Friday, September 08, 2006

Implications of a Theology and Politic of Hope

As I think of the practical implications of a theology and politic based upon hope and love, instead of fear and loathing, it comes to mind that I must encourage leadership in this area. In fact, everyone should encourage leadership in this area, whether political or spiritual.

A few of these implications (and this is a work in progress) in my own life are as follows;

  • only attend a church where the preaching is based upon love and hope
  • only attend a church where the leadership moves the church in the direction of love and hope
  • give my financial resources to non-profits and NGOs whose aims are Love and Hope, not fear and loathing (this has huge financial implications- imagine if we demanded hope from Focus on the Family and other such organizations?)
  • volunteer for organizations that have solutions for today's problems based upon hope and love (I guess that means I cannot volunteer for the major political parties)
  • only vote for candidates that have a message based upon Hope and Love (and strategies for this to play out in the future of our nation/ state/ community)*
  • encourage dialogue based upon a Spirit of Hope and Love with those I disagree with
  • when the emperor has no clothes (be the emperor a pastor, politician or community leader), I should humbly ask why the he has no clothes and point it out to others. I should then offer to dress the emperor (be prophetic and solutions based)
  • I should look at myself to see where I am living in fear and hatred and allow others to help me live a life of love and hope

Well there are a few. Do you have more?

* this is a major problem I see with the present state of the political/ campaign machine. The positive candidates are spit out, while negativity brings in the votes (whether it is a cynical anti-gay marriage amendment which is meant to bring out the church folks or scare tactics such as morphing a candidates face into that of a terrorist). This happened in both recent elections- in 2000 we ridded ourselves of a positive candidate with a hopeful message (McCain) and had a close election between 2 similar candidates (children of privilege, coffers filled with money from same corporations) who brought no hope for the future, just fear of what would happen if the other guy was elected (Bush was slightly more positive and "won").

In 2004, the cycle was repeated. Many positive Democrats were spit to the side, while the Bizarro World JFK (Kerry) spread fear at the same time Bush's surrogates reminded us that wolves were at the door ready to strike if we elected Bizarro World JFK (bizarro world because he shared superficial traits with JFK, but was actually the anti-JFK).

Historically we have had politicians with a positive orientation of America's future. They have inspired us when they could have frightened us (whether the cautious Eisenhower or "morning in America" Reagan on the right or JFK, FDR and Clinton on the Center/Left- of course the politician that had the most hopeful direction for America's future was Robert Kennedy, whom, like others, I believe would have changed the course of American history for the better had he not been murdered).

However, we have had even more politicians with dour outlook who spent their time scaring us or spreading a message based upon fear for the future (Johnson, Truman- to an extent and Carter on the Left and Nixon and both Bushes on the right-of course VP Cheney is the most negative major politician I have ever seen).

(I know a number of you will have issue with my characterizations of these politicians, but it may be based more on political loyalty than anything else)

While we must look deeply at their policies and stances on a multitude of issues, we must decide that even when all things are not equal, we will vote for hope, love and faith in the future and vote against fear, hatred and a dismal outlook upon the world.

3 comments:

juniper said...

My way to spread love and hope is to do so one person at a time especially at work as my clients are the poorest folks in the community. It sounds goofy, I suppose, but I think I can try to show God's love one person at a time. Given a big mouth and a bad temper, I fail miserably at times, but I try.

Christian said...

Rick,

I really like this post. Thanks being a beacon of love and hope for me.

I think I would add to the list:
Blog in a way that gives Hope and Love.

As you here so clearly have with this post.

I guess the "spirit" of hope and Love is the key to it. since in love and hope there are hard things to say sometimes.

Christian

james said...

couldn't agree with you more on the Robert Kennedy thing.