Should politicians be guided by their faith in their elected office?
The political scuttlebut is every President up until President John F. Kennedy claimed to be a Protestant. President John F. Kennedy claimed to be a Catholic. I’m really not too sure if this is common knowledge, but journalism used to be different than the media hype these days.
There are different types of ways to express faith.
Have you ever read up on the James K. Fowler’s 8 Stages of Faith?
Did you know over his tenure, Professor Fowler strengthened Emory University, his movement and beyond, and his neighboring communities in Atlanta?
He has a universal approach to faith, but he professes Christianity. He has especially impacted eduction and community life.
Part of Sigmund Freud’s theory is development, no doubt. Erik Erikson studied with Sigmund Freud as well as Carl Jung. Erikson’s theory, along with Jean Piaget’s, still influences education in America; even though the main mediator of education was/is each state of America.
Thankfully there were sweeping reforms with the No Child Left Behind movement with President George W. Bush. His educational and faith initiative reforms hit about the same time as Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences and Clifton Taulbert’s 8 Habits of the Heart for Educators. Both teach at Harvard.
A couple of them at least still have a ticket to the White House.
Lawrence Kohlberg studied with Erik Erikson, and possibly with Freud’s entourage. Kohlberg added a theory of moral development to Erikson’s lifelong learning/development model.
James Marcia added the theory of young adult Moratorium to Kohlberg’s matching developmental stage. It’s usually what we refer to as the rebel stage when a young adult starts to gain some autonomy and may only be thinking something like, “I’m just experimenting.”
No matter how many times you view Marcia’s theory, or how you view Marcia’s theory, you can’t erase it from the books. He believed adolescents and young adults go through a stage of questioning the beliefs/faith or their upbringing. Then their own beliefs/faith begins to flower, a flowering with an effect on the rest of their long life.
So the development theory of Freud’s entourage led to the lifers educational development theory of Erikson, along with Kohlberg’s moral development.
James Fowler studied directly with Lawrence Kohlberg. These are theories often dubbed as a form of humanism, however they have a great impact on education in America and whole regions of the U.S.A. In America our politicians are vying to protect the educational development of students every day, and by doing so they’re placing their good faith in the populace.
No matter what anyone tells you about the revolution in America, politically it was just as much about the freedom to educate our own, even religiously. That’s why homeschooling and private schools are protected as well. We got to the point where we said enough is enough. There is no via media for us.
The mother country’s religious/politico engine used to cast a lot of separatist groups as radical. For way too long it had been nothing more than a bloodbath, so America became willing enough to fight to educate ourselves in the faith/s.
Have you ever heard about the faith ideal freedom of religion?
With due apologies to the whole U.K., especially at the dawn of a new era, it took Canada a lot longer to work out the reforms with Britain without a revolution. Many of these things are in the past. In fact, quite a few of our students wind up finishing with a European thesis.
Well, you have to write your M.Phil. thesis first, and then you can write your D.Phil. thesis. Some schools develop your thought with you based on aptitude. Then they bring in the top expert in the world for your tutelage. There really are some differences though, politically and educationally.
For instance, try tracking or going for the secondary in Europe vs. America.
You’ll see the secondary can at least apply to the level of schooling one has and to the type of work one does.
In my opinion, the secondary is not always a gateway to the tertiary, but a place/level where people are pigeon-holed.
It’s like a glass ceiling, a real lack of faith in people.
I have spent time in the office of an educator and city influencer.
She walked into my life when she returned to serve in higher education after we were alumns of Evangel University, a college of faith.
We were at a meetup in 2020 at a retreat northeast of the pancake house with goats on the roof. There’s really goats on the roof of grass and the pancakes are excellent.
She said she had her kids around, and they may go to the pancake house on the way back home; a couple daughters if I remember. I didn’t see them, but I do remember seeing a dogwalker while we were talking outside.
She almost strode on by along the path opposite of me. I almost didn’t recognize at first her because I was taking a good look at the graceful, long, tall, slender evergreens. Plus, we were both wearing masks because of the times.
If you know her, did you see her recent trip to South Korea?
My guess is she has nearly become a diplomat since the times in which we first met.
Amy drove to work in Minneapolis every day with smoke plumes rising all around during the last terrible season of political and civic unrest.
The Principals would get together and discuss what types of ways to shuttle the students quickly through the hall.
Would single file be best?
Would lanes need to be added to the flooring so mass groups of people could move quickly?
The Principals tried to meet as much as possible to get ahead of the new learning curve; every day smoke plumes rising from all over the Twin Cities; and she’s a Principal.
Of course, as you know education is not generally it’s own engine, but one of the arms of the executive office. Amy Winter is pretty proud of her Governor, and has plenty of faith in the way her Governor is handling the times of crises.
Biblical language for faith varies.
A political person can have saving faith.
They can accept prevenient grace and traverse their own ordo salutis with a full-fledged trek through Marcia’s Moratorium. This is a little like faithfulness, an attribute that is a universal. Anyone can become faithful over time, or perhaps be born with a tenacity to be a person of their word from the start.
We look for faithfulness in politicians at times don’t we?
Is a statesmen consistently voting the same way on the bills and not shifting with the times?
For some, the personal trek of development can lead to something like a hall of mirrors at the County Fair. For a politician in the limelight times can also be good. However, the coveted 15 minutes of fame can also be tragic if an exposé is involved. In the Christian community this is when a person’s faith and works start to gel in the open for all to see.
There is also creedal faith. We defend the faith. Just before medieval times we saw the rise of monastic life. One of the earliest reports of such life before The Rule of St. Benedict, perhaps around the same time as St. Antony, was the nunnery in Bethlehem overseen by St. Jerome (author of the Latin Vulgate).
These are faith professing or confessional communities
There are many types of ways to uphold the faith together (for ex: doctrinal statements, creeds, confessions, apologetics, etc.).
On the other hand, the early Buddhists were not necessarily religious. They were an order with practices or disciplines.
For those who have read St. Benedict, or Jerome, or even very early Buddhist literature, it may seem dry. It’s certainly not as sexy as all of the Christian education spiritual formation nomenclature today.
Sure, there were the responsible eclectics who drew from many ways, and there have been renewal movements over time which is good. However, sometimes their faith communities were flamboyant.
As the Medieval Age shifted to the Modern Era (pre-Postmodernity) these types of faith communities had started to formally educate and be a major resource affecting regional ethics and society.
Amy Winter’s Lieutenant Governor is from a tribe of First Americans. She has also aided tremendously during the times of hardship, along with her Governor.
Yes, I believe politicians should be guided by their faith in their elected office.
However, there are different ways to define faith. When I cross over, I hope to thank James W. Fowler, 4th removed from Freud’s entourage, for redefining faith development as a universal.
I don’t believe any statesman is sold out to some abstract form of non-belief, no telos, no higher purpose or meaning.
To sell out to faithlessness would be to reduce everything to political processes based on nothing more than the philosophy of utilitarianism, which is diminished.