Editor’s note: This is the first of four in a blog series by Jonathan Saur. Each day this week, he will offer a new post.
We invite you to read and weigh in on the discussion.
The following is my reaction to the dominant conversation currently being had in American politics and, specifically, to the Christian response to this conversation. These are feelings. They are not well-reasoned thoughts. They are simple, concise, and not meant to be exhaustive. While I interact with various authors and historical figures, I do not fancy myself an expert on political theory or on political history. Despite this lack of expertise, however, I believe that I have something to offer to the conversation.
As a former congressional staffer, I interacted with the political world daily. These thoughts and feelings arose from my own experiences. In many ways, the stories of those experiences would make for better writing material than the abstracted observations that follow. However, at the current time, many of the characters involved in those stories are still in public life and, therefore, it would not be appropriate for me to tell those stories. If I do decide to share those stories with the world, that decision must wait for a later date.
What is appropriate, however, is sharing my own feelings on these matters. I offer them, however, as my feelings. I am not a political theorist, scientist, or philosopher. Nor am I an academic theologian. My aim is not provide an airtight assertion that will prove a thesis. I offer these as feelings toward, perceptions of, and reactions to authors and conversations I found myself interacting with for years.
The cynicism with which the American public views its politicians is disturbing, at least to me. While I have chosen to live outside of the political sphere, I still have friends and associates living in that world. Some of the individuals with whom I have worked in public life are among the most caring, articulate, and genuinely good-natured people I have come across. Some others left a lot to be desired. However, no politician is as divine as her supporters would have you believe, or as demonic as her opponents would portray her. They are all humans and, as such, fail, succeed, make mistakes, disappoint, and inspire. The sooner we come to grips with the humanity inherent in public life, the sooner Christians will cease expending their time and energy attempting to make perfect a fundamentally imperfect endeavor, and the sooner Christians can return to the mission with which we are tasked. I offer this essay as an attempt at pushing us in that direction.
Jonathan Saur is a candidate for ministry in Los Ranchos Presbytery. He lives in San Juan Capistrano, CA.