Mineral Wells Index
By Guinn Sweet
“There is a holy mistaken zeal in politics … by persuading others, we convince ourselves.” – Junius, letter 35, 19 December 1769.
Zeal (noun) – enthusiastic, diligent devotion in pursuit of a cause, ideal, or goal: FERVOR.
What more needs to be said? All the television commentary regarding the just-past presidential election (to say nothing of all the local, state and congressional “runs”) has been just that … devotion in the pursuit of a cause … without definition of just what the real cause might be. When a powerful, gigantic and history-making event, such as this past election should have been, is conducted with such intolerance, malice and downright insults on both sides of the aisle, it is no wonder we have a nation viciously divided – politically and socially.
I can remember when national Election Day was approached with somber and sober thoughts regarding our nation’s benefit, not the promotion of political strategies and struggle for “majority” leadership. The emphases were placed, not upon what one candidate could produce for the good of the country, but what the various elements of democracy could do to improve the governmental decisions and social functions of our blessed nation.
Frankly, I cannot fathom how many issues can possibly be a national question. As an example of my thoughts; in spite of the fact that I have known many same-sex couples, and have found individual and positive traits in them along educational, artistic and other lines, I cannot see any reason to legalize, or de-legalize, their relationships. I can have no approval in their behavior, but I cannot take away their privacy and legal choices about lifestyles.
On the other hand, I cannot ignore Biblical use of words such as “abomination to God” when I develop my personal opinions regarding their choices. But our government has no right, in my view, to get involved when there is no real constitutional crime committed.
This remains, in my mind, a strictly spiritual question (and I am on the Lord’s side, as a Christian and a happily married – for 67 years – woman to a man. That works for us and I can’t figure out any other “partnering” act that would improve on that relationship). But that’s politics, ploys used to garner votes, not for benefiting our nation.
At this point, I must confess that I didn’t vote in the general election. I did not support the notions, statements nor aims of either presidential candidate. But I prayed that the Lord would have His way with the outcome. I am sure that He controls even our political actions, and this was the message that I felt He gave me: “Just sit back and enjoy, Guinn; I will take care of everything and you must not worry.”
I can handle that sort of assignment. I believe that He shepherded the creation of the original 13 states, He has overseen our activities, wars, social weirdness and everything that has happened since, and I am sure that He is still in control of our eventual destiny. Knowing those facts, I agreed to be the best citizen I can be, with the least opposition for our nation’s future. To tell the truth, after I overcame the first self-accusative feelings at my refusal to be pro-active, it is with a large degree of comfort that I face the coming years.
It has been said that history is past politics and politics is present history. It is also quoted, by Artemus Ward, “my pollerticks, like my religion, bein of a exceedin accommodatin character …”
I have never been convinced that there is any intelligence in this statement, but maybe simplicity doesn’t need intelligence. Now that I think of it, maybe humor is the best armor for the world’s situation, including our country. I have used humor to get out of a lot of troubles, and have never felt that humor was taking things lightly; rather it is dealing with heavy matters by seeking out man’s fallibility in his actions, and taking joy in the final outcome in God’s hands. My zeal in this matter seems not to be mistaken; if only I can convince others.