Andrew Breitbart‘s well-known maxim was that culture is upstream of politics—our culture is a stream of influence flowing into our politics.
But what is upstream from culture? Russell Kirk, the conservative icon of the twentieth century, wrote, “At heart, all political problems are moral and religious problems.” Our understanding of God and man and our understanding of right and wrong in responsibilities and relationships determines our culture.
Upstream Politics is focused on issues in our culture that are driving the news. More importantly Upstream Politics is focused on moral and religious decisions and problems that are upstream from our culture—because our moral and religious beliefs and actions are ultimately what’s upstream from our politics. They are the fountainhead of the stream and keep the water clean and clear or pollute it.
I was in college during the late 60′s and early 70′s during that time of questioning meaning and existence as war protests and radicals overran campuses. The Left is not a stranger to me—the generation I took classes with and knew then, now walks the halls of power. I’ve watched the counterculture shapeshift itself into the main stream of culture. I also became a Christian during those years, and so I encountered not only their politics, but their scorn and disbelief of my faith.
A primary goal of the Left has always been to replace home and family with the state, and so it grasps after those I cherish, and works to undermine the most valuable guardian of our country. The Left would make all that is personal, political, and as a woman, a wife, and a mother, I’m cognizant of the bitter aftermath this would leave in its wake. Upstream Politics is centered on issues, not only to identify and counter the gambits of the Left, but preempt them through discussing what is important to our well-being as individuals and a country—identifying priorities and subjects, and thinking through why they are important and what can be done to strengthen them.
Charles Spurgeon, an English pastor of the nineteenth century, said:
“Christians are like a live fish that goes up the stream, always ‘up’ the stream…Whichever way the tide may be running, whether it is at the ebb or at the flood, he is going straight up the stream; and, God helping him, he will proceed in that way right to the end.”
Politics of our day has ventured into the waters of Christian teaching and beliefs, pulling us downstream. Spurgeon warned Christians of the dangers of flowing with the currents of mankind. We are in the world, but we are not to be of the world. As salt and light we give witness to our Lord Jesus Christ. Our words and our deeds give witness and influence those around us. At times Christians think one way regarding their faith, but base their political choices on philosophy and ideas that contradict and even subvert their confession.
But Upstream Politics is not just for Christians. We all need to realize how our beliefs and view of the world influence and drive our understanding of politics. It’s important to recognize and grapple with the inconsistencies and contradictions we each have in our thinking. “At heart, all political problems are moral and religious problems,” is true for all of us. We each must examine how we solve those problems and look at the logical consistency of our ideas, and more importantly, their consequences.
I took this blog public on June 28, 2012; the day the Supreme Court handed down their decision on Obamacare. June 28 is also the day in 1776 that the Committee of Five—Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Roger Livingston—presented their draft of the Declaration of Independence to the Continental Congress. That’s a deplorable contrast that indicates the extent of our nation’s drift. It’s vital to our future to understand our past—our heritage as Americans and why and how our Founders debated and answered political problems. In the side bar I’ll be building a resource list of historical documents as well as contemporary writing on current events.
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to look things over.
It’s time to swim upstream and go against the flow!
If you’d like to know a little more about me, head over to BBB for my Brief Blogger’s Bio!
Photo: River Wharfe from FreeFoto.com
Andrew Breitbart: Sarah Palin’s Notes.
Russell Kirk, “The Essence of Conservatism,” The Russell Kirk Center.
C. H. Spurgeon, “The Beloved Pastor’s Call for Unity,” The Spurgeon Archive.