SOS, calling for leaders not using the people they lead to promote themselves.
Lots, no, most, public figures claim to follow God…. unless you live on the west coast where that is a liability. Actually, it’s like the Roman empire where the powerticians (politicians fighting for power) gave homage to the gods but acted, well, like politicians today. We are no different today. Allow me to give you to portraits…
1. Governor Bobby Jindal. Catholic from New Orleans. Far Right leanings, using the state to prop up his national image as he squats to jump off the governor’s mansion to Washington. He entered with a huge surplus, cut revenues extreme (!) and then cut services, causing all the work to stop the brain drain to collapse in a matter of three years. For example LSU was 30K undergrads… now 23K. Hmm. He also cut every option for social services to care for the elderly, infirmed, and poor. He’s radical for charters, including for profit charters, i.e. Kipp Corporation… which has a #1 goal of uhm, hmm, profit… So they use fresh from college white kids from well to do over excelling backgrounds and throw them into highly complex failing urban settings, where they under pay them, cut anything not required…remember the goal is profit… and then all the profits leave the state! BUT they’ll make great contributors on the national stage!
This week – well, he vetoed two great bills…. The first was equal pay for all…. an assault by some good legislature members who think it is high time women get paid the same rate as men for the same job…. Imagine that!!! The second veto was for a balancing law allowing persons to make contributions to public schools, as private and charter schools are allowed in Louisiana. You guessed it – it’s clearly on party lines. So rather than take care of the people – he takes care of himself and his tea party (the party of me) cronies.
By the way, the state is one of the top five broke states in the nation, thanks to Governor Jindal… we’re profitizing the functions of state at an alarming rate – and the interest of the people are forgotten. He’s cut the state’s functions, including State Police who have not had a cadet class in several years… yet face normal attrition as any organization does… since he’s been in office! So, he’s a tea party darling, we’ve lost our surplus for rainy days, like the situation we face today economically everywhere, and he’s loved for his ideological insanity.
2. The second is Mitch Landrieu. Catholic from New Orleans. Middle democratic leanings who understands the many competing and complex people groups and works to find win-win solutions. Went form Lieutenant Governor to Mayor because he’s more like the Patricians of the Roman empire who govern FOR society. In two years in office, he’s gotten more done than the 8 previous, and I’d dare say the 8 before that! NOLA is now the #1 destination for entrepreneurs and a business hotbed (business men don’t really care what color your voting ticket is… the GOP likes business, well business like Mitch). His street – my street (we live 2 blocks apart) is a wreck… destroyed by too many heavy trucks after being water soaked for a month and in line to be repaired with 6,000 miles of other streets waiting for rebuild/resurfacing… He takes no personal favor to get his street done now… not his style. Imagine, the first being the last, the least. Mitch has established not just hope, but action, leadership, and change that is doing more than healing New Orleans, but bringing real life back, a future better than before. He is an answer to prayer.
Wonder where we’ve seen that before? Hmm. Wonder if we could see it again?
Being like Jesus isn’t about piety – it’s about real world behaviors that make a real world difference… Bringing the Kingdom is a whole lot more than speaking truth and then living for myself…. Salvation is more than truth that saves in eternity, but the work to establish the Kingdom here – and yes I believe in a tribulation and end…. but for people to understand they must taste and see, smell, experience the Kingdom.
Where can you imitate Mitch in your world? How can your behaviors bring hope?
Read: Isaiah 58, Isaiah 61, Luke chapter 4 where Jesus read Isaiah 61 – to announce his mission, what He was doing… and Matthew’s words to us in chapter 23.