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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Politics, Christian-ly

Lovers of politics know history's dirty secret: violence. Politics is an alternative.

Put on all your hats, The Lutheran tells me; Christian, Lutheran, citizen, theologian, father/grandfather. Then talk politics this election year.

Fine. Let the message be, colloquially: "You gotta vote. You gotta 'do' politics." Never! Those two "gottas" would lead the next generation to rebel. Their children would yawn. Bo-ring! And — those two "gottas" are not good Christian, or Lutheran, ways to understand and promote the political order that I love.

Try again: "You get to vote. You get to participate in politics." You get to vote, as a free Christian, a free citizen. You get to because you look at the alternatives to politics — war on one hand and the jungle, or chaos, on the other. Then you rejoice that politics offers an arena in which you get to live out part of your Christian vocation. You get to work for justice. You get to serve others. And you get a better chance of prospering.

There is no single way to participate in politics.


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