28 Mar 2008
My grandfather always insisted that politics and religion just does not mix. If he said it to me once he said it to me a million times, "Son, religion and politics doesn't mix in polite conversation." What he meant by "polite conversation" he never did explain.
It is obvious that most people do not engage in polite conversation.
However, has there ever been a time when politics and religion was more mixed up than today. Somewhere along the line, somebody dumped politics and religion in the same barrel and mixed them up thoroughly. It has painfully come to the point in our country where the only difference between "politics," and "religion," is in the spelling.
I will grant you that in the world of politics some need a little more religion than is currently evident. Any religion would be a help at this point. Those who should be helping others are simply helping themselves.
We now find ourselves as a nation in a great race for the White House. Normally a healthy sprint but this time it has turned into a marathon with both sides making up the rules as they go along.
It seems that one team is playing baseball while the other team is playing basketball on the same playing field. Perhaps they are taking their plans from the Harlem Globetrotters.
One question I have is this, who in their right mind wants to be President of the United States? I question the sanity of anyone who desires to sit behind the desk in the Oval Office. Half of the people will love you, half of the people will hate you, and the other half will not remember your name.
You have to be half-crazy to run and if you win, the craziness is accomplished.
But this time it is a political cornucopia of choices. Just the top three provides us with all the variety we could ever expect. We have a woman, an African-American and an old white guy. What more could you ask for? Can it get any crazier than this?
The entertainment value in this whole business is incalculable. For example, when the Hollywood writer’s strike was on, the late-night TV comedians did not have writers writing their material. But they were not needed as the political material wrote itself. There is nothing more inanely funny than a politician trying to make a serious point.
As I was pondering this whole issue, a thought struck me as I have never been struck before (not counting that incident in 1998).
A news report indicated that the three top candidates for the President of the United States were raising approximately $100 million a month. My first reaction was a low whistle that caught the attention of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.
"Are you sure you're reading that right," she asked questioning my intelligence.
When I affirmed the correctness of the figure all she said was, "what a waste of good money."
It was then that this idea invaded the dark recesses of my mind. And does my mind love recess. What if... and I know this comes perilously close to the Twilight Zone... but what if these people would raise money for legitimate purposes? I know this goes against all that is politically correct in our country, but the idea fascinated me for a few moments.
Can we really afford these money raisers to step down and become President of the United States? If these top level money machines really wanted to serve their country I think they unwittingly found their niche. After all, would we really miss a vacancy in the Oval Office?
Wouldn't it be much better for our country if we allow these three money-raising politicians to keep on raising this kind of money month after month? Do you realize this would be over $1billion a year?
I think this would serve our country a lot better than someone sitting behind a desk at the Oval Office making changes most of the people do not need in the first place. We need a different kind of change, in the form of cold hard cash month after month such as these are raising right now.
I think this idea is a terrific one. Each month the monies raised during that month could then be distributed to needy causes. And by needy causes, I mean a cause not associated in any way, shape or form to anything political, which would rule out 99% of the agencies getting money from the government now. And, for the first time in our history the people who actually need help would get it, all of it.
Of course, I know what would happen. All of these political niceties dividing our country now would fall by the wayside. The country would not be divided and fighting each other. The problem here would be, what in the world could we fight? After all, it is in our nature to fight.
How about crime, injustice, illiteracy, hatred, poverty... and a hundred other things destroying our culture today.
The Bible has something to say along these lines. "Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy" (Proverbs 31:8-9 KJV).
What if we would mix politics and religion together and come up with a "helping hand?"
Rev. James L. Snyder