Stunning piece over at Ethics Daily by Robert Parham.
What would Nathan say?
What would Amos say?
What would Zechariah say?
The unspoken question is screaming in me.
Parham ends with this:
But of course, everyone knows that Monday evening’s address will be built on the shifting sand of politics, not the solid rock of biblical wisdom.
Partisans will draft it. The White House’s senior political staff will sign off on the final version. The president will deliver his speech with much pomp to other politicians, tweaking his opponents and winking at his proponents. Pundits will critique the speech on TV news shows, seeing it only in political terms. Pollsters will gauge public reaction to determine the effectiveness of political themes and terms.
The address will contain references to the divine, some explicit and implicit nods at the import of religious life and a few generic comments about values. The final words will call for God to bless the union. The entire event will be a sacred moment for the civil religion of politics.
That fact, however, should not determine how people of faith think about the State of the Union address. We need not hear and reflect on it only in political terms. We need to measure it against what we would like to have heard if the speech had been formed by the prophets in the biblical witness.
When people of faith listen to the State of the Union, we need to listen with the words of Nathan, Amos, Zechariah and the other prophets. They spoke for God, and people of faith across the ages codified their messages into the sacred text called the Bible.