Friday, August 14, 2015

Politics before all

I said that I would only pop my head up politically on occasion, and that first occasion is now.

The drum you will hear me beat, over and over and over again, is that American politicians--of BOTH sides--are Caesar. They will not make us a godly nation, because they seek their power, not God's. I will continue to argue--as I have for years--that American politics cares about Christian theology only as far as it gets them votes, and that neither party represents godliness. Please read here if you want to protect yourself from turning American into a false idol.

America is not, and has never been, a godly nation. Anyone who wants to point to the 40s and 50s as times that America was godly, is conveniently forgetting that we dropped a few nukes on a bunch of innocent people and put innocent Japanese-American citizens into internment camps.

For the past 40 years, we have systematically murdered babies, under not only Federal legal protection but also federal funding. (I haven't written about this latest horror from Planned Parenthood because I have covered this ground many times before, see my articles here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

But today I have a less emotional complaint. Though it does not involve morality, it does show that politics is about POWER.

You may have seen that the EPA caused a major spill (shown right) in Colorado. It is of significant danger to the population, and it's not easy to hide being, all, yellowy.

Of course it is embarrassing, to be sure. This is a department which only exists to PROTECT us from being polluted, and now it did the polluting. And was, to hear their spokesmen, completely shocked by the results. No one could have known, they said, what would happen.

Well...about that.

It turns out that any random geologist who didn't even know the area could know. See this letter to the editor from the week before the incident, in the Silverton newspaper. He says it is simple science what would occur, and proposes that the only possible reason to do it is because the EPA knew that at least some seepage would occur (maybe not on this scale) and justify their installation of a water treatment facility which they already wanted to put in place.

Now maybe this guy is just paranoid. (Though, as Kurt Cobain once said, "Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get me.")

But the fact is that it is science which even a retired geologist with only limited access to the data predicted, with impressive accuracy.

And yet the EPA ignored it. Why?

I've been a manager and director at large companies. A lot of free-market theorists like to say that we make rational decisions based on market forces.

We don't.

The truth is that leaders of companies--and government agencies--are people. And people have selfish agendas. And people's brains are amazing at justifying their own ideas to support their own agenda. Companies make investments which all their directors and engineers say are horrible, and then are shocked when they don't work out. Organizations like the EPA ignore science because they make a calculation in their heads--maybe it will work fine, and if it doesn't then hey, we needed a treatment plant here anyway. (And they conveniently ignore that this will impact the water of an entire local population.) The human brain is great at that--at assuming all your works are great, and ignoring a group of people you will never meet as simply, "them."

Okay, so what is my point?

My point is--politicians are people. People who are actively seeking power.  People who require a mob mentality to get that power and to stay in power. Obviously much of House of Cards is ridiculous, but it brilliantly shows the hunger for power and the ease of self-deception required to gain it and keep it, justifying all those compromises and hurt people along the way.

Jesus said that true power comes in giving away our own power, our own rights, our own reputations, our own desires. True power comes through subjugating ourselves, where as politics by its very nature must seek to grasp power aggressively.

And that is why Christianity will never be properly represented by politics. And you are fooling yourself if you think that voting for any politician is going to make a fundamental difference in that fact.

Our hope is not in campaign slogans and debates. It is in the Lord, who will return to save us in His time. Focus your energies there, praying for Him this political season. because while politicians will gladly ignore morals and ethics and science to further their agendas, the Lord will never fail to do what is good and just and pure and merciful.


  1. "Less emotional"? Sorry, this is not a "less emotional" matter for us here in Colorado, especially those who have to find other water and will probably be forced to abandon their homes.

    1. I do of course see how you could read it that way, but that isn't what I said.

      I said that my thoughts on the politics of power were less emotional than my thoughts on the politics of abortion. It does not imply that I think they are less IMPORTANT, however, nor that the emotions are similar in everyone. Abortion is an issue which make me personally very emotional, whereas the corruption of power I can view more objectively.