Politigous Part II — For the Good of the Nation

Politigous – Part II(1,219)

For the Good of the Nation

July 26th, 2011

His name was Caiaphas. He was a politigous.

He loved his country, extolled the law and was in constant pursuit of what he deemed to be God’s will. He was probably a very good man; he probably had a family. He certainly, like all humans before him and like those who came after, was obsessed with his own dreams.

But history will record him for only one sinister action. Chairing a committee assigned to decide what to do about a young preacher from Nazareth, he came to the conclusion that “it is better for one man to perish than the whole nation perish.” It made sense to the whole room, for after all, they were also politigous. It sounded noble, righteous and it was certainly within the bounds of legality.

A few short days after the statement was made, Caiaphas and his committee crucified the Prince of Peace. So Caiaphas is remembered as the plotter and murderer of Christ. On the other nail-pierced hand, Jesus is remembered as the Savior of all people.

Doing “what is best for a country” is more than waving a flag. It is more than posturing on the law and constitution. It is certainly much more than believing that God’s will is a tablet of stone with no room for mercy and grace.

I learned this when I became a parent. I read many books; I listened to other parents pontificate on standards, mores and guidelines for raising up children. But in the heat of the battle of taking care of another human being—one of my own making—the books had to be set aside, the laws had to be reviewed and the will of God was not nearly as clear as it seemed when it was in black and white.

For sometimes your children decide what your spiritual path will be. Sometimes the roads they choose change the direction of where your mercy, tenderness, passion and even discipline will need to go. So I have stood in a room and heard my children praised, feeling the natural pride that any human would under those circumstances. I have sat in a principal’s office and heard my child decried as a hoodlum, and still had to ride home in the same car with the little rapscallion, needing to provide both punishment and love. My sons have been cheered and also, at times, jeered. I have seen them run for touchdowns in a football game and also throw an interception, providing support on both occasions. I’ve even perched myself in a courtroom as a judge made decisions on their future, based upon their erroneous actions.

I will tell you this—being a father demands that you look out for the good of your children, not merely act out a parenting plan.

With that in mind, let me say that in my mind’s eye, the real father of this country is Abraham Lincoln—because as the politigous folks of his day rallied for the good of the nation to keep slavery in place so the South would be appeased and cotton could still be grown for profit, he stepped forward and started talking about “the good of the people.” At Gettysburg he phrased it best: “…that this nation of the people, for the people and by the people shall not perish from the earth.”

I get tired of nationalism which only ends up hurting people. I am weary of legalism that can only tell me who is forbidden and doesn’t provide doors to welcome in the stray lambs. And I do not believe in God’s will that has no sensibility to include human frailty.

The government must be “of the people”—in other words, spawned from the genetics of the human will to birth a nation. It must be “for the people”—as the natural evolution and discovery of what is truly right unfolds, we must learn to be flexible to the “better angels of our nature.” (Once again—Lincoln.) And finally, the government must be “by the people.” Electing representatives who do not represent the best interests of the populace, but rather, represent the political party, creates a Caiaphas situation, not an Abraham Lincoln solution.

Case in point: I support our troops. Here’s how I do it. I respect their service to the country, but I travel the United States teaching and preaching peace, personal responsibility, loving one another and being flexible to change so that these brave soldiers don’t have to go off and be killed in conflicts that were unnecessary.

I support the troops by suggesting they be paid more, get better medical benefits and be granted the dignity afforded to a worker on an assembly line in Detroit. I support the troops by knowing that a volunteer army draws from the poorer segments of our society, and therefore, these young men and women need greater consideration instead of being treated as sacrificial lambs. I support the troops by believing that if we’re going to have another war, we should re-institute the draft, to make this national cause universal instead of being segmented off to one portion of our society. I support the troops by having them be a standing army instead of a fighting army, and spend more money teaching our young people to become negotiators rather than warriors.

War is not the best for people. It is the final alternative which destroys lives and does very little to protect the nation.

The politigous is determined to extol the concept of a country above granting courtesy to its citizens. Had it not been for Abraham Lincoln, this country would not only be divided, but would have continued to carry the sin of slavery as a curse on itself for decades to come. Who knows? Maybe even to today.

Because when is it ever convenient to do that which is truly righteous? And what is righteous is to consider the children instead of just considering your own cause. Every parent understands this. Every parent knows there’s a time to set aside the books—even the morals—to stand with your children.

The politigous wants to do things for the good of the nation. Caiaphas thought he was a good Jew—but history shows that he wasn’t. History shows that he killed his brother and took away the salvation of the people.

And it was only the grace of God that was able to resurrect it.

Published in: on July 26, 2011 at 11:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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