Basketball Politics

I intended to write this post on Friday but of course I ended up watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics and completely lost track of time! But, since I’m on the subject of the Olympics, I’ll say that I didn’t really like the beginning of the opening ceremony but the part when they lit the torch basically made up for the previous meh-ness.

Anyway, my intent was never to write about the Olympics but instead to write about politics. Whoa! I know, it’s a touchy subject but it’s one I think about a lot so I figured I’d think about it out loud (or online). The other day, I was talking to my good friend about the upcoming presidential election. Side note: she’s both good at being a friend and good at being a person. So she’s doubly good :). Either way, it was odd that we were having this conversation because we two almost never discuss politics. So we began discussing the two viable candidates, talking about their pros and cons, and figuring out which issues were most important to us.

Eventually, we were both slightly exhausted and disappointed when she said, “Well, people always say you have to choose the lesser of two evils”. At that moment, I jumped up and began to cringe a bit on the inside. It’s true; I’d heard that said many times, but there was something about this time that caused me to reel a bit. I wasn’t mad at her – she wasn’t at all agreeing with the sentiment – I was just mad at the system.

I know the Bible mentions submission to authority in 1 Peter and that’s one of the verses I’ve always tried to live by. That sounds silly because you should try to live out every Biblical teaching but in terms of slightly overlooked Biblical teachings that’s the one I especially try to embody. I can’t really explain it in a satisfactory way so I’ll leave it at that. But as we were talking and the ‘lesser of two evils’ point came up I thought of that verse.

I love the US to a fault. But that doesn’t mean I can’t see where it’s headed if there isn’t some type of divine intervention (which I think is totally possible). So it’s hard for me to submit to an authority that I know is corrupt. It’s even more difficult for me to see the flaws in our political system and have no power to change them. It would be especially burdensome for me to submit to an authority that I considered merely ‘less evil’ than some other possible authority. I feel like, when I think about politics, I end up very much like a frustrated child. I say this not because I’m often likened to a baby but because little kids do this thing where they get angry and frustrated and they cry and they can’t really be consoled. It’s like when I was a kid and I would play basketball with my dad.

We’re both more competitive than we should be so he would let me score on him and tie the game but he usually wouldn’t let me win. I would get so angry. I’d storm back into the house and cry until my mom would come over and ask what happened. I’d get some words out – “Dad…cheated…he always…wins” – and then I’d go back to having an angry face. My mom would then go out and talk to my dad and then he would ask me to play again. I’d reluctantly play again and (usually) he’d let me win that game. The funny thing was, I’d always go out and play the next day because I always thought I might win that time. I’d also always do this after claiming that I would never play with him again.

It feels the same way with politics. I always go out and play even though I know the outcome and I always get frustrated. I guess the only difference is that I never go inside and get help. The funny things is that just like I always knew that going to my mom would solve the problem, I’ve always known that going to God would solve the problem. I’m just too stubborn to do that.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6

Amor Christi,

DJP

P.S. I can totally beat my dad now :D.

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