beliefs:
• I believe that we all share a common humanity, yet we always are individuals with personal histories and memories, thoughts and feelings, perceptions and perspectives, and intentions and actions.
• I believe that, as such, no two people – no matter how similar, how like-minded, how related and for however long – necessarily (can!) mean the same thing when using the same words.
• I believe, therefore, that any and all communication requires folk to engage the sometimes-tedious labor of defining their terms.
This said, for me, politics, derived from the Greek polis, “city”, is, at its heart, the inescapable act, indeed, art of human relations in community. Now, as one born and nurtured in this world, particularly the United States and having lived nearly 30 years in Washington, DC, and, for much of that time on and around Capitol Hill, I acknowledge the negative depiction of politics as the act, some would say art of manipulation to convince and, at times, to coerce others, even and especially those in opposition, to bend to one’s will. Nevertheless, as politics, in my view, again, is an “elemental aspect of all human living”, there is no field of endeavor, even that of religion, that is or can be characteriologically politics-less, even politics-lite.
This said, as I write about politics and politicians, I pray that my words, even, especially when critical, will be characterized by the other-worldly perspective of Jesus’ love and justice.
In time to come, more to come…
(1) See John 17.1-19