Came across a very interesting video from John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist in Minneapolis and head of Desiring God, a nonprofit religious organization that advocates the “supremacy of God.” I’ve done some work for Desiring God and I always find them very interesting to deal with. Piper is intensely cerebral. Trying to edit and work with their copy is an immense challenge. I’m always trying to get them to use language normal people can understand.
And that’s all because Piper is smart. Very smart. Dude talks in heady concepts and lingo that’s hard to get your head around. I don’t always agree with all of it, but I often find it immensely challenging (his work on Don’t Waste Your Life is perhaps the most accessible and incredibly convicting [though I should note that I didn’t work on the DWYL web site!]).
I say all that because I have great respect for Piper and want to give some context of who he is before talking about this video.
So Piper made a conversational video explaining his heart and concerns about the 2008 presidential election. The nearly seven-minute video covers three basic topics:
- Over-investment in politics
Continue reading John Piper On Women & Over-Investment in Politics
So Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman said Barack Obama may be anti-American on Friday and suggested that other members of Congress were anti-American and should be investigated (now she’s blaming Chris Matthews for trapping her).
Then we have Sarah Palin talking about how much she enjoys visiting the “pro-American” parts of America. She too has quickly back tracked and acknowledges that all of America is pro-American.
And now John McCain is saying Western Pennsylvania is the “most God-loving, most patriotic part of the country.” I never knew we even had a God-lovin’ patriot contest.
So much of this is just politics and pandering to locale. It all reeks of who’s wearing a flag pin.
I appreciate how Barack Obama responded during his speech in Tampa Bay, Fla. yesterday:
There are no real or fake parts of this country. We are not separated by the pro-America and anti-America parts of this nation—we all love this country, no matter where we live or where we come from. There are patriots who supported this war in Iraq and patriots who opposed it; patriots who believe in Democratic policies and those who believe in Republican policies. The men and women from Florida and all across America who serve on our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America—they have served the United States of America.
We have always been at our best when we’ve had leadership that called us to look past our differences and come together as one nation, as one people; leadership that rallied this entire country to a common purpose—to a higher purpose. And I am running for President of the United States of America because that is the country we need to be right now.
You can hear the audio on NPR (starts about 2:40). I couldn’t find the report I actually heard which had better audio, and I’d love to see the video.
This has been an interesting couple weeks of politics, getting sick of politics and not listening to myself about politics. I’ve been twittering and spouting off about politics because it riles me up. Because I disagree. Because I hear things that strike me as wrong and I want to respond. And what I failed to realize is that so often we just disagree (like I said before and then ignored) and pouncing on each other doesn’t help. I’m sorry.
I think politics would be a lot more friendly if we could cut out the rhetoric and just focus on an issue. If we could see where and how we disagree and just be fine with disagreeing. It’s easier to find a path forward if you understand where the other person is coming from. Too often in politics (myself definitely included), we don’t take the time to do that. Instead we jump to the conclusion that you must be stupid. That’s probably why I don’t usually talk much about politics (I tend to disagree with the standard Christian/Republican stance) and why in the past two weeks of talking more about politics I’ve annoyed some people and riled up others. Not that frustrating or riling is bad, but I’m not sure what I’m accomplishing.
Take the Test
So let’s accomplish something. My sister-in-law took one of those online quizzes that tell you where you’re at politically. These things are always goofy because on some questions I hem and haw and then wonder if I had answered differently if it would have changed the outcome (I checked, it didn’t change much). But at any rate, I think it can be helpful to see where we stand.
So give it a try. It’s about 40 questions and takes less than five minutes.
Continue reading Here’s Where I Stand: Let’s Disagree Well