Watching Politics from the Pew: Some Thank-yous

This week, Ben Bartlett introduces his new column on politics: Watching Politics from the Pew.

Politics are front and center these days for reasons both bad and… well, worse.  The economy, the presidential election, and a host of other issues are consuming large portions of the front page seemingly every day.  So, I’ll be setting aside my “On the Other Hand,” posts for a while to focus on politics.  We’ll call this, “Watching Politics From the Pew,” and I’m going to try to use the column to take a thoughtful Christian perspective on the political stuff we see in the news.

For this maiden post, I want to do something you don’t see to often in today’s political climate.  I want to thank some politicians.  And not sarcastically, either.

President Obama, thank you for your thoughtful approach to the military.  Thank you for working to draw down our troops in Iraq without creating chaos.  Thank you for your guts in making the call to take out Osama Bin Laden.  Thank you for your patience and wisdom in helping the problems in Egypt and Libya move toward the right conclusions without overcommitting our forces  but also without allowing tyrants to continue unchecked.  Thank you for the successes of TARP and the auto-industry bailout.  Thank you for caring about the health, financial and physical, of the nation.  And thank you for spending quality time with your family.

Vice President Biden and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, I’ve rarely had kind words for either of you.  But thank you for getting a deal done to prevent our country from defaulting on its obligations.

Congressman Ryan, thank you for having the guts to publish a strategy that addresses our debt problems in a real and substantive way.

John Stewart, thank you for using your hilarious show with a strong degree of responsibility.  You have a clear mission of exposing inconsistency and hypocrisy, and there is a need for that in our culture.

Governor Snyder (of Michigan, my home state), thank you for the big changes you are making in Michigan’s fiscally irresponsible government.  Thank you for addressing real problems with real solutions even though you know you’ll take a lot of political flak.

These are all leaders with whom I have some disagreements, but all of whom have demonstrated in recent days a desire to be wise in one capacity or another.  I am thankful, in different ways, for each of them.

My hope is that this little column will be even-handed in addressing political questions and issues that are grabbing the headlines.  We want to challenge Christians to see politics for what it is, both good and bad, and we want to think about how to respond in a godly way.  So today we say thank you, and we look forward to careful engagement of the problems citizens of the City of God face while living in the City of Man.

About Ben Bartlett

Ben Bartlett lives in Louisville, Ky., with his wife and two terrific kids. His degree is in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy from Michigan State University, and he has a bunch of education from a bunch of other places with nothing official to show for it. He has taught high school speech and debate, worked for a congressman in Washington DC, and worked in the health and energy industries. He is interested in how pop culture, history, politics, and theology interact with the inner and community lives of individuals... which is weird because he now works as a business analyst. Few things make him happier than reading, discussing, and recommending books.

  • http://www.gaffneyjournal.blogspot.com Sean Gaffney

    Thank you, Ben.

  • Carol

    Looking forward to this column and your insights! Also looking forward to vigorous debate on the issues of the day and how to respond to them in a God honouring way.


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