Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Politics Rant

I'm reading a book on politics right now. It's one of the best books I've ever read and you should read it too.
The book, Poltics Lost by Joe Klein talks about the unmitigated and infuriating atrophy of American political discourse between the 1960-s and today.
I won't rehash Klein's points here, except to say that reading the book filled me with a sense of sadness like walking through a once great city. The shadows of greatness are there, but what we have now is a craven caricature of what was there before.
I tend to think that most of the nostalgic good old day stuff is bullcrap and throughout the course of American history most political discourse has been trite and soporistic fear mongering. NINA anyone? That said, it is undeniable that politics right now sucks.
Much of the intellectual component of my Christian upbringing had to do with absolute truth and how liberals don't believe in it.
I don't know about that, but I do know that the erosion of truth under the current administration breaks my heart. Truth is now opinion (Did we find WMD-s, was Kerry a war hero, etc.) They are manufacturing consent in order to serve a narrowly defined and shortsighted vision. That, coupled with poor execution in key executive positions means that we're doing wrong thing AND we suck at it.
More frustrating is that the political counterbalance is being offered by a group of nutsack light morons who can't shoot straight.
The other problem is that the smartest guys I know aren't interested in the process. I do not know the best minds of my generation because I went to a second tier college, but I know some smart smart people and they all feel like they need to shower after watching C-Span for more than five minutes.
As a born again Christian I find that my "flock" is complicit. The religious right are the ideological ass clowns of the political right. They offer the Jesus stamp of approval and political cover so that poor people and stupid people vote against their dearly help beliefs or personal economic interest.
The religious left have done NOTHING other than whine, lie, engage in sophistry, and provide the Jesus stamp of approval to the basest and most craven excesses of ministry. Their statments, "Jesus loved the poor so we should create a culture of poverty" makes as much sense as "Jesus loved the poor so we should execute fundamentally flawed economic policy that helps the very rich."

My challenge (issued really to myself) is to care. Do not be a scoffer throwing tomatoes at the people who jump into the game. To look for valid biblical basis for policy actions. To look for excellence in execution. To think of Government as a force for good and require goodness from the leaders. I don't know how this will help, but I think if my friends and I decide to engage politics as one avenue to amend structural sin the world gets better.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Donald Miller

Donald Miller is much smarter than me. Lots of what I say that people think is smart is actually just stuff I've stolen from him. He's kind of the Christian Author du jour right now (a la John Eldredge a few weeks ago, Lee Strobel the week before that, and so on). The thing is, there's some real wisdom to crowds on this one.
I just read "Searching for God Knows What." Awesome.
The fundamental premise of the book is that the Gospel of Jesus was written as relational truth (I love my wife), and we've screwed it up and treated it merely as propositional truth (Avogadro's number). For example, the Gospel of Jesus is about relationship. We say this, but when we look at the Gospel as presented in lots of churches what we say is more about a formula and less about Jesus.
I could expound upon this, but I'd just be adding words. I really think you should read the book.