I will be voting -- I'll be voting for Ron Paul. And, there are several local issues that need my attention as well. Local politics, at least partially, still work. But this is a worthwhile post....
The Only King
Let all those that seek thee be joyful and glad in thee; and let such as love thy salvation, say always, the LORD be praised. As for me, I am poor and needy; but the Lord careth for me. – Psalm 40:19-20
John Taylor of Caroline County, Virginia (1753-1824) was a political prophet. The historian William Appleman Williams said Taylor, “made the best case against empire as a way of life.” Taylor knew where collusion between elected government, central bankers and businessmen would lead. He had witnessed what had happened in England with its perpetual wars and overreaching colonization. He hoped the several American states would choose the quiet path of small commerce and local farming.
Empires are predicated on “creative destruction.” Their health depends on expansion which hinges on internal improvements, growth, and managed trade, all of which are debt-funded – the hidden tax from which some privileged enterprises profit. People follow their leaders. Americans are debtors as their government is in debt – just as the British fell into debt. This is empire as a way of life.
The Christian may find himself impoverished, but he possesses an inner joy that no man or government can take from him. He submits to the powers that be at every level and renders tribute as due; but his confidence ultimately is not in those earthly powers. He has no king but Jesus.
American Christians live in an empire whose leaders are populist demagogues. They are inundated by the same slick marketing techniques that sucker millions of unregenerate voters. Government is the messiah. Listen to the evening news: three quarters of the stories involve issues related to some government problem or proposed government solution. We are saturated with the notion that government ought to do something. This is empire as a way of life.
In John Taylor’s day there was no such thing as sacrosanct universal suffrage. Wise men once knew that great numbers of the populace did not have the understanding of competing philosophies to cast wise votes. A high school diploma or a baccalaureate degree does not a responsible citizen make. We Americans are generally well-trained but not all are well-educated. We vote for the best-looking and the most eloquent with the most promises.If ever there was a time in the nation’s history that people ought not to vote – especially Christians – that time is now. Taylor Somers wrote,
"...spend your time on election day doing something creative, productive, and useful, instead of wasting time at the ballot box. Paint a picture, write poetry, compose a song, learn economics or philosophy or literature; it’ll do so much more good than voting [which] thereby legitimizes the jokers who see fit to rule our lives."
We are not between the devil and the deep blue sea. Refusing to participate in media-rigged elections is not the shirking of one’s sacred civic responsibility – it is rather an eloquent protest. As Neil Peart wrote, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”For the Christian we might add to Somers’ list praying, worshiping, studying the Scriptures, and doing simple kindnesses for family, friends and neighbors. The choice is for community over empire; for King Jesus over of the latest, media-manufactured messiah.
If John Taylor were with us today he would no doubt agree.