Barbara's Random Thoughts

Monday, May 15, 2006

About as political as this blog gets

This post on Andrew Osenga's blog got me thinking today.

The truth is not so much, though, that Jesus isn't a Republican or a Democrat, it's that those types of questions didn't seem to matter that much to him, and I wonder why it matters so much to us.

The government during Jesus' time was in a pretty awful state. Ours is, and has been, a teetering boulder in some ways, but the government of the age had shattered into flaming rubble where Jesus showed up. Racial fighting, oppression, heavy taxation, psycho kings... you name it. Pretty much the only thing he had to say about that mess was "give to Caesar what is Caesar's" and then he went on feeding the poor, healing the sick, touching the untouchables, and telling us about His Father.

I got to talking a little about politics and religion with my boss last week, discussing how I grew up in a Baptist church and some of the expectations that go with that--like the idea that being a Christian means being Republican. One of the things I remember saying was that I don't think politics makes that much of a difference. I'm not saying I won't try to be informed, I'm not saying I won't vote, I'm not saying there aren't issues that matter. But politics and government aren't going to save the world. It's on the individual level, FAR more than on the national/international level that meaningful change happens.

I was talking about career decisions with a friend while I was in grad school, pondering teaching and writing, and my friend asked me what had a larger impact on me: reading Dickens or discussing Dickens in Todd Pickett's Victorian Lit class. I love Dickens, but Todd's classes had more of an influence on me than Dickens did. I think the same kind of thing applies with this. It's the people who directly touch my life who have more influence on me--who make me think and grow and change--than any law or proposition or politician. And I guess I'd like to think the same is true in reverse--that I have more influence on people around me than government and politicians do. That's where I need to spend my energy, day by day--doing what I can to make a difference right here where I am.

Anyway, check out Andy's post...good questions, even if I don't have answers either.
| posted by Barbara | 11:16 PM