Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Sleepy Citizenry

If there is one fact we really can prove, from the history that we really do know, it is that despotism can be a development, often a late development and very often indeed the end of societies that have been highly democratic. A despotism may almost be defined as a tired democracy. As fatigue falls on a community, the citizens are less inclined for that eternal vigilance which has truly been called the price of liberty; and they prefer to arm only one single sentinel to watch the city while they sleep. - G.K Chesterton, The Everlasting Man, The Antiquity of Civilization

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Christianity and Culture

So long as we consider finance, industry, trade, agriculture merely as competing interests to be reconciled from time to time as best they may, so long as we consider “education” as a good in itself of which everyone has a right to the utmost, without any ideal of the good life for society or for the individual, we shall move from one uneasy compromise to another. To the quick and simple organization of society for ends which, being only material and worldly, must be as ephemeral as worldly success, there is only one alternative. As political philosophy derives its sanction from ethics, and ethics from the truth of religion, it is only by returning to the eternal source of truth that we can hope for any social organization which will not, to its ultimate destruction, ignore some essential aspect of reality. The term “democracy,” as I have said again and again, does not contain enough positive content to stand alone against the forces that you dislike––it can easily be transformed by them. If you will not have God (and He is a jealous God) you should pay your respects to Hitler or Stalin.- Christianity and Culture, T.S. Eliot p. 50

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Unrighteous Indignation

"Obama to reporter: Let me finish my answers next time."

Does liberal mass media pitch soft balls to President Obama during interviews? Yes. Does this mean that those on the right should counterattack by not only challenging President Obama during interviews, but being disrespectful as well? No. This kind of behavior demonstrates two things. First, the interviewer has very limited experience in executive positions of authority. Anyone who has not been in a leadership position like President Obama cannot even begin to grasp the difficulty of decisions he has to make. Second, the interviewer is not serious about being Christian, if a Christian at all. And in this case, he is from Texas, so I think we can safely assume he is Christian by name at least. But perhaps he is not. If this is the case, who am I to judge an outsider?

Either way, I think the interview is a microcosm of right leaning Christians in their disposition towards President Obama. They are carried away by passions that more often than not result in vitriolic and disrespectful speech of the President. They are not led by the Spirit. If they were, then it would be evidenced by the fruit of self-control. Christians are right for speaking out and taking action against bad policy. Christ challenged the hypocrites and bad leadership of his day, even choosing to call them a "brood of vipers" and "evil". The error that followers of Christ make is in their haste to criticize, the unwarranted disrespect, condescension, and lack of control over their emotions and speech. Followers of Christ are held to a higher standard. Which means Christians need to be accurate, justified, and righteous in their indignation. It's a delicate balance for sure, but it can be found. You can challenge bad policy and bad men righteously.

Here are a few verses to consider before setting fires with your tongue:

Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. - Romans 13:7

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. - I Timothy 2:1-3

Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. - 1 Peter 2:17