Dirty Politics and the Christians with Shovels7:30 AM
This month practically every other week has been speeches, speeches, speeches. And speeches. Yup. Since the public interest in patriotic contests seems to be low, I, a lone homeschooler, have decided to enter them all.
Or something like that. So I've been thinking about patriotism lately. Patriotism and Christianity. Christianity and patriotism. Wondering if they're compatible. Wondering if they're not.
I grew up arguing around the dinner table about politics. (Once, in the arrogance of ten years, I challenged my grandpa to a debate I would unfailingly win, poor fellow. It centered around oil drilling, and due to the fact that the debate mysteriously expanded to include everyone in the room, the topic ended up with polar bears winning the day. My little ego was ruined.)
Around argument #554, I just stopped and thought, "So this is helping - how?" It frustrated me - the same people who criticized the government and said, "Here's what's wrong and here's how to fix it" - these same people refused to do anything about it. They didn't care to sully their hands in the dirtiness of politics. The whole country was caput, according to them, and hang on for the ride.
Such people became armchair critics in my mind - pointing out the faults of the government and doing absolutely nothing about it. If you won't do anything about it, I finally theorized, then don't complain about it. Complaint is for those thick in the battle.
Then there were some people who just didn't care at all. Sure, they had opinions (who doesn't?), but nobody - especially my age - cared. They just didn't care - about America, about liberty, about politics, about Christians in said areas. They just didn't. That may seem like a "duh" moment - but to me that made no sense.
If we Christians aren't going to do something about it, who will? The liberals? The pagans? The atheists? And we're supposed to sit back and let that happen?
"But Bailey," the placation goes, "our citizenship is in heaven."
Which is precisely why we ought to be concerned about the America we have. Every sensible American recognizes that America is (or at least was) unique in its government and greatness. Only the hand of God could have guided such a creation. We are not, as some would have it, children of God because of our earthly citizenship; but we cannot deny that America has had a place in the kingdom of God - sending out the most missionaries, teachers and Christian resources, providing a safe haven for the persecuted, preaching freedom to those in oppressive countries. That is not the gospel - no one argues that. But it is our responsibility to guard such a liberty and to use to the glory of God.
To do anything less but defend the liberties and form of government laid out in the Constitution - that's an abuse of stewardship. We have so much - we are so spoiled - and to ignore the fact that such blessing comes with such responsibility is flagrant disobedience.
Now I'll be the first to say I don't care for politics. Presidential hopes are not in my future. It's just not my cup of tea. But that disinterest in a political career doesn't keep me from an interest in government, history and especially the ideas that caused the consequences. It doesn't keep me from exercising my freedom and governing myself so the government doesn't have to. There are so many ways to fight the good fight on the homefront that aren't "political" - but they are powerful.
We have two choices - activism or apathy. Doing something or not doing something. Building or tearing down. There's really no middle ground. So what are you going to do about it?