IVP - Strangely Dim - Post-Partisan Depression: Final Words on Campaign 2012

November 9, 2012

Post-Partisan Depression: Final Words on Campaign 2012

A fair and balanced post by David A. Zimmerman

I have always been something of a politics junkie. I get pretty jazzed about elections--from the president to the pope to the park district superintendent. There is, of course, a hierarchy; I'm more interested in the selection of a president than I am in park district politics, and I realized this year that I'm less captivated by an election involving an incumbent than I am when there's an entirely clean slate of new candidates. But junkies can't be choosers, and I still get amped up every election day. And then the day after election day, I suffer ever so slightly from what I like to call post-partisan depression.

Maybe you know the feeling: the notion that nothing has really changed, that six billion dollars were spent on pomp and circumstance and smoke and mirrors. Firmly ensconced in my "election day" playlist is the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again," featuring that singularly cynical line that puts the painin campaign: "Meet the new boss; same as the old boss."

Anyway, a couple of friends who happen to be authors I've edited wrote posts in the wake of the election that eased my mind considerably, and rightly turned my attention from the spectacle of elections to the electiveness of discipleship. Read these articles if this election cycle has put the blue in your red, white and blue. And feel free to point me to other articles that have set your mind back on the politics of the kingdom of heaven: loving God and loving our neighbors.

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From Logan Mehl-Laituri, author of Reborn on the Fourth of July: The Challenge of Faith, Patriotism and Conscience: "Who did you vote for?" is the wrong question to ask. Instead, the real question is "How do you vote?" since voting is on-going, not restricted merely to Election Day, but also to the work day, Veterans Day and every other day of the year. What Francis of Assisi said of preaching is equally true of voting: do it without ceasing, and do it on Election Day only when necessary."

From Mark Van Steenwyk, author of the forthcoming The Unkingdom of God: Embracing the Subversive Power of Repentance: "What does Easter Sunday have to do with Voter Tuesday? Everything. Today, as our minds are still dripping with electoral goo, let us focus our hearts and minds on the Resurrection. . . . By practicing Resurrection, we not only embrace the hope of a far-off resurrection of the dead, but also defiantly embrace life and fullness in the face of death and deprivation. So, did you vote yesterday? I don't care. But I do care how we all vote today. And the day after that. We must give our lives to sowing seeds of justice and peace. We must wake up every day and vote for life and love in the face of death."

My own post following the election had to do with the relative value of voting as compared to the value of giving blood. You can read it here.

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And from Jamie Arpin-Ricci, author of The Cost of Community: Jesus, St. Francis and Life in the Kingdom, the final word for now:

Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

He didn't write that, but he's living it, and it wouldn't hurt if we all would go and do likewise.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at November 9, 2012 10:30 AM Bookmark and Share

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a writer and copyeditor on the communications team for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. She likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a founder of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs occasionally at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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