It is no secret that Hollywood loves to demean by any means possible conservative political figures, and especially Republicans. The tool they seem to use most often is to caricature the political figures by satirizing them. However, sometimes the envelope gets pushed too far as in the recent case of HBO’s use of a prop head of former President George W. Bush which was impaled on an episode of an HBO show.
The Director of the show mentioned in the DVD of that show that the head was that of George W. Bush.
Since then, the producers as well as HBO have issued official apologies. The producers explained that for such scenes, they make a request to a prop warehouse for heads and they just use whatever they are sent. They further explain that there was no disrespect intended.
Do they really expect us to believe that they weren’t trying to make a statement? If the director or the prop man or anyone else who was in charge of the props saw the head of the president, wouldn’t he, couldn’t he have thought to himself, “Oh this is a President of the United States. I can’t use this one, it would be inappropriate.” I am of the opinion that someone knew what he/she was doing and the director lacked the foresight to do something about it.
But, apologies have been issued–by HBO–and I guess we should give them the benefit of the doubt. (By the way, did I mention that it was HBO that did this. One of the largest cable companies that’s constantly pushing the envelope of porn and mainstream?)
This leads me to another related topic. That is that many Christians are just as apt to mock, deride, and demean political figures. Clearly, this is one area where such Christians have chosen conform to worldly patterns of behavior rather than be transforming agents.
I don’t mean that we have to agree with all leaders or their policies. However, rather than make a sport of demeaning any human being made in the image of God, can we disagree AND be respectful?
How does the Bible speak into this kind of behavior?
1. God is Sovereign King over all rulers
“He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding” (Daniel 2:21 ESV)
“You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory” (Daniel 2:37 ESV)
A biblical view of politics recognizes that God alone if the Sovereign ruler of the events of our day as well as the rulers of our day. I wonder if we have compartmentalized our faith to such a degree that we actually believe that God is active in our churches but not in our politics?
2. God establishes all rulers in their positions of power
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (Romans 13:1 ESV)
Rulers act because they have the authority to act. In a democratic society like ours rulers act because the people have given them the authority to act. However, the actions of rulers go higher than the ballots. They act because God has allowed them to act. They are His subjects, and whether they know it or not, He is using them for His good purposes.
In a democratic society, when rulers choose to act in ways that are contrary to values and beliefs of God’s commands, we the people have a channel to voice our complaints. That does not mean resorting to demeaning and deriding those in high office, but we must make our voices heard.
3. Our behavior toward our leaders is reflective of our attitude toward God.
‘He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the LORD’s anointed.” ‘ (1 Samuel 24:6 ESV)
In the Bible, king David understood this notion of delegated authority better than anyone in his day or since. His predecessor Saul had been disavowed by the Lord and David had been anointed to replace him. Saul’s jealousy over David led him to pursue David for years. David’s was constantly running for his life, hiding in caves, and fleeing from an enemy he did not want to fight.
In more than one occasion, David had the chance to sneak up on Saul and take his life. If he had done so, those around him would have hailed him as a hero. However, David’s conscience would not allow him to strike Saul because maintaining his character was more important than a momentary victory.
Saul had been chosen by God, and if God so chose, He would have to take Saul out. David would wait for God to bring about that day.
The lesson for us is that we shouldn’t get involved in the types of demeaning methods the world employs toward politicians. Rather, we trust God, we uphold our character, we pray earnestly for those in office, we perform our civic duty at the polls, and if it comes down to it we respectfully disagree.