Left and Right are not Ends – Christianity and Politics

Anybody who has spent very much time reading my writings might well be convinced that I am a “political animal.” Let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. My “interest” in politics is not born out of my tendency towards things political in and of themselves. Rather, I could be considered to have “ulterior motives” which are by far more significant than anything political in nature.

The fact that I appear to not only be political, but that my politics seem to be rather “right leaning” come from the recognition that—particularly in the modern day—politics and those involved in them, have far too much say and control in the lives of everyday people.

In fact, if I felt it were possible, I would entirely do away with politics and the political process. Unfortunately, I don’t only not believe it’s possible, but as a Christian, I see direct support for its existence in the Bible. I could go into the details of this, but you can do your own “research” and come to your own conclusions.

Though I believe that government—and by extension politics—must exist, that by no means implies that I want to be governed by either, by and large. Rather, my political interest all but begins and ends with my desire to reduce the action of government on myself and other Christians.

My tendency towards “right-leaning” perspectives is based on the fact that I see a desire on many truly “on the right,” to reduce the size and power of government (most particularly on a federal level, but overall).

This is an important realization (that politics is nothing close to the entirety of my “world”), since it means there must be other things that “drive me” in the broader sense. The fact is, I hope this is the case for pretty much everybody.

Whether in the political sense, you tend to lean to the right, or to the left (or, as is highly unlikely, are a centrist), I would hope that what “drives” your “politics” is your beliefs outside of politics. I’m sorry to tell you that, I don’t believe this is the case for many “professional politicians.”

For Christians, it is my hope that what makes you at all interested in politics and the political process, is how it affects you and others—and that grounded in your beliefs as a Christian.

The reason I bring this up is that I believe there are a bunch of folks out there who have not considered the consequences of their political choices, decisions and beliefs.

Let me give you an excellent example. As a Christian, I believe it is not just my responsibility, nor even my right, but my privilege to help others in positions and conditions of need. Further, I believe that to be something that I should be doing consciously. That is to say, it’s probably not a good thing for me to assume that a “regular contribution” to one or more charities is reasonable. Rather, I should consciously control where my various resources end up inasmuch as it is in my power so to do.

In case you’re wondering, I like people relying on the processes of government, to “take care of” their “fellow humans” far less than I like the idea of people contributing mindlessly to various charities.

There are at least five strong reasons for this:

  1. Far too many politicians and bureaucrats have a vested interest in doing what will keep them in positions of power and authority.
  2. Your authority over that which you have to give is usurped by that process. Rather than you deciding where that substance is used, for whom and why, government is given the authority to make those decisions.
  3. Even if you start with a government who works perfectly in line with what you believe in terms of resource allocation (not highly likely), it only takes a change in those “in charge,” to entirely change how all of that is managed.
  4. Because politicians who are generally elected, tend to give their authority to bureaucrats who are not, it’s entirely probable that, at least at some point or points, those unelected individuals will use your substance in ways with which you will at least partially (if not totally) disagree.
  5. Many such political processes are at best extremely inefficient. If the “private sector” or various non-government public groups were to spend their money in the way government does, they would soon cease to exist one way or another.

The point is, that government is uniquely unsuited for such activities—a thing that becomes more true every time you consider the idea of “regime changes.” One “set of” government leaders may do things perfectly, or at least nearly so. The next though, is likely to be the exact opposite, based on the simple fact that there tends to be a “pendulum swing effect” over the course of time where government is concerned. So even if you like how things work when they’re first implemented, there’s no assurance they will continue to work that way.

If no other message can be gained from what I have said, there is one that is very clear; that politics is not the place to “fix the human condition.” Most of the time, the best it can offer is to keep people from killing or seriously injuring one another; any expectation of it doing more is essentially a “pipe dream.”

So, if you were wondering why many Christians support extremely limited government, maybe this blog entry will clarify that for you.

The final part of the message is this; just because I don’t support using government to help others—or even to govern me in any meaningful way—doesn’t mean there are not other, far more important things that govern me, and that cause me to be interested in helping others. You can assume that other ways of looking at the world are proper and appropriate, but you will have to forgive me as I disagree.

Having “reached my limit,” allow me to wish you the best of times, and thank you for reading!

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