Parts of today's blog were inspired by the following post from my friend Bruce Reyes-Chow: Applauding executions might be American, but it's not Christian.
Yeah, that's right, Scout is thinking of running for president. Seriously. She took one look at the "presidential" debate yesterday evening and thought, "Why not?"
It started when the audience applauded Texas Governor Rick Perry after he revealed the number of executions notched up under his watch. Applauding not so much the idea of justice, mind you, as the raw number. It was clear that the audience was pleased with the body-count - as if a higher number would generate a more enthusiastic response.
Personally I would have appreciated a stunned silence, and an equally circumspect response from the governor along the lines of, "Any death is a tragedy, and it saddens me to see people's lives end in such a fashion."
You see, Scout is a Christian Labradoodle, and as such she was as much disturbed by the applause of the audience as she was by the words of the candidate.
It reminded me of a discussion I had during my "Men's Room" small-group gathering several years ago. We were talking about the (then) ongoing search for Osama bin Laden.
"If I ran into bin Laden in a cave," one man said, "I hope and pray that I'd be able to follow through and kill him...."
I didn't miss a beat in the cadence of the conversation. "I pray even more," I said, looking him directly in the eye, "that you would have the courage and the conviction of your faith not to."
Scout is a huge proponent of three things in the world of politics:
- First, she believes that if you say that you're a Christian then you need to follow the tenets of your faith in everything you do. Following Jesus is 24-7-365. No more part-time Christian.
- Next, and this is her key point, she believes that - especially if you are a politician professing to follow Jesus - you need to make darned sure ("darned" is about as strong as Labradoodle language gets) that it really is Jesus you're following, and that you're not just manipulating the Gospel in order to prop up either your Americanism or your politics.
- Finally, she said she'd like to bring President Obama's Portuguese Water Dog Bo on as running mate. We don't actually see eye-to-eye on this.
Anyway, point is we're both a little disturbed by the image of such a line-up of "suits" posturing and pontificating and power-brokering - and it's not even the summer of 2012 yet.
Scout said she'd like to sneak up on some of them in a dark cave, kind of like my friend and bin Laden. She said she'd likely take a couple of bites but nothing more. She's a peace-loving pooch, after all.
But Scout would like to pose the following question to everyone seriously considering public office:
"What are your core values? What do you have in mind when you say you want America to be great and to prosper? Because if it's all about the so-called standard of living, then we're not really talking about anything all that important. You see I love my family, I'm committed to them, and all I need is a secure place to sit down beside them so we can be together. I want freedom, and security, and dinner (lots of dinner!). Anything else is just fluff."
Here's an amazing scripture from Romans 12 that we read last night in my small group. Bruce Reyes-Chow also quoted it in his piece.
It also happens to be Scout's platform:
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.