I follow politics rather closely, but, as a Pastor, I don’t endorse candidates from the pulpit or in my official position as Pastor. Nevertheless, I think and pray about political and governmental issues a lot. (And I’ve even been known to rant–regularly, actually–but only at home and with close friends.) Since I want to reach both Republicans and Democrats with the gospel, I don’t publicly identify with either. I want to be known more for my faith than my politics.
Nevertheless, there are some things I’d like to see in Washington that are non-partisan in nature. Here are a few of them:
I’d like to see a change in the current “attack” style of politics, starting at the top. That will require less verbal attacking of the president and by the president, and it will need to trickle down to the Senate, the House, and the news media. I believe that it is possible to show respect even when we strongly disagree, and I’d like to see more of that in Washington, the news media, and especially among believers.
I’d like to see more working together “across the aisle.” I personally believe, though others will disagree with me, that there are both Democrats and Republicans with integrity who have good ideas and should be heard.
I’d like to see us pass a budget every year without the need for temporary short-term extensions. Having a “crisis” every month with one party or the other threatening to shut down the government is no way to govern.
I’d like to see us cut government spending now that we’ve cut taxes.
I’d like to see Washington deal openly, honestly, quickly, and fairly with those accused of sexual harassment and immorality regardless of their party affiliation or their position in the government.
I’d like to see Washington deal with the many tough issues that our country faces. I hear the standard arguments from both sides but rarely do I see a decent bill or even a suggestion on how to deal with climate change, immigration, Social Security stability, infrastructure needs, energy production and use, racial inequalities, a way-too-high murder rate, widespread drug use and overdose, and the many other issues our country faces. I expect our leaders to have the courage to deal with the tough issues, even if the best answers tend to be unpopular.
I’d like to see some real and definitive conclusion to the many ongoing investigations and probes, and I’d like these conclusions to be based on real facts rather than politics. Right now, Democrats attack and investigate Trump and Republicans attack and investigate Clinton with each party defending their own. If there is guilt–regardless of party–prove it and deal with the consequences. If there is no guilt, let’s move on to more important issues.
I’d like for Washington to find a fair way to treat Dreamers and give them a path to citizenship. I understand there are broader immigration issues that we disagree on, but most Americans agree that those who came here as children should not be forced out of our country. We can still debate the bigger immigration issues we face without being unfair to those who are here through no fault of their own.
I’d like for Washington to find a fair but temporary way to help people in need without designing a system that encourages lifelong welfare. We can be both tough and compassionate–but some of our policies need to change to encourage work-instead-of-welfare, job creation and job skills training, and personal accountability and responsibility.
So when I pray for our country and our leaders–and I do so often–these are some of the things I pray for!
About Pastor Jack
Pastor Jack Marslender is the pastor of First Southern Baptist Church of Avondale. He is married (Dawn) and is the father of Tina, Rebecca, Kimberly, Melinda, Angela, Maria, Kenneth, Kevin, and Lorissa. He is also the grandfather of Wyatt, Emilie, Everett, Olivia, Dylan, Charlotte, and Aiden.