Wednesday, June 06, 2007

“what has God got to do with politics?”

Politics is a self-defined and defining human activity that specifies the governance of civil society. It has its own principles and objectives, its own value system and pursuant decision making pattern. It is as old as humanity and has since then accompanied local and national communities—inclusive of the so-called “Global Village” itself.

Politics in this age and time is basically the art of ruling people, by and for the people. Its origin and finality is the people. Its masters and workers are people. People too are its subject-object. It is quite evident wherefore that God is alien to politics, and vice versa. In other words, God has nothing to do with politics. If ever, He has all the heavens to bother with, even the whole cosmos to attend to. God and politics are two entirely separate realities. And the more separate and distant they remain, the better for both.

Such is the thinking and persuasion, preference and even wish of politicians who want to be left alone in doing what they want, how they want it and when they want it. They consider God as but big brother in drawing their political plans, making their political programs and implementing their political projects. And these are the politicians who are precisely the curse of the citizens, the peril of society. Woe to communities and countries governed by politicians who are in effect godless for all intents and purposes.

The standing reality is that God has much to do with politics. It is politics that badly needs God. It is God who clearly tells politicians not to lie but to say the truth, not to cheat but to be honest, not to steal but to stay away from what belongs to others. It is also God who insistently reminds politicians to be faithful to their spouses, to free themselves from avarice and greed, to distance themselves from addiction to power and might. This way, politics become a big asset to society, in the same way that politicians become also a big blessing to the citizens—the helpless and the poor, the hungry and the sick in particular.

And there is the church that in God’s name serve politics and minister to politicians. Serving politics only means calling its attention when it deviates from its real nature and true objective. Ministering to politics simply means reminding them who they really are and what they are truly for. It is never the mission of the church to take over politics, much less to make politicians of her churchmen. As essentially altruistic in nature and finality, the church is committed to guide politics and to accompany politicians on their way to the emergence of truth, observance of justice and bringing about peace.

6 June 2007