Monday, May 6, 2019

Hypocrisy. . .

Hypocrisy.  The media has point out the hypocrisy of the Black Church that will not uniformly adopt the ordination of women or the acceptance of the full GLBTQ agenda.  The occasion is the election of Chicago's first black, woman, openly lesbian, married to a white woman, mayor.  But is it hypocrisy?  Is it hypocrisy to vote for someone to lead the government whom you would not like to see as your pastor or sit next to in the pew?  I wish that I could say that Christians, particularly orthodox and conservative Christians, have the luxury of finding credible candidates whose political views and whose theological stance are both laudable and consistent with their moral compass and their creeds.  It has been a long time when even the presumption of such a thing might exist -- much less the reality.  The truth is that many, dare I say most, Christians hold their nose in the voting booth because the choices before them are not the choices they would have.  Is this hypocrisy or voting for the lesser evil?  Is this hypocrisy or acting as good citizens as best one may within the choices afforded them?  I have no idea who Mayor Elect Lightfoot is or what she stands for but to suggest that the Black Churches of Chicago are practicing hypocrisy is a laugh given the history of the machine politics that have long dominated the Windy City.

Honestly, I would love to suggest that the Christian could act with the kind of integrity that would allow them the freedom to vote only for those whose political and theological stands are consistent with their own.  That would essentially disenfranchise Christians from the political process and create the larger issue of an absence of people of faith in the choosing of the leaders whom the process has set before us as the choices on election day.  Perhaps in primaries it might be easier to be consistent but in the general election, when the choices have been set, we do not always have the liberty to select people whose character and faith are consistent with our own.  This is hardly hypocrisy.  It is reality.

Sadly, we live in such fractured political times that the good people we would love to elect have largely chosen not to run, not to subject themselves or their families to the scrutiny and feeding frenzy of media -- not for a short time but for as long as two years (witness the numbers of Democrats already turning us away from today and onto November 2020).  The tragic fact is that we have structured such a system and such an environment when wise men and women who have made some mistake in their past and learned from it are automatically ineligible to run, when every slip of the tongue ends up causing blood in the water of social media, when parties no longer mean that much and the cult of personality reigns, when special interests dominate, when it is presumed that anyone can only represent his or her own demographic, and when the great issues before us (protection of life is one great example) are buried under a mountain of tweets and sound bytes.  If Christians wait for the right candidate who has moral credibility and theological integrity that appeals to them, they will be sitting out the election process for a long time.

There is hypocrisy, to be sure, but it is less the creedal and moral norms that Christians bring with them to the ballot box than progressivism and liberalism parading as open and positive when their ideas are marketed within a politics of division and their conversations open only to those who agree with them. Long ago Christians of all colors have learned that the choices before them may not appeal to their faith or to their morality but they are the lesser evil or have the most chance of protecting the Christians' rights to believe, speak, and practice their faith.


Carl Vehse said...

First the Demonicrat corruption of the election process needs to be stopped.

Second, each legitimate voter's right to vote must allow that voter to cast, for one selected candidate in a given elected office, either one positive vote or one negative vote. The candidate with the most positive (or least negative) combined vote total wins.

Exercising such a complete voting right, the voter could then cast a negative vote against the worst of evil candidates for an office rather than being forced to cast a positive vote for the least evil candidate for an office.

The Missouri Synod could lead the way by changing its voting practices for the SP and for other elected offices by allowing such complete voting options. Will the SP and members of the CCM propose such a resolution to change the LCMS election bylaws? Would any official want to be elected to office with a total vote that was the least negative?

Anonymous said...

Since you brought up Chicago, I cannot resist.....

Ummm, what Carl wrote above. What a shame that the biggest financial supporters of political candidates have little to nothing in common with 90% of the electorate. Can the same be said of Synod and district officials? We know the Chicago mob exists. However, "mobbing" also exists in the LCMS, so.......

Most native Illinoisans know that Chicago has been fixing elections since the 1930s. Widespread corruption and control have been a statewide problem ever since Chicago alderman Rod Blagojevich became governor in 2003. Chicago has been running Illinois ever since that time, which is now causing people to flee to other states.

Look at the voting map. Most of Illinois voted for Trump, but because of Chicago, Democrats won the majority of elected seats. Most areas surrounding Chicago are actually quite conservative but are shown as blue. The Democrats winning so many seats is not based on population only, as the dead have voted for decades:

Illinois 2016 election outcome

Will Christian News still have the same power over LCMS elections now that Pastor Otten is no longer with us? Did he really represent the majority, of did his influence serve to "fix" LCMS elections?

How many LCMS officials represent the majority of the congregations electing them? Are they happy with Harrison? Disgusted? Do they care either way?

Aaaaaaaaaand since Chicago has the greatest concentration of Polish people outside of Warsaw, it would be fitting to celebrate with some "traditional" contemporary music!

Polish contemporary mass

James Kellerman said...

I've lived in Chicago--and I don't mean the suburbs--for over 30 years. I think both the original post and the previous commentators are a little off in their analysis of the Chicago scene.

First, Lori Lightfoot did not get on the final ballot thanks to the African-American community, let alone their churches. If you look at the primary, she won big time on the north side lakeshore communities--places known for being quite liberal as well as quite LGBTQ+. She didn't carry a single African-American ward. Instead Willie Wilson, a creationist and strongly pro-life businessman, did the best in that community. If some African-American churches ended up supporting her in the run-off, it's because "Popwinkle" (as Toni Preckwinkle is called) has worn out her welcome with voters who didn't like the tax on soft drinks she had imposed. And Preckwinkle made mistake after mistake in her campaign from day one of the run-off.

Anonymous is wrong about "most of Illinois" voting for Trump. You have to remember that the bulk of the population of Illinois resides in the Chicago metropolitan area (which has 9.5 million people). The population outside the metropolitan area (3.3 million people) is just a little larger than the population of Chicago proper (2.7 million people). Last time I checked, it isn't "one acre, one vote," but "one person, one vote." And the reason Illinois is so solidly blue now isn't because of Chicago, which isn't really growing or changing its voting habits, but because the suburbs are becoming more and more Democratic. It's the suburbs that have half the state's population and determine its destiny now.

While people outside the metropolitan Chicago area like to point to Chicago as the source of all that is wrong, the corruption is a bi-partisan, statewide affair. (The Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass likes to refer to "the Illinois Combine," where Republicans and Democrats alike partake of the corruption.) Remember, the corruption began with downstate rural people finagling a way to steal the northern sixty miles or so of the state from Wisconsin so that Illinois would have enough people to form a state. Downstate politicians are as responsible as Chicagoans for our scandalous pension problem; indeed, most downstate communities have mismanaged their pension funds worse than Chicago has. And it wasn't the Chicago machine that the late senator Paul Simon ran up against, but the endemic corruption of the southern half of our state. Our governors who ended up in jail not only included Democrats from Chicago, but also the Republican George Ryan of Kankakee. And perhaps the most colorful corrupt politician was Paul Powell, a downstate Democrat heavily supported by the Republicans. When he died, they found 3/4 of a million dollars in cash in shoeboxes in his Springfield hotel. (The joke is that he opened up a shoebox, found a pair of shoes inside, and had a heart attack and died from the shock.)

James Kellerman said...

I don't deny that Chicago is corrupt and violent, and I find myself often at odds with its philosophy. But the vision people have of Chicago's corruption and violence is from the 1930's, where dead people voted and Al Capone ordered hits. The old Chicago machine was broken when Harold Washington was elected, but in its place a more insidious machine has arisen. Dead people voting is so passe. But hiring the alderman's brother as your lawyer if you want to get that zoning variance, well, that's all the rage now. Similarly, the violence isn't due to two or three gangs run by middle-aged men battling it out for control over the city, but rather it's small-time gangs made up of kids not old enough to shave who are just fighting to own a handful of blocks.

I don't mind people criticizing Chicago, but let's at least be accurate about our problems. Two-thirds of voters didn't want Lightfoot or Preckwinkle for mayor, but that was the choice we got in the run-off. We live in a problematic city, but it isn't responsible for all of Illinois' woes. And there are godly Christians here, including some who subscribe fully to the Book of Concord.