Have you already had enough or are you a political junkie?
Obama, Hillary, Huckabee, Rommney, McCain- they have taken over the news media. Their every move in every Iowa town and New Hampshire burg was breathlessly documented. And so it will be as the primary season hits full stride.
But it is not just the media who is captivated. Conversation about favorite candidates fill the coffee shops, cooperate offices and yes, even the church foyers with the latter now being an all important demographic for politicians to court. Indeed, every presidential wanna-be has already touted their “faith”.
So as this dance with the church for votes continues- here are some of my very own political and theological observations. (Yea, I know, just what you have been waiting for!)
Presidential politics has always been cutthroat. Our current crop of candidates still have a lot of mud to sling to catch up with some campaigns of the past. “Going negative” has a long, ugly legacy in American presidential politics. So why pretend to be shocked now?
Religion has been politicized. This really has not always been the case in past presidential campaigns. It can possibly be traced back to JFK’s run and the proposed Catholic scare, but that was nothing compared to the climate today. Separation of church and state? Apparently not when it comes to votes! Is this a good or a bad thing? You tell me.
America is not God’s country. With apologies to the patriotic song- it never has been. Many of our founders (Jefferson and Franklin for instance) were deists whose primary goal in separating church and state was to protect the state from the power and influence of a single monolithic church (think Church of England here). The resulting religious freedom has certainly been a blessing and definitely helped shape America into a country open to revival and God’s leading at times, but God has never ordained America as his country.
God’s Kingdom will always reign. God’s kingdom is his country and always has been regardless of geopolitical posturing. His kingdom reigned through the flourish and failures of Israel. His kingdom reigned during the rise and fall of the invincible Roman Empire. His kingdom reigned even when the ages went dark. His kingdom reigned as Europe colonized the world. His kingdom reigned through worlds at war. His kingdom is still reigning and the 2008 American presidential election will not change that.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. “Righteousness” still “exalts a nation”, but my faith is in God not in our political process. I will vote and think everyone should, but I look to no politician to be my or my country’s “savior.”
Besides if we want America to genuinely honor and turn to God, it will likely be more about what happens in our house, rather than in the White House.