A late endorsement

1

October 29, 2012 by Ben Irwin

The following is a guest post from Andy Mangum, pastor of First Christian Church in Arlington, Texas… 

I realize it’s pretty late in the electoral season to be making an endorsement, but I thought I should go on record. (Better late than never, right?)

You see, I believe that I have found someone I can get behind and recommend without reservation. On election day, November 6, 2012, I will be demonstrating my commitment to him.

Elections are about power. This power belongs to the people, but recognizing that we cannot all craft our own laws and govern ourselves independent of one another, we place this power in the hands of those whom we trust enough to follow and to make decisions on our behalf.

My standards in this process are pretty high:

  1. I believe personal character and integrity are indispensable qualities in a leader.
  2. I believe that concern for the most vulnerable in our society should be our top priority.
  3. A person entrusted with power needs to recognize that each person they govern matters. None of them can be cast aside or forgotten.
  4. A person entrusted with power should be willing to speak truth even if it might have dire consequences.
  5. When a person entrusted with power is lifted up for all the world to see, it should be as an act of self-sacrifice and service for all humanity.

 
As I said, my standards are pretty high. And as I also said, I have found a person who I can get behind and recommend without reservation to others.

He is, in fact, the only person whose integrity never waivers, whose concern is for the vulnerable, who knows each constituent by name and cares for them as individuals, who willingly spoke the truth despite painful consequences, and who indeed was lifted up at the very moment he was giving his life for us all.

It is for this reason that the only endorsement I will ever make in my role as pastor or from the pulpit is this: I believe that Jesus is the Christ and I profess him as Lord and Savior of the world.

That is why on November 6, 2012, at 7:15 p.m., I will be at First Christian Church in Arlington, Texas with anyone else who is willing to join me for a meal of remembrance. This will be a time for us to join together as a community and to express our unity on the what matters most. Jesus Christ himself will be our host. This is not a fundraiser. All are invited and all will be welcomed.

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One thought on “A late endorsement

  1. Elbon Kilpatrick says:

    Friends,

    Voting in governmental election is participation in violence. That is not political ideology, that is just fact. Voting in governmental elections is participation in violence because that is what governmental elections are about at their root. A governmental election is one method of legitimating the use of violence of one human being against another. The divine right of kings or the right of primogeniture would be others. All such mechanisms—elections, divine right of king, the right of primogeniture, drawing straws—are rooted in cultural fantasies that are nurtured from the cradle. The fantasies consist of hardwiring the children within a particular geography to the idea that because a person receives the majority of votes, is a king, is the first born, got the longest straw, he has the legal and moral right to employ the organized violence apparatus of the human arrangement called the state, e.g., the military, the police, the FBI, the CIA, etc., in order to cause people suffering and/or to kill people.

    The state may be many other things, but at root it is a compulsory political organization that has acquired and maintains a monopoly of violence that is called legitimate within a certain geographical area. Since violence is the sine qua non for a state’s existence, the person who is lucky enough—because he was the fastest sperm to get to an egg in a cluster of seventy million other sperms inside a woman called a queen, or because he was clever enough to boondoggled more people to put an “X” beside his name than the other guys, or because he was fortuitous enough to have drawn the longest straw—is then mythically, mystically, morally and legally endowed with the power and authority to bring suffering and death down upon people at home and abroad. He or she maybe an idiot or a genius, mentally ill or mentally stable, he or she may be under the controlled of a regent or a mother, bankers or corporations, but all that is irrelevant. The office legitimizes all of this person’s imposition of suffering and death on others—and nothing else matters. Therefore by hook or by crook get the office!

    Once one has the office, and is vested in the myth and the mystique and the moral validation that go with it, he or she cannot only torment, torture and kill other people, he or she can make the laws that validate the agony and slaughter he or she is pouring down on others. Hitler did nothing illegal, which is why U.S., England, France and Russia had to create the trumped-up ex post facto law—so called crimes against humanity—to convict and kill Hitler’s cabinet and military officers. Hitler saw to it that everything he did was legal by simply creating the laws he needed to legalize what he wanted to do. A contemporary local example of this process would be the Patriot Act in the United States.

    President William Clinton kills 400,000 children under twelve years of age in Iraq, his Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, says on national television that this most grotesque form of child abuse “was worth it.” Yet, neither one is in prison nor in the electric chair. Why?

    No one is born with the right to kill 400,000 children. Yet, President Clinton, and to a lesser extent King Herod, killed children with abandon. From whence comes their right to do this. Clinton’s right to kill children came from being elected President. Herod’s right came from his being the son of a King. That is it! Human beings endowing human beings with the right to kill human beings is what the divine right of kings, drawing straws or elections are all about. If either Obama or Romney were not going to be endowed, if elected President, with the same right to use violence against their fellow human beings that Clinton and Herod had would anyone beyond their family, friends and acquaintances care a jot about what these two guys had to say?

    And of course, for the person, who is vested by the local moral mythology with legitimate kill power, to prevail on the local religious grandees—who do like to sit in the first place at head tables and whose real estate-financial institutions are also subject the local Ozymandias of the moment—to bless and supply the appropriate theology to religiously legitimate what the idiot king or the “best-of-the-brightest” is doing, or to ignore it, is child’s play.

    It is here that Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels, the Incarnation of God, who teaches a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies creates a krisis, a time of judgment, a moment of decision with eternal significance for those who believe in Him. Do they follow the local, humanly created moral mythology and participate in the election of the communities designated killer or do they follow the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and the will of the Father of all as revealed by Him, and disassociate themselves in every way from the pomp, and snares and deceits of violence and enmity?

    -Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

    P.S.

    Given the choice would Jesus have voted for Herod or Pilate or neither? In governmental elections is there ever anyone to vote for but Herod or Pilate? Since the make-believe lesser of two evils standard is still evil, why not just write-in “Lucifer” as your vote?

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Ephesians 4:2-6

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

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