Monday, August 8, 2011

Low Morale Politically - US citizens prerevolutionary

An article appeared here from a major polling site. The article details a recent poll showing that 46% of US citizens polled think that Congress is corrupt. Another interesting fact is that only 6% of those polled ( a # that keeps coming up in different polls, so it likely very accurate ) approve of the job Congress is doing. Only 17% of US citizens think the government is operating with the consent of the governed. Is it any wonder then that only 29% of those polled thought members of Congress were not corrupt. The citizens are realizing that: not only are many or most Congressmen and women no better than their constituents in civility, morality, and virtue in general, but in fact they're worse. Sex scandals. Cheating on taxes. Lying under oath. We almost expect federal politicians to just tell you what people want to hear in order to get elected. Then nothing seems to be accomplished that everyone wants. If you were dating or courting someone like that as a potential spouse, you would call them disingenous and break up. Unfortunately we can't do that.

I honestly view it this way: God has called us to submit to the governing authorities. (Romans 13). So there is a real challenge to the Christian believer to support their government. There is a challenge because of our type of government, which I'll touch on. Interestingly, Paul writing Romans 13 lived under Nero the Emperor who was no friend of Christ followers. How do we see our situation as citizens and as Christ followers then?

Yet we are a government by the people and we should seek to change it in the ways we can do so. The problem of unhappines though is very complex and I don't have the answers to it.

The question then is "whose government?" If the government is of the citizenry, whose citizenry? Americans are deeply divided on many issues: Government of the people who get hand outs? Government of the rich businessman or woman? Government of the left leaning, pro abort another 30 million children in the womb? Government of the fiscal conservative who doesn't believe in carrying through the promise? Government of the laissez faire? It's no wonder that no one is happy or even content! If none of these groups get their way, they are going to be unhappy. Perhaps the fact that none of them do get their way is contributing to the unhappiness. Appealing to a vague virtue that everyone might agree with means little, because everyone now expects that the politicians in power's favored sub-culture will benefit financially and with getting an honest ear for several years. Perhaps we just live in a jaded America....

There are believe it or not practical considerations on this for a pastor. If morale is so low it can mean a number of things, both pro and con to preach on during such times. It can also affect how to do outreach substantially, such as themes. Much more could be said about these last two areas.

2 comments:

David Keuss said...

Interestingly as a follow-up, a case in point, in Michigan 30,000 college students were using food stamps as an income supplement! When you see this, if you're not a college student, and you work hard to pay taxes, do you feel like that represents you? But if you were one of those students you'd write letters, vote and talk about how it should continue. There seems to be a lack of shared values in the country, whichever side you're on, that is not workable together.
http://detnews.com/article/20110808/POLITICS02/108080356/30-000-college-students-kicked-out-of-food-aid-program-in-Michigan

David Keuss said...

Additional article:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/10/us-usa-poll-idUSTRE7794EX20110810