Politics and the race to the bottom…

Posted by on Oct 11, 2016 in Blog | 1 comment

The American presidential election has become so bizarre that it has provoked me to move out of my ‘minimal political comment’ zone. At so many levels it is deeply disturbing. The selection of candidates who have such obvious character flaws, is worrying. If we accept this, will it become the new normal for the future?

Almost as distressing has been the insistence of many (far too many) evangelical leaders to back Trump, come what may. Now I don’t doubt that they have their reasons, and clearly expect a political return in some areas they consider to be important for Christians (hopefully not the freedom to carry guns) – but can you ever allow yourself to be in a position where you are backing someone whose actions for many decades have epitomized what you have condemned and preached against. And if you do back someone like that, why would you expect anyone to ever take you seriously?

I have always been an advocate for the evangelical label, but with the latest raft of associations between key evangelical leaders and the Trump campaign, I am seriously asking if the term is now beyond its use by date and is starting to become an embarrassment.

Of course it is not just American politics that are causing a raised eyebrow. Those of us in Australia have squirmed uneasily at our ‘prime minister for a week’ style of politics.

Is there a role for Christians in politics? Well there certainly is a desperate need for people of virtue to get involved in this arena. It really is not OK to allow the leaders of the free world to be selected from people who are so morally compromised. No, I am not suggesting we embark upon self righteous mud slinging – but yes, we should expect someone of greater moral stature than the Trump displayed in the recently released 2005 tapes.

However the US election plays out, I hope that it will reignite a desire to have leaders we can genuinely respect, rather than leaders to make fun of and ridicule. The task of political leadership is far too serious to become the domain of outrageous and distasteful personalities. But it is a realm where thoughtful, courageous and compassionate Christian people should ask, ‘Is this the place God is calling me to serve…’

 

One Comment

  1. I totally agree. Many of us are looking at the American political battlefield and wondering, ‘surely they could have found better candidates’! What an opportunity we have (in the U.S.) and here in Australia to bring bring Biblical principles and the love of God into the political arena. Thanks Brian

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