Wednesday, January 21, 2009

what would who do???

A bit ago, I made a comment in a post that pomos seem to put more faith in Nietzsche than in the Bible. A few days ago, I came on this article, which seems to give weight to the observations and accusation.

What Would Nietzsche Do?

Lest I come off as being too judgmental or un-nuanced, I'll say up front that the article does have its virtues. And at the least it isn't a "RAH-RAH FOR 'BAMA" thing, at least not on the surface.

Still, it is what you think it is, as the first paragraph seems to begin showing.

In the 2004 senatorial race for Illinois, Republican candidate Allen Keyes claimed, “Christ would not vote for Barack Obama, because Barack has voted to behave in a way that it is inconceivable for Christ to have behaved.”1 Keyes specifically had in mind Obama’s refusal to support a bill that would protect infants who are born alive after botched abortions. While I am confident that Jesus would not support abortion-on-demand, I am less confident that his followers should make pronouncements about how Jesus would vote. In fact, it is quite possible that Jesus would not vote at all. Not every situation lends an answer to the evangelical question “What would Jesus do?” Therefore, I was inclined to take a subversive approach to the presidential election in November by asking “What would Nietzsche do?”

The "What would Jesus do?" question is, admittedly, not often any easy one to answer. I would say first, though, that judging only by the Keyes statement quoted above, that Keyes isn't say who Christ would vote for, but is making a statment (based on the Obama's voting regard particularly in regard to the issue of the life of the innocent) that He wouldn't vote for Obama. The author seems to say that we cannot claim to know how Jesus would vote, which I guess means who He both would and would not vote for.

Is that a fair statement, though? For example, if were to go back to 1930s Germany, do we think that we cannot say that Jesus would not vote for the Nazi party? Is it safe to say that Jesus would not vote to put Hitler into power?

Of course, one could say that is a special case, or even a bad example, but the point is, if we can make statements about it in that one case, why not others? Can we say that God, who gave Israel judges and kings, doesn't care about politics? Can we say that the types of people who rule our nation are unimportant to Him?

As such, than, I think an honest attempt to answer the WWJD question in warranted, and certainly more profitable than to substitute Neitzsche for Jesus.

This past election cycle has given me some sympathy for the dilemma he expounds on, where we may have only two choices, and neither is acceptable. Unlike him, I'm not against voting outside of the big two, and in the Presidential vote I did just that, since I judged that neither Obama nor McCain were worthy of my vote (though the thought of Palin in the position of VP was almost enough to win my vote for McCain; still, he would have been the one in the highest seat, and while it's likely he would have been much better than Obame will be, his history of compromise makes even that claim doubtful).

Also, unlike emergents, the author seems to take seriously the biblical notion that our citizenship is in Heaven. He's not a utopian (to use his own concept) trying to perfect things here on earth.

Still, I'm not sure about his overall point, which seems to be a more wordy and seemingly deep way of echoing the sojo mantra "God is not a Republican (or a Democrat)", but with the sojo unspoken caveat that God likes liberal policies (because they seem warmer and fuzzier) over conservative ones (which are as hard as real life).

Most of all, when partisan political animosity has infiltrated the congregation so as to divide the body, or when the cause of Christ has become conflated with the limited agenda of one particular political party, then the time has come for the church to withdraw from political activity for a season in order to listen again to the voice of the One in whose name we speak.

And yet, what does this mean? Does it mean we must accept anyone who claims to be Christian, no matter what candidates and social issues they vote for? There may be some issues on which there is room for disagreement, but many others on which little to no compromise can be given. If the church truly believes that murder is wrong, than what compromise can there be with any 'christians' who are for abortion right? Is the church truly believes that marriage is only a man and a woman, than what compromise can there be with those 'christians' who want to redefine marriage in any other way?

Despite making some interesting points, I think the overall jist of the article is off. Trying to find answers in a madman like Neitzsche insist of in Christ is simply setting oneself up for failure.

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