The Edmond Sun

Opinion

June 11, 2012

When faith meets politics

GUTHRIE — This year’s legislative session recently ended. This was when legislators experience a tremendous amount of stress as they work against the constitutionally mandated closure of the session.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to see the governance process from a legislator’s vantage point. I like to carefully observe and think about how processes work (and could work better) and the actions of the personalities involved in setting the policies that affect so many.

I get to see first-hand how legislators operate under all conditions. I see where rhetoric meets up with reality and it is truly an eye-opening experience.

Here is just one observation. There is no shortage of legislators who wear their faith on their sleeve. They use God in their campaign materials, participate in public prayer events, preach in church and attend faith-based legislative groups.

Some of them also lose their temper when things don’t go their way. They defend the dishonest legislative process status quo that allows legislators to hide their true position from their constituents. They participate in personality politics where they vote based on personality conflicts instead of on principle, and retaliate against those who have slighted them. They won’t hesitate to stick a finger in your face and tell you what they think when you fail to do what they want.

In short, their actions do not match their words. These politicians ignore two of the very foremost tenets of the Christian faith. They fall into the temptation to act deceitfully and fail to treat others as they would like to be treated.

This leads me to question whether these politicians really believe, or if perhaps some of them are playing politics with God’s name. I would suggest the latter to be a most dangerous practice.

Before a politician campaigns on the platform of faith he must be prepared to consistently apply and follow the principles of faith in his own life.

Much like a preacher must straighten out his life before he starts preaching, a politician should do the same prior to entering the political arena on a faith-based platform. He must remain honest (not an easy task in the political environment) and treat others courteously even under the most difficult of circumstances. When a politician aggressively promotes his faith and subsequently acts in a way not consistent with its most important principles, he risks doing far more harm than good.

There is a tremendous calling for Christians to serve in government. Much of our founding values and our legal code were built on Judeo-Christian principles. These are the principles that have made our nation great and they are under attack like never before. I have observed instances where elected officials actually defend these principles and live their faith at the same time. But I have also noted they aren’t necessarily always the ones who push to the front of the line to declare that faith.

I must say that I have an enormous amount of respect for these individuals. They show the best way to demonstrate the importance of Christianity is to simply practice its principles no matter how stressful the environment — and people will notice.

REP. JASON MURPHEY, R-Guthrie, represents House District 31, which encompasses all of Logan County and a portion of northern Edmond. He may be reached via email at jason.murphey@okhouse.gov, on Facebook at facebook.com/JasonMurphey and Twitter.com/JWMurphey.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • The pessimist’s guide to grizzly bears and Earth Day

    This coming Friday, to “celebrate Earth Day,” the Walt Disney Co. will release one of those cutesy, fun-for-all-ages, nature documentaries. “Bears” is about grizzly bears.
    The trailer says, “From DisneyNature comes a story that all parents share. About the love, the joy, the struggle and the strength it takes to raise a family.”
    Talk about your misguided “Hollywood values.” I previously have acknowledged a morbid, unreasonable fear of grizzly bears, stemming from a youth misspent reading grisly grizzly-attack articles in Readers Digest. This fear is only morbid and unreasonable because I live about 1,500 miles from the nearest wild grizzly bear. Still. ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Digging out of the CIA-Senate quagmire

    Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., voted to declassify parts of its report on the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program. The White House, the CIA and the Senate still have to negotiate which portions of the report will be redacted before it is made public. But this is an important step in resolving the ugly dispute that has erupted between the intelligence committee and the intelligence agency.
    The dispute presents two very serious questions. Was the program consistent with American values and did it produce valuable intelligence? And is effective congressional oversight of secret activities possible in our democracy?

    April 15, 2014

  • Los Angeles Times: Congress extend jobless benefits again

    How’s this for irony: Having allowed federal unemployment benefits to run out in December, some lawmakers are balking at a bill to renew them retroactively because it might be hard to figure out who should receive them. Congress made this task far harder than it should have been, but the technical challenges aren’t insurmountable. Lawmakers should restore the benefits now and leave them in place until the unemployment rate reaches a more reasonable level.

    April 14, 2014

  • Many nations invested in Israel

    Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Yoram Ettinger recently spoke to a gathering at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life and Learning in Oklahoma City. The event began with a presentation by Rabbi Ovadia Goldman, who told the attendee that the  upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover was an occasion for them to embrace the children of God, which is all of humanity.

    April 14, 2014

  • Coming soon: More ways to get to know your doctor

    Last week, the federal government released a massive database capable of providing patients with much more information about their doctors.
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency that runs Medicare, is posting on its website detailed information about how many visits and procedures individual health professionals billed the program for in 2012, and how much they were paid.
    This new trove of data, which covers 880,000 health professionals, adds to a growing body of information available to patients who don’t want to leave choosing a doctor to chance. But to put that information to good use, consumers need to be aware of what is available, what’s missing and how to interpret it.

    April 14, 2014

  • HEY HINK: Hateful bullies attempt to muffle free speech

    Hopefully we agree it should be a fundamental right to voice criticism of any religion you wish. And you should have the right to sing the praises of any religion you choose. If criticism of religion is unjust, feel free to make your best argument to prove it. If criticism is just, don’t be afraid to acknowledge and embrace it. If songs of praise are merited, feel free to join in. If not, feel free to ignore them. But no American should participate in curbing free speech just because expression of religious views makes someone uncomfortable.

    April 11, 2014

  • Putting Oklahoma parents in charge

    Oklahoma’s public schools serve many children very well. Still, for various reasons, some students’ needs are better met in private schools, in virtual schools or elsewhere. That is why two state lawmakers have introduced legislation to give parents debit cards, literally, to shop for the educational services that work best for their children.

    April 11, 2014

  • Israelis, Palestinians are losing their chance

    Developments in the Middle East suggest that prospects of success for the Israeli-Palestinian talks, to which Secretary of State John Kerry has devoted countless hours and trips, are weakening.

    April 11, 2014

  • Teens might trade naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 11, 2014

  • Tax deadline and no reform in sight

    The annual tax filing deadline, which comes next Tuesday, provides a good opportunity for tax reform advocates to decry the current law’s increasing complexity and inequities, and to urge enactment of a simpler, fairer system.

    April 10, 2014

Poll

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

Agree
Disagree
Undecided
     View Results