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"The penalty good people pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by people worse than themselves."

markson-face-shrug.jpgPlato, Republic, I. 347

I struggle with how involved I should be in the institutions of the day. On one hand I feel that I should be actively engaged in the life of the society through involvement in government. On the other hand I think if you invest in the powers that be you can be giving credence and legitimacy to the status quo.

I do think, regardless of where you end up on either side of that issue, that the worst choice is to shrug your shoulders, stand on the sidelines, and say, "What can you do?" or "That's how it always is." I can't abide fatalism or apathy.

In the Book of Revelation John of Patmos talks about the Beast who could represent variously Power, Propaganda, Government, etc. And the people's response was, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?" Or, in other words, "You can't fight City Hall." It's as if the people gave a giant shrug and gave up. And they got what they deserved.

40 for 40, #20


Hey there, Lars. I wanted to make some comments on your previous entires, but have been thwarted by yet another visit of whatever bug has been tormenting my children since we moved here! For the past 5 days, it's been as if their umbilical cords have regenerated!

Since our country makes it so easy to be politically informed, and to vote, I don't understand why our turnout is so consistently low. I take my kids to vote, and let them use the practice set-up, so they'll see voting as one of those grown-up activities they can look forward to--like "doing whatever we want" ;)

But I have some ambivalent feelings about government. I hate how the primary system dictates who I can vote for (Our primary has always been in May--now they're moving it to March, but since everyone else is moving theirs as well, we're still in the last bunch). I hate how a candidate's ability to raise money is such a determining factor in who eventually runs. I have wanted to know more about some candidates who have already dropped out...Hate me if you must, but at this point, I really don't want to have to choose between Hilary Clinton and John McCain next year--just like I didn't like the Kerry/Bush options in 04.
The other thing that bothers me about politics--even at the local level, if you live in someplace like Muncie, where politics has never been anything but dirty--is that it doesn't seem like you can go very far in it without making various deals with the devil, and compromises with your own values....and that's before you have to engage in realpolitik with foreign powers.
I do vote, and I try to stay informed, so I can make good (if not ideal) choices, but I tend to believe that, as Christians, we are members of a society that transcends politics and government boundaries. What matter is, not what a government tells me I can or can't do, but what God requires of me. If the government agrees, great. If not, my allegiance still lies elsewhere. Human life goes on, regardless of who's in power--so I believe I can best make a difference on an individual level--benevolence, education, raising godly children (hopefully!). People will always fight it out on the national and international stages, but we can be who God wants us to be regardless of what "they" do.

Ok, there's the first poo diaper of the morning! Loveya!


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