What is Politics? A Fresh Perspective

Let’s Begin With an Illustration

A little boy goes to his dad and asks, “What is politics?”

Dad says, “Well son, let me try to explain it this way: I’m the breadwinner of the family, so let’s call me capitalism. Your Mom, she’s the administrator of the money, so we’ll call her the Government. We’re here to take care of your needs, so we’ll call you the people. The nanny, we’ll consider her the Working Class. And your baby brother, we’ll call him the Future. Now, think about that and see if that makes sense,”

So the little boy goes off to bed thinking about what dad had said.

Later that night, he hears his baby brother crying, so he gets up to check on him. He finds that the baby has severely soiled his diaper. So the little boy goes to his parents’ room and finds his mother sound asleep. Not wanting to wake her, he goes to the nanny’s room. Finding the door locked, he peeks in the keyhole and sees his father in bed with the nanny. He gives up and goes back to bed. The next morning, the little boy says to his father, “Dad, I think I understand the concept of politics now.”

The father says, “Good son, tell me in your own words what you think politics is all about.”

The little boy replies, “Well, while Capitalism is taking advantage of the Working Class, the Government is sound asleep, the People are being ignored and the Future is in deep pooh.”

Recently, I came across one of the comments on the blog of “theforgottenshepherdess.com” that got my attention. The contributor wrote that the current leader got into office through “clicques” suggesting that this might be the same means through which the election might be decided again (Her perspective). Through the blog I have learned from the contributor, 3clarion calls that technically our election process does not allow for one, two, three etc. political parties (in our constitution and by-laws). However, I cannot ignore the fact that in our humanity individuals will seek to “get around” the process in order to gain and secure their interests.

We might and could call a party or group of people who share similar interests a “gang” who seek out their “ends” for the advancement of the “whole.” It follows, that our ecclesia-electoral process does not permit debate or presentation for or against the beliefs of opposing parties. We are drawn to understand that people have  conflicting differences, diverging preferences, attitudes and beliefs which  at some time gravitate into groups who share similar thinking whether we accept this or not. Usually, as in our upcoming election, those who dominate will control the governing apparatus of our Conference. To be honest, control for the next four years and beyond is at stake. The desire of “control” occurs in governments, corporate institutions and even marriages. There are always people who feel that they can do a better job and plot a different and more positive, productive direction.

 Well, Where Does Politics Begin Or End?                   

Can we actually remove ourselves from being involved in politics? If I play “two sides of the fence” have I balanced or removed myself from the political confrontation of an everyday reality? The answers to these questions are found in the meaning of what the definition of politics really is.

 First Answer These Questions:

“When Moses came down out of the mountain and found the Israelites engaged in immorality and idolatry was Moses faced with a political reality? The obvious answer would be yes because they were polarized into at least two parties, those who wanted to go back toEgyptand those who wanted to follow the Lord. Moses in fact became an intercessor or advocate for the people whom God was about to destroy.

Did Paul understand the politics of the Jews and the Romans? Yes! Paul understood the political relationships of the two nations.

 For the purpose of our understanding a rather misunderstood word that is often, in many discussions given a bad rap, the word “politics” is a noun and defined as: 

1. Activities associated with government: the theory and practice of government, especially the activities associated with governing, with obtaining legislative or executive power, or with forming and running organizations connected with government.

3. Power relationships in specific field: the interrelationships between the people, groups, or organizations in a particular area of life especially insofar as they involve power and influence or conflict. (“The politics of education” or “the politics of the Church”)

4. Calculated advancement: the use of tactics and strategy to gain power in a group or organization. (Synonyms: government, political affairs, affairs of state, policy, policymaking, legislation) (Synonyms: beliefs, principles, opinions, views, theory, philosophy, dogma)

For better clarification please attempt to understand the etymology of the word politics:

The word politics comes from the Greek word Πολιτικά (politika), modeled on Aristotle‘s “affairs of the city”, the name of his book on governing and governments, which was rendered in English mid-15 century as latinized “Polettiques”.Thus it became “politics” in Middle English c. 1520s (see the Concise Oxford Dictionary). The singular politic first attested in English 1430 and comes from Middle French politique, in turn from Latin politicus, which is the latinisation of the Greek πολιτικός (politikos), meaning amongst others “of, for, or relating to citizens”, “civil”, “civic”, “belonging to the state”,in turn from πολίτης (polites), “citizen”and that from πόλις (polis), “city”.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics

For some of you who are reading this blog you might think that the above reference is something twisted and difficult to understand. What I want you to grasp is the inescapable reality of politics in just about every facet of our lives, from the time you leave home and return. For this reason you have to understand where it came from and in this post-modern era what it means today.

What Am I Getting At?

Someone who declares that they don’t want anything to do with politics is out of their mind and is not being reasonable (For instance: if your garbage does not get picked up on time you might decide to vote against a political official who is in charge but didn’t do his/her job well). Hence, ignoring the day to day reality of politics in your life would be considered obtuse, because you at some time engage in some type of politics as illustrated above. (See also the story at the beginning of this blog)

Some people want to appear as if it makes them appear more Christian if they say, “I don’t get involved in politics.” Yet some of the same people I know who make such statements will talk until they get tired about President Obama and his re-election. A minister trying to influence a board or business meeting on policy or a project is politics. When you make a visit to a person’s home to discuss their support on a project you are engaged in politics.

Therefore politics happens at any moment a person seeks to influence one or more individuals to accept their personal/organizational position in a conversation (or correspondence), knowingly or unknowingly for a desired outcome.

Now Is Politics Bad?

No. What determines a peaceful outcome is “how” a person or persons engage in it, and the “methods” used to obtain a desired result. Bad methods lead to bad politics.

I would like to give an illustration of what I consider bad politics in this political sphere.

If someone says I am going to bring someone to this territory to lead me and will not tell me how he will lead, yet they want this person for their interests only, I would certainly consider this bad politics because I have not been given the facts so that I can make an intelligent decision. It could mean being relocated which of course could affect an entire family.

Political interest groups usually are forthright by defining and stating (in writing) their positions on issues.

In the case of a selection of a new leader, neither side(s) have stated succinctly who they want, what they will do or their position on matters that concern all the constituents. Unfortunately, we will not know the position or direction of a new leader until after the election. A new leader “might” be determined by little knowledge of what the majority will know about his/her “politics”. Oops politics! Some minister might be unhappy because a demonstration of power for a leader in a conference is to make moves. Oops politics!

In Conclusion

When delegates arrive at the Small Committee Meeting and finally at the Constituency Gathering, every delegate will be engaged in the “theater” of politics. In many instances it won’t be pretty. It follows then as relating to political parties being formed within an ecclesia-electoral process voters will be polarized into sections based on their worldview shaped by attitudes, beliefs, preferences etc. The question that you might consider asking yourself is, “What are these attitudes, beliefs and preferences (etc.) based on?” (In relationship to our Local Conference) Did you get the facts based on good information or a request to support someone’s interests only?

How Do We Harmonize This Within Our Christian Principles?

I hear people talk about God’s Spirit being with us in this “political process.” I believe in the end The Holy Spirit will prevail. What avenue can we seek to be in harmony with His will? The avenue of being united at the meeting with one objective, to do God’s will through a simple prayer, “Not my will but your will Father.”

After we have done this, only then can we approach both political settings without a judgmental attitude of revenge and selfishness. To achieve this we the constituents would have to search our inner souls with the determination to be on the side of right and not wrong; and to be careful not to disenfranchise anyone.  For me and my house, I’m on the Lord’s side. What about you?

The question that I would like for you to respond to in your comments is this:

Can anyone escape politics at the upcoming constituency meeting? If Politics is a part of our life, how do we create an atmosphere to let God take control?

I would like to  hear your comments so I can get a better perspective before I go to the Constituency meeting. Thank you in advance for your response.

~A New Anonymous Contributor

Advertisements

About The Forgotten Shepherdess

Follow me on Twitter @ForgttnSheprdss
This entry was posted in Constituency Meeting and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to What is Politics? A Fresh Perspective

  1. dolomite9 says:

    It is not too late to standup and be a man!Take a stand against bad politics and bad bad policies!Enough is enough!If we don’t stand now, it will be too late Thand we will watch Frank,Dino,and little jerry riding off into the sunset saying”We did it again”!This time we will only have ourselves to blame!

    Like

  2. Jonah_77 says:

    Its hard for me to understand and grasp how we let the few make decisions for the many. When I thought about it, I was amazed at the amount of fear that was so affluent in so many ministers for just speaking out against all of the tactics that are taking place.

    The deck as they say is stacked. All of the stars are aligned to bring in someone from another conference to tackle our issues. Here is what is going to happen then…

    Frank, Dino and Jerry, wont move. After constituency meeting, they will all get together and have a glass of Martinelli’s, and reminisce on how “The Great Take Over” was a success. Meanwhile, the ministers of the Great Southwest will continue to be pawned and shuffled, and moved for their stance on so many issues. They will get older, weaker, and if this happens they wont be wiser.

    Unless, You take this opportunity to go through leadership with a fine tooth comb. To be critical and productive is possible. I know it can be a stressful process, but to just put someone in because 3 people want to protect their interest is wrong.

    Also, to Frank, Dino and Jerry, instead of trying to find out who is talking, why don’t you say something? Something like, “Yes, I have been resorting to these tactics for years.”, or, No matter the outcome of constituency meeting, I am willing to move me and my family where ever the Lord sends me and I accept any job that God gives me.” “Or, that I pastor what I think is a large church, and use my influence to affect the outcome of decisions in this conference.” Or, “I would do anything for Frank, because I don’t wanna be Leftbehind!”

    To the Prez, it might be too late for you to redeem yourself in the eyes of the MEN you have hurt. But, it does not mean you cannot make amends. True leaders take responsibility for everything, good and bad. This climate is your responsibility, you created it, festered it, and now you must fix it. The annals of Adventist lore will may be kind to you if you do.

    Folks, the coming weeks are going to be tough. You have to be tougher! As some said during the last constituency meeting, “I don’t think strong arm tactics should be allowed to stand. Arm your minds with truth and knowledge so you are moving away from tis form of leadership.

    What Say You?

    Like

  3. dolomite9 says:

    We need a praying team that will be on duty for the duration of the next four years not just to get the”right guy in”!We need to pray without ceasing.We need 24 round the clock prayer groups for the whole term whether whom we get is who we want!

    Like

  4. ZERO says:

    ANY MINISTER OR MEMBER WHO SAYS “THEY DON’T PARTICIPATE IN POLITICS…STAY HOME!

    I want you to beware of what delegates are suppose to know before they reach the nominating committee and the ultimate arena of the constituency meeting. By reading this and the what follows you can understand what you are participating in.

    MINISTERS…PLEASE READ SISTER GIRS’S COMMENT!

    What is Democracy?

    Lecture at Hilla University for Humanistic Studies

    January 21, 2004

    Democracy consists of four basic elements:

    I want to begin with an overview of what democracy is. We can think of democracy as a system of government with four key elements:

    A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections.

    2. The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life.

    3. Protection of the human rights of all citizens.

    4. A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.

    I want to talk about each of these four elements of what democracy is. Then I will talk about the obligations and requirements of citizens in a democracy.

    Then I will conclude by talking about the obligations that we, the international community, have to the people of Iraq as you seek to build the first true democracy in the Arab world.

    I. Democracy as a Political System of Competition for Power

    Democracy is a means for the people to choose their leaders and to hold their leaders accountable for their policies and their conduct in office.

    FROM THE LAND OF ZERO

    Like

  5. ZERO says:

    WHAT IS A POLITICAL PARTY?

    A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to “influence government policy”, usually by “nominating their own candidates” and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions. Parties often “espouse an expressed ideology or vision” bolstered by a” written platform” “with specific goals”, “forming a coalition among disparate interests.”

    Like

  6. ZERO says:

    What is Politics?

    In the process of establishing the core concepts of this affair called politics, it is plain to see that a brief definition is virtually impossible. Politics is not simply an object or a single stranded idea. It is not a concise term but rather a complicated notion, which embraces premises, opinions, and qualities of human nature, actions and institutions. It seems to arise in those situations where humans live in
    coexistence whether that be by choice or otherwise. Any attempt at a definition would be to confine and customize politics to suit ones own particular views. Nevertheless, in fitting with the title of this essay an attempt at a definition shall be made.

    Politics is the means to creating a more organised and peaceful society, by providing methods to resolve conflict that naturally occurs between men, by means of civil discussion and rational compromise. It thus stems
    the need for violence in tense situations and ultimately looks to avoid the degradation of a community into utter chaos. Authority is the underlying feature of politics and ensures its enforceability. Power underpins its very existence; it is a prerequisite for politics exist. Without authority, politics simply is not feasible. The most visible and widely accepted example of politics is the workings of the governmental institutions. However, although at first glance one may not be aware of it, politics in its various forms is present wherever and whenever humans form a community. Referring back to the views of Aristotle, politics is an intrinsic feature of mankind.

    FROM ZERO

    Like

  7. Sister-girl says:

    Sister-girl

    April 28, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Hi Everybody!

    I feel like I’m talking to friends. I have not commented for a while, because I just would like to hear someone else say something. Left Behind you are my hero. You represent what is good about America, about the civil rights, about the little people who need someone to stick up for them. There, however is nothing little about the ministers who you are sticking up for. Just by the fact there are only 5 or 6 maybe speaking out, makes me feel like they are part of the cliqueish system the blog is talking about. In fact, if that is all they can do is sit by the sidelines and let others suffer for them, then maybe they deserve to have their “hearts cut out ” It AIN’T DOIN EM NO GOOD, THEY CAN’T FEEL NO HEART PAIN.

    Well, let me talk to people in the churches! what yall think! Is FALCON COMIN! Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about! I was at church the past Sabbath, and I found out people are following this blog everyday, … at work, at home, on their smartphones and I mean everyday. They know about everything. Like I said before, I am wishing for a smooth Constituency, and the last thing I wanna see is someone talking crazy, when we can all talk to each other right here. Please, get it out of your system. My name is not Sister-girl. But I like the idea of being anonymous. However, change only happens when many people speak out. It’s hard to suppress the masses. That’s why I know Wisconsin’s is only going to have a 1 term Governor. Because the masses came together. The masses must speak out here. It is not good enough to just view. We are all christians, no one cares if your choice for President goes either way, For the current President, for Falcon, for the Fraternity Brothers, For outside the Conference,for the Senior Men (by the way who are HEARTLESS (smile) . However, I am asking, let’s voice and share our opinion, cause can’t nobody do nothing to us. It’s our Tithe dollar that keeps food on their table. And lest they forget, we got the last and FINAL say on these matters. They can bring out any name they want, it won’t be the first and probably won’t be the last that we send them back to deliberate some more! However, if we talk now, we can get the feel of others besides ourselves. This blog is all over the FIVE STATES and other Conferences, the Union’s, the GC. Let’s start the dialogue. We can agree and disagree and still be friends. Someone, a while back, mentioned that all interested parties in this job should have Resume’s available,including the President, so what is everyone thinking! REMEMBER, Constituency is just around the corner and my Pastor passed out a brochure, but I have not heard another word about the Strategic Plan and I have not heard who is “running” so maybe the blog is making a difference. Because, by now a main name would be floating around, including the President’s. Let’s talk!

    Like

    • Dolomite9 says:

      I think there are alot of pastors speaking out here.They may be afraid to say they are pastors because the administration has threatened to punish them further but still they are speaking out.We have nothing to fear but fear itself.When we realize the enormity of the task before us,focusing on the main thing,it ought to humble us to the realization,that we need divine assistance!How foolish for us to think that our destiny or success rests in our getting the “falcon” or any other name floating around.Will we ever believe that God can actually empower us with His Spirit and do great and mighty things?You have a right to underestimate yourself and your power or I mean ourselves and our power,but we can never overestimate God and His power!It has been said that the conference and its employees live off of the money the members put in but God alone is the One who gives us power to get wealth!Bottom line all our help comes from God!so let us seek to please Him.

      Like

  8. Dolomite9 says:

    PS.I agree with you on politics and I believe it is a part of everyday living.I appreciate the illustration you used and I think it was tastefully done.Thank you.

    Like

  9. Dolomite9 says:

    God bless thsrwc and every other conference too!I hope there willl be no violence at this constituency and that everybody will be in a spirit of prayer.We need to do some real praying and fasting for God’s will to be done and to be satisfied with whatever and whoever may be God’s choice for now!”If thou faintest in the day of adversity,thy strength indeed is small”.Let us have big faith!We can make this conference better than it has ever been!May our best days be ahead of us!

    Like

  10. Ain't too proud to beg says:

    Thank you for making this plain so that all can understand what politics is about. I can’t stand some ministers who say, “I am not involved in politics.”

    Little do some realize that politics got them in their churches and will get some where they want to be in their career.

    So…out of touch Preachers and lay people who are giving politics a bad deal…get real!

    Stop giving “politics” a bad rap. Condemn the bad methods and practices that some are using as mentioned in several places in the blog. Pray that God’s Will, will be done for the good of everybody. NOT THE FEW!

    I looked at the prayer list of those who are supose to be praying for the entire conference. Are some of them aligned on sides and have formed a prayer of bias of who they might want? I hope not. Yet I commend them for their efforts. For we need much prayer this weekend and the next two. THANK YOU FOR PRAYING FOR ME!

    GOD BLESS THE SWRC!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s