Monday, March 15, 2010

THE POLITICAL ILLUSION

I hate politics and what they do to whoever gets caught up in them. This morning I turned on Glenn Beck's radio show and found myself even more sick than I usually am when I happen to hear him. Glenn has just become another dangerous voice in a long line of dangerous voices that there seems to be no shortage of on both the right and the left. And yet down under all the political morass I really think Glenn has a wonderful compassionate heart. Unfortunately politics just have a way of keeping fear front and center and constantly stirred, and fear will always overshadow the heart.

This morning it was Jim Wallis he had turned his "Socialist" "Marxist" "Progressive" guns on. The condescending tone of voice was just juvenile and yet very effective I am sure when it comes to stirring hatred for Jim and fear of him in the minds of those who follow Glenn.

I will be honest here by saying that Jim loses me also in his attempt to make the gospel liberal, as do all the conservatives who try to co-op Jesus for their conservative agendas. Now I am back to why I hate politics. The gospel is neither liberal or conservative. Liberal and conservative are just techniques humans use to organize and control the masses. The gospel is about freedom. Politics know nothing about freedom. I like Jim Wallis and I find myself in more agreement with him in regards to the gospel (not his politics) than I do the conservative christian voices out there. And Jesus being meshed with Glenn Becks politics or any of the other conservatives just makes me cringe.

It became very interesting to me a few years ago when Jesus blew up my conservative worldview. Yes, Jesus did. I began to see that there is no political solution to the problems humanity faces and then something else happened. I actually began to consider the possibility that the more subtle forms of control/oppression very might well be even more dangerous than are the more blatant ones. The blatant ones are in full view to see. The subtle ones fly under the radar. Turns out that realization didn't bode well for conservative ideology. Just like the Christian religion, conservatism might speak the words of freedom and liberty and love and compassion, but the on the ground reality just doesn't match up. Conservatives speak of smaller less intrusive government (something I am all for even though I feel it is an oxymoron) but the reality is the size of the US government and it's power to intrude into people's lives has expanded more under the leadership of conservatives than it has under the liberals.

Glenn Beck and the conservative Christians can paint the Social Gospel as Communism and Marxism under the guise of Progressivism all they want. And when filtered through politics and government they might have a case to make in regards to it not being what we are in need of to help lift people up. But if they remain blinded by the lie that their way of social engineering through government is better at lifting people up, they just remain themselves another destructive adventure in missing the point also.

The unfolding-ever-moving-forward God story of redemption in this world is progressive in nature...it's just not progressive in a political context. But rest assured that it's not conservative in any shape or form. It's wild and uncontrollable and doesn't yield or bow to any of the systems humans have devised regardless of how slick and cute we get in our attempts to paint our systems as good and all the other ones as evil.

"A primary agent for the propagandizing of technique in modern society is the involvement of people in participatory politics, especially in democratic societies where people are led to believe that it is "governance by the people for the people." Politics gives the individuals within society the illusion of freedom by having a sense of effectual participation. The "political illusion" of popular participation, popular control by the people, and collective problem-solving of social problems, falsely fulfills the need that individuals have for meaning, importance, effectiveness and security, leading them to surrender themselves all the more to the politicized state and the technicized system.

When all values are cast in political form, and all hopes are directed toward political solutions, believed to be on the verge of realization, politics becomes the "supreme religion of this age," propagating its "myth of the solution" for all social problems, despite the inability of politics to deal with good and evil, personal character, or the meaning and quality of life."
Jacques Ellul

5 comments:

Nicole said...

Well said Kent! I think Politics is just a bunch of religious folks fighting over who's right and wrong. Its a system that thrives on tearing the other one apart, and never finding a common ground. It's chaos at its finest, and I also dislike what it does to kind hearted people.... There is no sense of freedom in politics no matter how the world is viewed because fear is it's god.

Bill McCorkle said...

I must sadly agree! I too am coming to despise politics--I have found it either makes me angry or brings out a self-righteous anger that I usually manage to keep pinned up inside me. Thanks for your sharing your thoughts.....

Kent said...

Bill, a wonderful thing happened as the Spirit walked me out of these things. I began to see people again...all people. Before, my political ideology and worldview kept me from being able to just treat the one who is different than I as the human being they are....instead I would get caught up in what they believed and that always altered how I treated them.

ken v said...

Kent,

I understand what you are saying ... yet in this instance you should know that it was Jim Wallis that started this "dialog" ... for it was Jim that compared Glenn Beck to Howard Stern ... yep, that's right ... and then, Jim sends Beck a private note as if nothing ever happened .. and then he wants a "public dialog". Yeah right.
On another note, there is a politician who I can listen to who is easy on the ears and is humble as well . and that is Ron Paul ... not just words either as he does not use the Congressional health care OR participates in the lucrative Congressional pension plan. He genuinely has a heart for others ... while both Wallis and Beck get on my nerves :)
Your mileage may vary :)
ken

Kent said...

Thanks for the input Ken. Like I said in this post, Jim Wallis and his politics leave me a bit conflicted as does Beck's analysis of things.

And I like Ron Paul and much that he says.