Jesus Or Julius?
I don’t suppose it really matters, but I won’t be watching the national conventions on television this year. It seems to me that every four years we are treated to the same tired spectacle of presidential aspirants telling us how they will solve all of our nation’s problems. They must be kidding.
Look at the political ads and what do you get but a web of accusations and counter-accusations. And then there’s the so-called mainstream media. NPR reports, for example, that Joe Lieberman is a good choice because of his “foreign policy experience.” No discussion of foreign policy per se. No discussion of the kind of leadership Mr. Lieberman provided the nation. No discussion of anything – just confused stuttering and generally useless commentary.
There’s no point, I suppose, in bringing up the fact that Mr. Lieberman sat in the chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is “responsible for oversight of the Department of Homeland Security and assuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the Federal Government,” during an imbroglio brought on by our government’s own presumptuous declarations and ignorant oversimplifications.
Must we pretend that political conventions are not based totally on perception rather than reality? I know by saying this I’m going to offend a lot of neo-patriots (who probably won’t read me anyway), but draping politicians with the mantle of “foreign relations experience” doesn’t excuse the ignominy of our collective foreign policy buffoonery.
What pathetic imbeciles we are to think politics is the solution to what ails us as a people or as a nation. The whole election is a cosmic joke, made more so by the media frenzy surrounding it. In his book Living Faith, Jacque Ellul offers this striking analogy:
A doctor examines a child, diagnoses a serious illness, and prescribes a drug to cure the disease. But while the parents are out of the room, the child makes the prescription into a paper airplane and it sails out the window: something like that is what happened to us.
Folks, I’m not a quietist. But God’s will hic et nunc is not to improve the American Way of Life. Politics is a false god if ever there was one. God or Mammon. Jesus or Julius. We must simply decide.
Jesus tells us, “Make disciples of all nations.” I don’t know about you, but I’ll stick with the transforming power of the cross, which alone can lay the foundation for “real change,” a “new beginning,” or whatever other slogans the candidates and their parties will hype this election year.
August 24, 2008
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.