12 Aug 2008
This is an election here as if we are not reminded of this fact every day of our lives. Our politicians are on the lookout for people groups to persuade them to vote for them this election. In their quest for that all-important vote, they have overturned every rock to build up their voting capital.
However, it seems to me that these politicians are overlooking very important group of people. I am referring of course to the Amish. I have yet to see a politician court the vote of these God-fearing people.
As I was thinking about this, I was wondering how these worldly politicians could appeal to this group of people. In this particular muse of mind, I conjured up something of what may take place. Our humble politicians are quite eager to have such people groups understand their position and how they can be of benefit to the people listening to them.
Let us take our average politician, if the word average can be applied to any politician living or dead, and we will call him Joe. I do not know why we will call him Joe, it is not his real name but it will do for our little experiment.
Politician Joe addresses his Amish crowd by saying this, ''I am your politician of change. I believe in change. And I will do everything in my power to change things.''
The Amish Bishop: ''But sir, with all due respect our religion forbids change. We have not changed our way of living for hundreds of years. We absolutely could not vote for change.''
Undaunted by this rebuff, Politician Joe plows on, ''That's fine, very fine. I have a plan to help with your Social Security. I will do everything in my power to save Social Security and increase your benefits.''
The Amish Bishop: ''What is this Social Security you speak of, sir?''
''Aha,'' Politician Joe sighs, ''this is when you retire the government will pay you benefits and every month you will get it checked from the government. You won't have to worry about anything in your old age.''
The Amish Bishop: ''We don't believe in your Social Security, we take care of our own people. We do not need any handouts from the government.''
It is obvious Politician Joe does not have a good handle on his audience. In spite of his sheer ignorance, he continues as though he has a good grip on reality.
Politician Joe: ''Let me tell you my plans to improve the public education in this country.''
The Amish Bishop: ''Sir, before you tell us your plans let me just say we do not believe in the public education system. We have our own schools and we teach our children what they need to know.''
Politician Joe: ''Your children do not attend public school?''
The Amish Bishop: ''No, sir. We do not trust the government to teach our children. We know what our children need to learn and we teach them that. Let me ask you one question, sir. In these public schools you boast of, does each class start out with Bible reading and prayer?''
Politician Joe: ''In our public education system we do not allow any religion or any mention of God. It is against our policy. Religion is not important to the education of children.''
The Amish Bishop: ''We could not permit our children to attend your public schools if they don't allow Bible reading and prayer. These things are very important to our way of life.''
Politician Joe is scratching his head in complete bewilderment. Up to this point, he has been able to say things to satisfy every people group. Then he hits upon something that promises to be a surefire hit.
Politician Joe: ''I know you have been seeing on television about the high price of gas. I have a plan...''
The Amish Bishop: ''Sir, what is television? These things are not part of our culture. None of our homes have electricity.''
Politician Joe: ''You don't have electricity? And you don't have television? How do you know what's going on in the world?''
The Amish Bishop: ''We know what's going on in our world and that's all that really matters to us.''
Politician Joe: ''But I have a great plan to reduce the price of gas.''
The Amish Bishop: ''What's gas?''
Politician Joe: ''You folks don't use gas for your automobiles?''
The Amish Bishop: ''Our horse and buggies get us where we need to go and if you have a plan to reduce the cost of oats we might be interested in listening to you. How about this, Votes for Oats. Then we might be interested in what you have to say.''
Every politician wants everybody to believe they know what is best for the audience. ''I know your pain,'' the politician says with a great deal of arrogance. They want us, the voting public, to believe they can handle our affairs when in fact, they cannot handle their own affairs.
Speaking primarily of church leadership, the apostle Paul lays down a firm rule for leadership. ''One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)'' (1 Timothy 3:4-5 KJV).
If a person cannot handle his own house, how can he handle the White House?
Rev. James L. Snyder