Politics Roundup

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lately I have read a few outstanding pieces that articulate some of my anxieties about the current trajectory of our republic.  Keep in mind that I am no expert on anything, and that I am a fervent independent with libertarian tendencies, politically speaking.  Here are some of the articles that are worth checking out:

Mark Steyn, writing in the OC Register, points out the fallacy of simply dumping more federal stimulus money into problem areas.  Not only does it not work and is a waste of taxpayers’ money, it only creates more self-sustaining bureaucracy rather than dealing effectively with the underlying issues.

Stuart Taylor, writing in the National Journal before Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court, raises some important questions about the legitimacy of invoking identity politics when it is expedient.  Whatever happened to our president’s manifesto from 2004: ” There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America”?  On a similar note, our denomination has been enmeshed in identity politics for so long that we have enshrined them into program areas.  As Sylvia Dooling has pointed out (page 1, right column) why do we need to label the different special interest groups within the denomination’s women’s ministries?  Are we not all one body of Christ?  Should we not be tearing down walls rather than blindly accepting arbitrary distinctions handed down to us?

William McGurn of the Wall Street Journal wrote an excellent analysis of the political headbutting taking place between the Obama administration and former vice president Dick Cheney.  Love him or hate him, Cheney has apparently rattled the president with his incessant, I’ve-g0t-nothing-to-lose criticism of the administration’s anti-terror policies.  To quote McGurn, “By goading a sitting president into responding to his arguments on his terms, Dick Cheney won the contest with Barack Obama last week before either said a word.”  In fact, it’s strange that the Democrats in Washington are warring against Republicans/conservatives who are not sitting in elected office (e.g., Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, and George Bush).  Should they not be focusing on their opponents who are actually in positions of official influence (e.g., John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Mitch McConnell)?

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2 thoughts on “Politics Roundup

  1. Opps! “Reaching out to all women?” “…label the different special interest groups within the denomination’s women’s ministries?”

    Isn’t “different special interests groups within…women’s ministries” an oxymoron? Or redundant? Splitting hairs? Wow. We sure do love labels: youth ministry, campus ministry, rural ministry, inner city ministry, homeless ministry. Just another way to try to justify “look what we have done”, emphasis on the WE rather than the One who empowers us.

    Galatians 3:28. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

    So…criticism of racial identification within a particular “ministry” when “women’s ministry” is the most established of all “specialized ministries”? Sounds like the pot is calling the kettle…male, slave…Greek.

    Well, I guess I just offended the largest population of the PCUSA and every PW member. Oh well, I’m just a member of the PCUSA. Wait! I just checked out the newest 2009 Bible translation: “There is no Lutheran or Methodist, Catholic or Baptist, Mennonite or Assembly of God…”

    John Davis, a United Methodist (label) minister (label) was fond of telling the story of a small town that erected a sign on the highway. “Welcome to the One Church of Smithville, meeting at these locations at these times: Methodist, Sunday 10:30 AM; Lutheran, Sunday 9:00 AM;, Catholic, Daily Mass 7:30 PM;….”

  2. Thanks for your comments, Dave. I like the “Welcome to the One Church…” sign. Great idea for any small town that is serious about taking the unity of the church seriously.

    As far as the church goes, we have enshrined affinity groups into their own immutable special interest ministries. This is okay to make sure we are reaching out to specific groups (e.g., Latinos, American Indians), but focusing on identity tends to build walls instead of tearing them down. It keeps our eyes trained on skin color and gender instead of what our larger mission is: worship, evangelism, etc.

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