Friday, May 07, 2010

friday five: faith and politics

At RevGals Sally invites us to "think about the mix of faith and politics:"

1. Jesus a political figure: discuss...
By default, he was a political figure. Faith is all about relationship: with God, with ourselves, and with each other. Politics is about power. It's not possible to be in right relationship with God when we aren't in right relationship with others, and that includes being the voice for those who have no access to power. To live faithfully, in my view, means to advocate for the powerless. Matters of social justice cannot help but become political. Such is life.

2. Politics in the pulpit, yes or no and why?
No, not outright. If I am to be pastor to all, then I believe that I need to limit the barriers my parishioners might perceive that could prevent them from coming to me for, or receiving from me, pastoral help. I address political issues by emphasizing portions of scripture in a context that makes them transferable to a political situation.

3.What are your thoughts on the place of prayer in public life...
I have no problem with prayer in public life as long as all faiths feel welcome and included. I have yet to spend enough time thinking about the argument made by atheists that public prayer marginalizes those who don't have a belief system.

4.Is there a political figure, Christian or otherwise that you admire for their integrity?
Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. And, don't laugh, Henry VIII.

5.What are your thoughts on tactical voting, e.g. would you vote for one individual/party just to keep another individual/ party form gaining power?
I really haven't given much thought to this at all.

Bonus: "O day of peace that dimly shines." I love this hymn. Wish there was more occasion to sing it.
Interesting setting given our topic for today. 
O day of peace that dimly shines
through all our hopes and prayers and dreams,
guide us to justice, truth, and love,
delivered from our selfish schemes.
May the swords of hate fall from our hands,
our hearts from envy find release,
till by God's grace our warring world
shall see Christ's promised reign of peace.

Then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb,
nor shall the fierce devour the small;
as beasts and cattle calmly graze,
a little child shall lead them all.
Then enemies shall learn to love,
all creatures find their true accord;
the hope of peace shall be fulfilled,
for all the earth shall know the Lord.


angela said...

Part of the reason I haven't thought of the atheists p.o.v. more is that mostly I've experienced conversations with them as antagonists in the situation. I am not sure they aren't just reactive and bitter people yet. So far they just make me sad, like they have a hole in them.

Sophia said...

I love that song to Jerusalem too, and the Rockwell painting!

My parents are atheists who are not reactive and bitter (well, my dad once in a while, but rarely now). My mom even supports our faith formation of her grandkids by buying VeggieTales and such while we respect her comfort level by not praying grace much when she's visiting. And, the more I think of it, the more I think it is not fair to her and others like her to have official public things have prayers included, even if they are truly respectful of all faiths. Thanks for bringing that issue up so I could think some more about it, as I didn't address it on my own blog.

Jan said...

What a good song. I really liked what you wrote about politics and power. Yep.

Teri said...

ooh, I think I closed the comment window too fast the first time. Here's what i planned to say (and if you're just moderated and you see it twice, feel free to just delete this time!):

Jimmy Carter--excellent choice!!

We are singing O Day of Peace this Sunday (with the Revelation text being preached), but to a different tune b/c Jerusalem (which I dearly love) went badly last time we tried it.


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