Respect.. these guys?

I don’t like George Bush in fact I don’t really like John Howard either. In fact most politicians make me frustrated and angry. I don’t agree or like many of their rules and policies. The war in Iraq, asylum seekers, the environment, the funding of universities and schools… I could go on but I wont.

However I am sick of two things.

Firstly a blatant disrespect for our nations leaders. At this point I want to again affirm I my strong disagreement with many of John Howard’s policies and more of George Bush’s.

As a Christian I am called to respect the leaders that I have over me even if I disagree with them*. Bands such as The Herd on Triple J, do nothing to endear themselves to the listening audience with their pejorative language… phrases like “John has a taste of George’s d--k”. The bottom line is that our leaders have difficult jobs and are called upon to make decisions daily that can’t please everyone. Even if I disagree I should respect the decision they make.

Romans 13 teaches us that we must respect them not because we like them or even agree with them but because they are placed over us by God**. Similarly in 1 Timothy 2 we must pray for our leaders that they would make Godly and wise decisions.

The second thing that gets my goat up is the attribution of a leaders personal failure to a people as whole. For example George Bush is a w----r therefore all Americans are w----rs. This sort of language is stupid when you think about it if only for the reason that not all Americans voted for Bush… (in fact not even all Americans voted).

So for the record I’ll make it clear Americans don’t all agree with what George Bush says anymore than all Australian’s agree with what John Howard says. So next time you see an American or talk to one don’t assume they subscribe to George Bush’s worldview.

Rant over.

*Not to say there isn’t room to protest, write letters, lobby, sign petitions etc. These would be all things that as a Christian I would be happy to do.
**It’s also worth pointing out that slaves were commanded to respect masters who were not only good and considerate but also harsh (1 Peter 2:18).



Jonny said... 10/14/2006 10:20 am  

That's fair enough, but when an American comes over here ranting on about how George Bush is acting for God and ridding the world of evil they need to be put in their place. It happens sometimes.
I saw a tourist once state how the world will oneday be under the American constitution. He risked his life saying that as I could have flattened him myself.

Seumas Macdonald said... 10/15/2006 10:55 am  

okay, Mike, I want you to do the hard work. *show* us why Rom 13 and other passages teach *respect* for leaders.

BSJ-rom said... 10/15/2006 2:50 pm  

Hate to say this Mike, but it sounds like your respect is quite begrudging. How does respect affect the way that we make our disapproval known?

Had an interesting discussion with Dave W. I asked him what the point of an arts degree was. Amongst other things, he suggested that it educated people in how to make cutting witticiscms attacking our leaders, whilst themselves making no useful contribution to society. (BTW Josh told me to keep things controversial, so I've tried to put that last sentence in as crude and offensive a manner as I possibly could...A bachelor of arts is useful, you can get a job as an arts lecturer...I'm a closet arts student who was never actually in the closet...) Anyway, society seems built on being very negative towards those whom we (and ultimately God) have elected to govern us.

So how does that affect me personally? Well:

1st: The leaders do care what we think, so we should tell them, respectfully. This is hard because rude people are louder.

2nd: I'm generally anti-green, but as they are in a position of power, I should respect them too.

3rd: Get into that position to lead.

That's a nice ideal, isn't it...

m@ said... 10/15/2006 5:23 pm  

mwfj said: "Bands such as The Herd on Triple J, do nothing to endear themselves to the listening audience with their pejorative language…"

Are you kiddin me, Jollymeister? Rightly or wrongly, even as a relatively conservative jjj listener in my twilight years in their target demogaphic - it's exactly that kind of aussie irreverence and contempt for authority that endears bands like The Herd to me! I imagine this is the case to a much greater degree to the majority of jjj's listenership...

mike said... 10/15/2006 8:23 pm  

Jeltzz point taken... I'll have to do some more thinking. My initial thoughts are that godly submission would involve respect.

M@ point also taken. This kind of on your face against authority stance is popular. However in my view this doesn't make it a right response for the Christian.

Feel free to present an alternative view.

BSJ-rom said... 10/15/2006 11:28 pm  

Feel free to present an alternative view, but only if you are willing for it to be discussed, analysed and possibly upheld as a reasonable stance or cut down as an irrational view...

That's what I reckon.

But how does doing that relate to my respect of leaders? If, after discussing, we decide that a leader's action is unacceptable, what is the Godly response?

Why do we tell people "Think what you like"? On one hand there's a belief that the truth is all that matters, but ultimately people are all too willing to accept the offer and jump on the post-modern band wagon (not that all post modernism is wrong!) and the truth then becomes completely irrelevant, which is the opposite of the desired affect.

Why don't we tell people to "Think this. Because this is true." It's that whole "it doesn't matter what other people think" mentality which I've subscribed to for so long, which just leaves people without a firm foundation on which to base their opinions, arguments, comments and lives.

Nixter said... 10/16/2006 10:34 am  

Interesting Mike, we are working through 1 Peter at the moment and we were talking about submitting to leadership and about slavery - you should go over and listen to the sermon from last night. last nights sermon

m@ said... 10/16/2006 11:31 am  

Jollsta: However in my view this doesn't make it a right response for the Christian. Feel free...
Nah, I'm not arguing that point :)

besjarooom - Feel free to present an alternative view, but...
But of course!

Why don't we tell people to "Think this. Because this is true."
Speaking for myself - because I reckon telling others what to think fails to respect them as a fellow intelligent and autonomous being and is exceeding unlikely succeed. Presented with evidence and reason people are perfectly capable of makeing up their own mind.

BSJ-rom said... 10/16/2006 2:31 pm  

Quite right m@.

Dare I suggest that we often fail to present the truth at all - we let people think things (particularly about us) without saying clearly that what they are thinking is untrue and providing the truth.

But as you say "presented with evidence and reason people are perfectly capable of making up their own mind". Often it is up to us to point to, if not provide that evidence and reason.

The problem I have is when people make up their minds with neither evidence nor reason. Or a little bit of evidence and flawed reason, or false evidence, or... you get my drift.

Personally, I find it impossible to make up my own mind, particularly on political issues, because politics is so full of lies, evidence, half truths, inferences, etc - as well as being full of really complex issues.

mike said... 10/16/2006 6:33 pm  

And yet you still have to vote...

BSJ-rom said... 10/16/2006 9:27 pm  

As most activists would say: "Look at the result". I struggle to tell whether the govt is doing a good job or not. Some people have incredibly loud voices, others have small voices and get things done anyway.

m@ said... 10/17/2006 10:24 pm  

I would just like to say that the lyric is from a song by the Hilltop Hoods, not The Herd.

That is all.

mike said... 10/18/2006 7:37 am  

You are right M@. The song I was thinking of is called 77%. see here

Read the lyrics. My comments from before still stand. I would also broarden my criticism to include the Hilltop Hoods' song as well.

m@ said... 10/18/2006 10:11 pm  

I submit that the sentiment expressed in 77% pisses all over the apathy of 99% of fat, prosperous middle Australians whose vote can be bought with a tax cut...

mike said... 10/18/2006 10:11 pm  

*cough* pejorative language... ;)

m@ said... 10/18/2006 10:12 pm  

Pisses all over it mate ;)

BSJ-rom said... 10/19/2006 2:31 am  

Does that imply that apathy=respect?

m@ said... 10/19/2006 11:50 am  

No. It does imply that I value non-apathy above superficial respect (for [insert pejorative term here] politicians), however.

BSJ-rom said... 10/19/2006 12:22 pm  

A lesser of two evils...hmmm...I'd tend to agree.

m@ said... 10/20/2006 12:40 pm  

Ha! Consensus = correctness – you’re wrong, Jolly! ;)

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