Comments 3

  1. Thank you! The last two sentences in the second to last paragraph says it all! “Wasting your vote”however, might be contributing to the status quo?

    1. Thanks for the comment, Marion. I use the word “waste” intentionally. There’s subversion in waste, especially within a capitalist paradigm that privileges efficiency and effectiveness. “Failure” and “waste” are not passive…they are very active, and according to the New Testament, also transformative. The Kingdom of God is not about fitting Jesus into the structures of power as they exist; the Kingdom of God is “not of this world” as Jesus said, which is to say the Kingdom Jesus brings is not like Pilate’s kingdom. Seeking justice, compassion, grace, and peace, in a spirit of love is deeply political. It is, after all advocating for a new way of being in the world that is grounded in the revelation of God’s love in Jesus Christ. In a time when Christians on both sides have sold out to the powers in the name of efficiency and “getting things done” we need to be reminded by Paul about the foolishness and weakness of the kingdom of God. I’m not worried about being effective because God’s kingdom doesn’t depend upon my success, it ask only for my faithfulness. Who will stand up for the poor in Sioux Center? Who will challenge the slum lords who refuse to fix up the houses that poor people live in? (I can show you 3 just in my neighborhood.) The owners go to our churches. When will those who support Christian education (I’m one of them) begin to insist that Christian education must be public education? Why are we ok with some forms of government welfare (farm subsidies) and not others? I could go on… my point is that in “wasting” my vote I am directly challenging the status quo. There are no easy answers, which is why committing ourselves to a particular political ideology doesn’t work.

  2. Even Christians seem to think of Nader as some kind of exotic and kooky radical, and that is very interesting because his unusual, counter-cultural qualities are deeply American, foundationally religious, and even conservative. In many ways he is a very traditional, conservative, small-town, middle-class populist and conservationist. This is most clear in his 2012 book, The Seventeen Traditions: Lessons from an American Childhood where talks about the value of the traditions he learned growing up in a small, family-oriented town. The traditions and virtues he covers are listening, charity, civics, work, patriotism, and simple enjoyment. Nader has never been a man of the left who opposes capitalism except in its corrupt form as a rigged casino game favoring a few mega-corporations. Those corporations have become plutonomists because of their control over major national governments.

    I think of Nader as a Christian somewhat in the mold of Ivan Illich, since both men were deeply formed by their religious traditions (Catholic and Greek Orthodox), and both chose to remain single so they could serve others full time. Both earned a significant amount of money but chose to give it away and live very simply.

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