Monday, September 13, 2010

The Political Is the Real

Tonight Glenn Beck discussed "restoring" America.  But, unlike some of his past programs, I disagreed as to how this is to come about. His was a vision of spiritual renewal, and commitment from citizens to re-align themselves.

While I do agree no one should try to control another in a free society, the only one they really have control over is themself, I do not agree that spiritualizing "self-governance", is imperative. Why would I say this?

Augustine was the one who transformed the Christian vision to the "other world".  His "vision" was the world of the transcendent God, who prepared the "City of God". And this "world" was to give hope to those who'd been disappointed when Rome was destroyed. Hopefully, this will not be the case for America. And today, man himself is the point of question, as evolution has trumped special creation. The focus today is on "man", not God.

Many have tried to implement Marxist "class envy and warfare" into our public discourse, which has done nothing other than divide our nation over envious feelings about material gain. The purpose, I imagine is the "redistribution of wealth" so poverty is addressed. The issue of poverty is not what America has been about. America has understood herself as a land of opportunity and prosperity. A land where people could find their own "way of life".  America's "hope" has been political freedom. But, now, our political freedom has brought about division not just over how money should be "handled" (by the individual or the government), but also how we should treat our enemies.

Those that have an idealistic view of man affirm "love", as the Christian/humanist mandate. Love is not the practical terminology or actual requirement of political action. Love is a personal term, while other terms such as duty, or responsibility fit more appropriately in the political realm.

The question that divides again is over what is our responsibility or duty as American citizens? Is our responsibility for the whole world, or is it for our nation? And then, is our responsibility over those in poverty, addictions, criminal behavior, or what? All of us cannot be concerned and focused on the same issues if our country and how the world's needs are to be met. This is why how one understands and commits is dependent on what one values most and why.

 Is our responsibility for our nation, or for our families? or both? It has often been said that the nation is only as strong as its families. And this is true, I believe. Other matters that concern our nation are matters that will always divide our nation, even, "Christian" citizens. Is the political or real world policies not more important, than the transcendent? I believe so. Nothing impacts the child more than their family of origin, and this arena has also become politicized. It is no longer the parent who must raise their child, but the State. ( And yet, I know that there are those parents who will not do right by the child, in regards to giving the child the best opportunity to succeed. Should the State intervene? And how?)

I am weary of faith, culture, and politics, as I think it has been a useful tool in the hands of the empowered at the disadvantage/discrimination of the "Christian". Values have been defined for the "Christian" by others, so that these will fit their mold, opinion or value. So, being "human" is a more important value for/to me, than "being a Christian", as being 'human" recognizes that I have common needs, desires, and opinions, as any other person.  Being a Christian, only means that there are others that define your life by their own standards and demand obedience to what they find is "ultimate".

I find the "ultimate" in our American culture, where individual liberty is valued and protected.

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