I Am Not a Political Person, I’m a Free Man
Earlier this week, I posted a quote by Ellul about the way politics has replaced religion in the modern world. One could say that the political person is the secular version of the theological person, where one is seen as a person with rights only insofar as they are a person with political power. Democratic forms of government require a person to be a political person, and those without political power are easily dismissed in one fashion or another as non-persons (abortion), while those who do not want to engage their political power are seen as heretics (worthy of silencing). One must engage politics, for politics is life.
But there is another aspect of politics and the political world, one which goes back to the beginning of time, and that is political corruption. To get ahead in politics, more likely than not, you have to be dirty. Those who engage politics with honest and integrity are easy to be used; in earlier times, it was possible that they could hold positions of power, but as the world has made everyone political, it has also made it that rarely do such people rise up to high levels of political authority. They can, and often do, get into positions of authority on local levels of government, making it appear that they might be able to go further – but then they are tested, and seen if they are willing to sell out for power by the powers that be; some end up corrupted, some do not. When they do not, then – what happens is what just happened in Indianapolis. As the Indianapolis Star reported:
GOP official sees retribution in her ouster
Two Marion County Republican ward chairmen were fired just days after a party caucus appointed Scott Schneider to a state Senate seat.
Elizabeth Karlson and Eric Smith were notified by GOP Area Chairman David Brooks Friday by e-mail that they would be relieved of their positions. (read the rest of the article here; read reactions here and here).
Of course, what happened in Indianapolis with the Republican Party is not an issue merely of the GOP, but it is an issue of politics, and it happens within the DNC and other major political parties the world over as well.
When you combine the fact that the world is political, and politics is dirty, the end result of this is not difficult to see: people become dirty just to survive. This is why Satan wanted to “offer” Jesus political power; this is why Jesus refused it; this is why many Christians refuse it as well. Perhaps we shouldn’t be focused on political remidies (though of course, this is not to denounce the proper role of politics); perhaps we should remind ourselves as Christians we should be a Christian first, and live like it.