Today’s an important day. “Midterm Elections” are happening all over the US. Here in our state, I’ve done the research. A while back, I downloaded my county ballot, and began sifting through all of our choices. Most cases that have two opponents seem to be “Choose the Candidate Who Makes You Gag Less Than the Other”. It’s a very narrow margin of gag reflex, for the most part. People who’ve been in power for many years, or people who have ridiculous amounts of money to spend. Not that money or power equals corruption, but in our cultural context it certainly doesn’t help gain my support. After all, the man I call Lord and Savior, as he was heading into his final “push”, seemed to be letting go of as much power/resources as possible.
So I think it’s important for us to collectively confess, we are a part of this brokenness. That as much as we love our country, and value the freedoms that others gave their lives for us to enjoy, we have not created something inherently “Holy” out of it. We never could. Claiming Jesus in national documents, and even attempts to legislate morality will never make us a Christ-centered nation.
This was not even the “big” election, yet rough estimates show that over $4 BILLION was spent on campaigning this year. Only slightly over the amount spent in 2010, we see that this is not unusual. In 2012, the same amount was spent, PLUS another almost $3 Billion in presidential campaigning. That means every four years, we see about $7 Billion being spent on parties fighting & arguing over who gets the votes. To what end? A few more years of having slightly more influence before having to spend billions of dollars once again to either stay, or get, in power.
What could be done with this much money in other areas of need? CNN says $4 Billion alone could pay for 12,000 students to be educated from K-12th grades, with millions leftover for a graduation party. Obviously there are a lot more children than that, and even needs like poverty, hunger, and disease are far too large for a few billion dollars to wipe out. But it can still be said, as a country we are spending FAR too much money on political campaigning. Even where there are laws to safeguard against special interest groups, donors and powers are finding ways to connect the dots. We must confess that we are a country with selfishness and ego, and are collectively making a statement that politics and attempts to control/influence power are more important to us than serving the poor and powerless. Even those who might take a stand, saying that millions of dollars are going to advocate for a candidate who might eventually be able to take a stand for the oppressed – must admit, this is not the best path to such transformation.
So what do most of us do? We see a broken system, but most of us aren’t connected to the actual brokenness of it all. Hearing the ads, maybe putting a sign in our lawn, and casting a vote is the most many of us might do. (Predictions say around 40% will even vote.) Less than 0.2% of the 310 Million Americans give more than $200 to any campaign. That’s 620,000 people. But over 66% of what has been given comes from sources that give more than this. The maximum one person can give is (officially) $2,600. How many people gave at least that? 93,000 people. The percentages certainly make it seem smaller than it is, as 700,000 people giving large amounts is still a pretty good group of contributors. The largest numbers come from the top, of course, where donations come in the form of Millions of dollars. The top 20 contributors alone gave about $169 Million. Sigh. this is actually a long road to travel, and I think I’ve lost myself even if I have any readers left…
Kinda makes you frustrated, eh? Gets your blood boiling? That a country with so much need could throw away so much money on something so fleeting as the next election? Good thing we’re not a part of anything that puts giant financial contributions above the needs of the poor and powerless…..right?
Oh wait…(NFL makes over $10 Billion annually)
So yeah….we have a need for a National outpouring of confession. We need to repent (turn away from) these things, and turn toward God. Not only in heart, but in what we give our time and resources to…
What does that look like?