Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Role of Religion in Politics

Tulsa's blog hero, Michael Bates of, has written another editorial for the free Tulsa newspaper, Urban Tulsa. You can link to it here.

His concluding paragraph is included here,

If we want elected officials who are fearless to do what is right, we ought to look for men and women whose character has been shaped by confidence in a God who is bigger than any adversary they may face.

I agree.

He wrote this article to respond to some criticism for previous comments made in a blog. This is a fantastic article, and I encourage everyone to take the time to read and think about it. I wish I had Michael's amazing ability to articulate issues in such a logical, thorough, and readable way.

A few years ago, I found myself on a board of directors for a public entity. It was my first exerience, and although not an elected official, it nevertheless was extremely political. I am a Christian and by that I don't mean I am a religious person. To me, Christianity is not a religion, but a daily relationship with Jesus Christ. I don't just practice this on Sunday's or Wednesday's, but it is an intricate part of what I am every day. I can't help it!

I went in to the voluntary Board service, hoping to do what I could to help the organization. I wanted to see it succeed. I wanted to build a consensus. I wanted to used my abilities, talents, education, and skills to do what I could. I wanted to encourage others to pitch in and help. I had an almost Pollyanna attitude toward other Board members, projecting that they too had the very best in mind for the organization. Boy, did I have a lot to learn!

Politics is raw power. And it is a dirty business. After three years on the Board, I had to assess my effectiveness as a Board member. Every initiative I tried to undertake was thwarted. Meeting times were changed so I would be late. The President would not put items on the agenda for consideration. The use of executive sessions was overdone and away from the eye of public scrutiny. Research and reporting was dismissed or passed over. People's livelihoods and characters were damaged. Coalitions were formed. Nothing substantial to advance the organization happened at the Board meetings.

Does all this sound familiar?

After three years, I decided I was no longer effective as a Board member, and that my limited time and resources were better suited elsewhere.

I am a lot happier.

But I was a volunteer. I had chosen to volunteer my services. That's different from an elected official. However, the experiences share similarities.

I have watched the Tulsa City Council turmoil for the past several years. I have a great understanding of what is really going on. I am a Reagan Republican, but I feel a bond of unity with Councilors, Henderson, Turner, Mautino and Medlock. Local political issues transcend party lines, race, age, you name it. They can't help themselves either!


Anonymous said...

Get over it. You missed Michael's point and turned it into a "me" thing. What part of your blog had to do with you being a Christian? Were the other board members Christian? Were they not as good a Christian as you? Did you use that as your reason to leave the board?
Could you be mistaken in your view of the board service? Did nothing really ever happen? Was the president really out to get you? What part of the "politics" did you or others have a hand in?
It sounds to me that your Christianity lets you believe that you are somehow more moral then the others.
This is exactly 180 degrees from where Michael was speaking. Do not hold yourself up higher than other moral people.

Red Bug said...

Unlike the people mentioned in Michael's blog, I could not stick it out through thick and thin.

Christianity was never discussed or part of the equation on my Board service.

Anonymous assumes I am a "moral" person and that I believe I am higher that other people. Simply, not true.

I am a)saved, b)forgiven, and c)confident.

Red Bug reserves the right to post items of interest to ME on MY BLOG.

Religion and Society said...

Hello all,

Religion plays an important role to millions of people all over the world and is a fundamental element in almost every society. Thanks a lot...