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November 01, 2004





Very, very well-put Hugo -- although I think your prediction is wrong. :)


Quite right. I'm pulling for Dubya tomorrow, since the Free World needs a real Leader, and I shall be singing the Te Deum if he wins, but regardless, God is bigger than that. If Kerry wins, well, we've had punishment with Babylon before, and we'll survive it again.


Well said!

Apropos of self-righteousness and "Don't argue with me--argue with God!", see:



I do think it is useful to project where Jesus would fit in on the liberal-conservative scale. We don't have to ask if Jesus would support the "Clear-skies" initiative, but we can ask, given his persona and stance on issue in his day, what would questions or responses would that mindset produce today vis-a-vis modern questions.

Jesus was clearly a liberal in his day. He understood that the point of the law was not the law itself, but people. He was less inclined to pronounce moral judgment on people, rather, he strove to meet people where they where in their lives.

That said, Kerry will win convincingly.



We are all quite convinced that we are in the right on political matters and it shouldn't be otherwise. (It doesn't make sense to support positions or candidates you believe to be wrong.) More to the point, we believe that we have truth on our side but to say that Truth is on our side takes a bit of hubris. Reading Jesus as a liberal of his day is a HUGE stretch when he was at best engimatic on issues of state. It is the classic blunder to which we are all susceptible (because it feels so good) -- we create God in our own image. Hugo's point (if I may Hugo) is that we would do well to bring a dose of epsitemic humility to these discussions and rest only in the knowledge of His salvation. Exactly who will be saved is also rather problematic. All we do know is that those most convinced of their salvation were often the most misguided.


I know all I ever do is comment lamely on how much I love everything you write. But Hugo, I love everything you write.


I'm blushing, Lisa...

Steve, you know me well enough to speak for me, my friend! Your words to Ono are right on the money...


I must say it was very pleasant to escape from the political hoo-hah into church yesterday. Not one peep from the pastor about the election. Only political activity in this election season was an earlier announcement that the registration deadline was date x, if you wanted to vote. And the announcement was in the company of "interfaith dinner on date y, new Holocaust Museum exhibit dates t through u, etc".

Jeff JP

Mr. Schwyzer,

Why are you so anxious about this election? You say, in part,

"Ultimately, the president is still Caesar, and though we are subject to Caesar's laws (and in this society, may even help him make those laws), our focus must always be on service to another, grander, greater kingdom.

But of what other, "grander, greater kindom" do you speak, friend?

Did not Jesus of Nazareth, the One you rightly call "Lord and Savior" teach us, "[B]ehold, the kingdom of God is within you"? (Luke 17:21)

In a true sense, it probably doesn't get any better than this. The Kingdom of God is right here, right now. It's within you, within me, and within those feminists that I allow to annoy me sometimes! This is it, dude!

Look at it this way: the time that you spend being anxious about the election is time that you could be spending enjoying the Kingdom of God.

In the grand scheme of things, this election is no more or less important than any other election. It's all impermanent and transitory; it's passing away.

We Americans have an exaggerated sense of self-importance. If planets, stars, and entire galaxies pass away, why should we get so worked up over an election?

Get well soon.

Jeff Jp

Orange Hans

I also predict a Kerry victory, and I will be at the polls at 7:00 am here in Oklahoma.

Let me echo your best lines:
"Both liberal and conservative Christians are too enamored of the power of the secular state to transform the hearts and minds and lives of its citizens and the citizens of the world."

"And while Christians can and should take an active interest in the affairs of this world, there is no question that real justice, real transformation, and real hope cannot come from the princes of this world."


Well said, Hugo. Regardless of whether Jesus is being dragged in to support my point of view or not, I cringe at the idea of anyone claiming to speak on Jesus' behalf.


Good words, Hugo; they needed to be said, even though George Regas continues to often be held up as a model of how to be an effective activist priest, appropriately, it seems to me. But this time I think he got it wrong.

I have a Kerry bumper sticker on my car, but could not mention his name in the pulpit; I could be wrong (although in this case I really, really, really doubt it).

What is that line from Lincoln? Something to the effect, "The question is not if God is on our side, but if we are on God's side."


Well said. I've long taken "What would Jesus do?" as a presumptuous shorthand for "what do I think is the right thing to do?" There's nothing wrong with asking oneself that question, of course, but there is plenty wrong with mistaking one's own sense of right and wrong for that of one's favorite deity.


Every time I check your log (a couple of times a week) I see my own thinking looking back at me. Thanks for writing a blog so I don't have to! Insightful comments on liberal fundamentalism -- just as scary as the conservative kind, but cuddlier.

Chris T.

Hi Hugo,

Camassia pointed to this post in her recent entry about the IRS issue. Just wanted to say that this was as incredible the second time around as when I read it last year near the election.

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