Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington DC for two purposes. I attended the National Prayer Breakfast and was honored to hear President Barack Obama share about his faith in Christ. When he came out from the back to his seat, I was shocked that he waved at me. Cynics would suggest that he was waving at the whole group but I’m sure he was waving at me. You see, I waved back and he kept waving at me. Pretty cool.
The keynote speaker was Randall Wallace – the writer and producer of Braveheart. If you have about 35 minutes, I’d encourage you to watch his chat. It was an amazing talk and for some of you that have lost all hope in Hollywood, his “sermon” might compel you to give it a second chance.
After the breakfast, I had the opportunity to join about 30 others at the White House for a meeting hosted by Joshua Dubois, the head of the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In short, the meeting was phenomenal for various reasons:
- 30 compelling women and men – all seeking to do good in the larger world. If you could possibly see brains and ideas clicking in a meeting, this was that meeting.
- A great presentation from Dr. Rajiv Shah – head of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). For what it’s worth, his appointment (last year) made history because he is the highest ranking Indian American in any presidential administration. His presentation on international development was brilliant. I’d pay to intern in his office.
- Wonderful conversations – with those whom I call friends and those whose work I’ve admired from afar.
The main purpose of our conversation was to discuss:
How can we work together?
While I’ve gone back and forth about the role of faith and politics and my ongoing wrestling with my cynicism about government, religion, and anything organized, I’ve come to a place of peace and conviction that…
cynicism and hopelessness isn’t going to help change the world.
Rather, we have to inspire people towards action with hope, courage, and beauty – even in the midst of messy and muddled worldviews.
It’s for this reason that I’m seeking and learning how to better engage the platform of civic responsibilities and politics.
Long story short,
I’ve decided to enter into politics
Not for any political office. Don’t worry, I’m not running for any office, joining any party, but rather, to engage politics.
I’ve chosen to more intentionally engage politics not because I love politics but because politics impact policies which ultimately, impact people…
I don’t see a way around it:
Christians need to be engaged with our civic responsibilities.
In our ever increasing world and society of polarization, perhaps the greatest challenge might be how we work together with those that don’t think like us in all or some matters.
Which lend me to think about how we ought to engage politics as people of faith. Well, I think we can begin by asking some important questions before and during…
- How do we speak truth to power? The reality is that we live in the most powerful country in the nation…
- How does the church work with the local and national government? Since I believe that God did indeed create the “office” of government, what is its role and how does the “Church” collaborate?
- How do Christians remain “neutral” in the sense that we don’t serve as puppets for a political party or agenda but engage the political system to pursue Kingdom convictions?
- How do we maintain a sense of unity through the chaos of different views?
What do you think?
How should Christians engage the political process?