Wisdom from the first President


Excessive attachment to political parties agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one party against another, and opens the door to foreign influence and corruption. – George Washington

Where is George when we need him?

I am overwhelmed by the accuracy and timeliness of this thought. Everything that George predicts will happen when there is an excessive attachment to political parties has happened here in America, or is happening right now, right down to opening the door to foreign influence (Russia) and corruption. Notice all these ills which we are experiencing right now grow out of one thing: being too attached to a political party. Not politics, per se, but over-attachment to political parties.

George saw it coming. He saw the wisdom of parties to help balance power and give voice to different approaches to solving complex issues, but he also saw the danger of becoming too attached to one political party or the other. No one can be 100% right all the time, but excessive attachment to a party brings about that kind of thinking. It backs us into a corner where we have to act like we’re right even when we might wonder if we are. Suddenly our party has to always be right because theirs is always wrong. This, of course, is absurd, but we actually operate as if it were true. Truth is, we all are right and wrong to varying degrees, and our ability to admit that can go a long way toward helping us get along. Christians need to be a catalyst for unity in their communities, not division.

True, I’m not quoting scripture here, only George Washington, but it is wisdom from a founding father that is surprisingly accurate in explaining current day entanglements he couldn’t possibly have known about, and for that reason, it is prophetic. We need to loosen our hold on either political party and its hold on us, especially when the parties have become so polarized.

Those of us who are Christians in America need to take this wisdom to heart. Beware of being overly associated with either political party. Time to disengage our faith from our politics. There is certainly a place for healthy political debate and discussion, but Jesus was not a Republican or a Democrat. He wasn’t even an American. We need to keep our allegiances separate. The separation of church and state is still a good idea.

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4 Responses to Wisdom from the first President

  1. kellief4 says:

    That is an excellent quote. And so true. Christianity gets muddied by politics. And the depth of Jesus and what how he wants us to be totally supersedes anything a political party can provide or support. One is about love and servanthood, the other is about power.

  2. Andrew P. says:

    Amen to that, John!

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