Christian Statesmanship and Absurdity

Throughout history it is clear that a statesman who lives an robust and authentic Christian life is of much good to the republic. Where would the world be without Britain’s William Wilberforce, who because of Christian conviction persevered his entire Parliamentary career to end the British slave trade? Where would the nation be without the solid Puritan ethic of John Adams? Where would our national soul be with the conviction of Abraham Lincoln? Would populism have advanced without the powerful voice of William Jennings Bryan? (See this excellent article on what Christians have done with political power historically.)

It is perilous to single out men and women of our time as Christian examples, because the partisanship that rules the day sours the analysis. But some try, as they should. This summer the Center for Christian Statesmanship in Washington, D.C. presented its annual Distinguished Christian Statesman Award to Indiana Congressman John Hostettler. The Center said it gave the award to Hostettler because: “When he has to make decisions on Capitol Hill, he always prays about those decisions and seeks God’s guidance and direction. This is a person who is striving to serve Christ in the public arena.”

I’d never heard of Congressman Hostettler, so I can’t argue with the Center’s choice. Unfortunately, my introduction to the Hoosier legislator was continued in the blogosphere, where I learned that Hostettler is introducing legislation in the House that would change the name of an Interstate 69 extension to a more moral sounding number. As Dave Barry would say: I’m not making this up. Perhaps we should renumber the new Indiana highway Interstate 3, after the Trinity. Or the number of Christ, 7. Maybe 12, for the disciples. It would advance the Kingdom if we could eliminate the number 69 all together, and just count 66…67…68…70. While we’re at it, let’s get rid of the number 6, so we can’t come up with 666. And the number six sounds too much like sex.

Congressman, what are you thinking? With the wind of Christian conviction at your back, address the important issues of state. On the other hand, it does give us something to laugh at.


–James Jewell
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About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group (www.valcort.com). Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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