Archived Episode - Season 5, Episode 10
Guest hosts – Rev. Dr. Don Anderson, Executive Minister of the Rhode Island Council of Churches
He is also a member of Jonathan’s church… not that he is ever there, but still on the rolls and still gets letters from Jonathan’s church asking for money.
From the halls of First Baptist in East Greenwich, RI, Jonathan and Don discuss all of the concerns, considerations, questions, and approaches to the political and the religious. Don had a simple formula of two “P”s:
Policy over Politics
For religion to hold onto some kind of integrity the religious must keep their eye on policy over politics. There is a reality in which politicians will be thinking about themselves and how to further their own agendas and it is easy to fall into that method of thinking. However, it is important to keep your eye on the policy that you are forwarding (and end to hunger, homelessness, immigrant rights, etc.). So two “P” are important, Policy and Politics… and Power
Ok, three Ps
Policy, Politics, and Power
It is important to realize that we are dealing with institutions and principalities that have power over other’s lives. At the same time it is important to realize that we in the religious arena have power. We have power in numbers, we have power in our commitment to policy. When we give into the political then we lose all power. Power is a very real part of the process. So three Ps – Policy, Politics, and Power… and Pastoral Care
Ok, four Ps
Policy, Politics, Power, and Pastoral Care
We are dealing with and working with people. Some of these people have their own religious story and others do not, but they are all people with their own struggles, worries, and ideals. It is important that in working with people in the political arena that we continue to share and show the love of Christ to all that we encounter. Very different for lobbying organizations.
So four Ps, Policy, Politics, Power, and Pastoral Care… unless we have another episode with Don, then there will probably be many, many more.
Don is pining for the Wittenburg Door – a now defunct brilliant magazine of satire poking fun and speaking truth to all aspects of Christianity (and beyond) that make the normal, rational religious folks cringe. Come back Door! Come back!
Jonathan is foaming at the mouth at someone who claims to be Christian who is advocating a taking of arms (not literal arms, but weapons, guns, etc.) in response to Islam. Stupid, stupid, stupid, completely ignoring the theology of the cross, and not to mention, stupid. If you want to read the post (warning, it is pretty stupid), you can find it here.
Matthew 10:16-19 – if you are going to be politically involved then you really should read this passage; be wise as serpents and innocent as doves, and trust in the presence of the Holy Spirit
Don is enjoying time on his boat in the Narragansett Bay (with a Narragansett Light? He didn’t say)
Jonathan enjoyed reading Swamplandia! by Karen Russell. Read his reflections on the book here.