So What's This All About?

In case you didn't know, I'm in the multi-year-long process of posting a Christian devotional at the TAWG Blog. The TAWG Blog is, and always will be, mostly apolitical. For the most part, Bible-believing Christians will find little to disagree with there. But I also firmly believe that God's word can--and should--inform everything in life, and this should include politics and popular culture. How should we vote? How should we respond to hot topics such as abortion, capital punishment, taxes, and other issues? Which party, if either, is closer to the Biblical ideal? Tony Campolo and Ron Sider, Evangelicals whose political leanings are on the Left, have made the case in several of their writings that God wants his followers to vote politically on the Left more than on the Right. At times, some of them have gone so far as to equate voting on the Left with obedience to Christ, either subtly or not-so-subtly contending that the converse is true as well: If you vote Republican, you're sinning against the Savior.
I don't agree. I think that to the degree they actually resort to the Bible, they're misinterpreting it. With a whole bunch of caveats, I think politically conservative positions are a lot more compatible with the Scriptures than the Leftist positions.
Just to clarify, I would never accuse people who disagree with me--especially siblings in Christ--of what they accuse me of. I don't judge my own heart, much less anyone else's, and I don't equate political disagreement with theological fidelity to God. I have no reason to doubt their love for the Lord and "for the least of these," but I believe that they're sincerely wrong.
So there are two main purposes for this blog. One is to make a case for my political beliefs based on Scripture. The other is a bit more vague, basically to work out my political beliefs and figure out what's based on Scripture and what's based on my own biases. I certainly don't have all the answers. Some of this stuff I'm still figuring out. And I'm certainly open to correction. As long as you make your case civilly and based on Scripture, feel free to make a comment, and I promise I'll post it and consider your arguments thoughtfully and prayerfully. Who knows? Maybe we'll learn a little something from each other.
May God bless our common striving together towards both the "little t" truth and "Big T" Truth. Our watchword here is a line from C. S. Lewis's The Last Battle: "Further up and further in!"

P.S. -- Below on the left is "Topics I've Covered" which lists everything I've posted topically. It's come to my attention that some people would like to see everything just listed for them. If that's you, you can get it here. Thanks to my friend Stephen Young for the tip!

Friday, January 17, 2014

My fantasy nomination speech. . .

I subscribe to Jim Geraghty's Morning Jolt, and he just submitted his fantasy nomination speech, what he'd say if he was actually nominated to replace someone from Virginia's 8th congressional district. Here's his imagined acceptance speech. . .

Geraghty for Congress 2014: Inaction In Action
(Somewhere in Virginia's Eighth Congressional District, Jim takes the stage to cheers from crowd of residents.)
My fellow Virginians . . .
I have heard your call, ringing loud and clear from the wood-paneled offices of the trade associations in Arlington, to the gleaming glass tower of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, to the elegantly landscaped cul-de-sacs of Yuppie Acres, to the teeming miles upon miles of Starbuckses in our communities . . .
We of the Eighth Congressional District now face the question of how we will go on, without a representative who keeps being accused of violent behavior around women, who pursues a vigilante campaign against eight-year-old carjackers, who blames the Iraq War on Jews, and so many other unforgettable moments in a political career that is rivaled only by Mayor Quimby of Springfield. Clearly, will soon see a vacancy in an office that needs to be cleaned out with sugarless Gummi Bears.
I have been asked what I am willing to do to earn the great responsibility and honor of representing you in the House of Representatives. My answer is simple and direct: Absolutely nothing.
(Nervous laughter from crowd.)
My fellow Virginians, if you elect me to Congress, I promise that I will not lift a finger for the special interests, the corporate interests, the lobbyists, Big Oil, Big Business, Big Papi, the Big Ten, the Notorious B.I.G., or The Big Bang Theory. I won't answer to them or any other one of our public discourse's designated villains of the week.
I can make this promise with confidence because I'm pretty sure I won't do much of anything for you, either.
(Cheering stops)
This is an area where my principled commitment to limited government and my deep disinterest in dealing with your problems will align perfectly.
Do you want a deduction or tax credit written into the tax code to benefit your business? Well, tough, because you're not getting it. Your business is supposed to thrive because it provides quality goods and services, not because it gets some special help from the IRS.
(Murmurs of discontent.)
Do you want an earmark written into an appropriations bill? [Edited out].
(Someone drops a glass.)
Are you hoping I'll persuade my colleagues to pass a law that will help your industry? I'll pencil that in my schedule for the first of Never.
If you've got a great project that you want some federal agency to invest in… go find some venture capitalists, because it's not the taxpayer's duty to give you money and hope it all works out.
If you think Medicare isn't spending enough on 'vacuum erection systems' … go call somebody who cares. When you do, I hope you don't use an Obamaphone.
My fellow Virginians, it's time to take the service out of public service. That big dome on the Hill over there has one job, to protect people's rights. It is not supposed to be like Oprah giving away free cars to the audience. A lot of us have gotten way too comfortable with the idea that government's job is to help us by giving us stuff and doing stuff for us.
Have you ever considered that maybe the reason Congress is so awful is you, dear voters? I mean, you elected these clowns. But even beyond that, most of the time when members of Congress interact with the public, they're being asked for favors. The mail they get, the phone calls they get, most of the people who show up at their town halls – everybody's asking them for something. Get more funding for this! Help us get money to do that! Make sure this agency spends more on this local project! Look, your Congressman is not Santa Claus! (Okay, former representative Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii kind of looks like him.) Through your behavior and expectations, you've conditioned our elected leaders to think of themselves as walking ATMs.
Ask not what your country can do for you… because I'm sick and tired of your whining. Do it yourself.
(The crowd is silent and not happy.)
What do you say, Virginia? Are you ready for a Congressman who has nothing to offer you but . . . well, basically nothing to offer you?
Guy in crowd: Hey, doesn't Mary Katharine Ham live in this district, too?
Another guy in crowd: Let's nominate her!
The crowd moves on.

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