Saturday, October 25, 2008

idolatry is often a painful thing to see and experience

an email my wife received...
we would appreciate your prayers for us and for the emailer...
grace, eric

Tonia: I will say this to you privately because I don't want to say this sort of thing on the loop. Believe me, I know your husband's so called, self-stated qualifications - both economically and 'Christian'. Just because you say something, however, does not necessarily make it so. Teaching the theory of economics is a far different thing than actually starting a business, running a business, hiring and firing people, making that business successful, making a payroll, paying taxes, creating jobs for people so they can support their families and pay taxes, etc. All those things far better qualify someone to talk about and do something about the economy than someone who picks up a book and talks about the theory.

But, the bottom line is this: Eric, as far as I'm concerned is nothing better than any other tarnished politician - slinging mud, casting aspersions, telling lies and slandering and stretching the truth to suit his own gain - or perhaps the gain of someone else? For him to distort Mike Sodrel's unwavering, unabashed, unflinching commitment to the Sanctity of Life - all life - just for Eric's own political gain is at best unconscionable and at worst un Christ-like! And, believe me, I want to hear nothing about you adopting children as proof of your commitment to life. That has NOTHING to do with the abortion issue.

You know nothing about this man and his life long commitment to Southern Indiana - the thousands of families he has quietly, unassumingly helped to gain a fresh start in life, so they would not have to be dependent on the government - I could go on for hours - but I seriously doubt it would matter to Eric Or you in the least. Eric is just having too much 'fun' having 'civil discourse' to be concerned about the true state of our country. Polling data notwithstanding I stand by my comments - and I will answer to God for them - as will all of us.


At October 25, 2008 at 11:36 AM , Blogger The New Albanian said...

Wow. I feel almost embarrassed, like I was eavesdropping on someone's private conversation.

At October 25, 2008 at 12:47 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

My friend Linda had a great comment by email:

I think her first sentence is perhaps the most revealing. She does not want others to know what she is saying. This is obviously not something that she is using for positive accountability, and as a result, keeping it private to protect Tonia. It is a vicious attack and she wants to protect herself.

Another example of doing things in darkness rather than opening it up to light.

At October 27, 2008 at 6:57 PM , Blogger JC said...

It sounds like this lady doesn't understand that you and Mike have the same end in mind-life for the unborn, but just different means.

At October 27, 2008 at 10:35 PM , Blogger HonestMan said...

Hmm, you title this and infer the writer is an "idolator". You ask your followers (fans?) for grace for the writer. You publish private comments w/o permission? This entry doesn't paint you in a very good light. In fact, it's just kinda creepy (slimey). It looks to me like the person was just disagreeing with something you said and attempted to do it privately for your sake. I'm a first time visitor and am disappointed.

At October 27, 2008 at 11:24 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

Thanks Jeff. I like Mike. On pro-life, we're very close, but we have some significant policy differences beyond that.

At October 27, 2008 at 11:47 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

Honest Man,

Sorry to disappoint you on your first (and hopefully not last) visit! A few things to say in response:

Note that I asked for prayer for us and the emailer. That's a good thing, right? ;-)

I knew that the attacks did not paint me in a good light! But I'm hoping that my readers "know" me well enough-- or newer readers will reserve judgment long enough-- to hang in there.

I wanted to preserve the writer's anonymity, but use the post to make a few points-- because I think it reflects a vital issue in Christianity and in the world. (I've written about idolatry toward politics at great length-- in my two public policy books and, I think, on my blog. You can see idolatry in politics most easily these days in the utopian hopes that many people have placed on Obama.)

Idolatry seems like the best explanation here. But I'm open to other possibilities. (Let me know if you have another hypothesis.) What else would explain...

-a self-professing Christian calling into question the salvation of another professing Christian whom the writer does not know?

-greatly reducing a field of education and expertise which is vital to the question of (effective) political governance?

-leveling a laundry list of very rough accusations-- without specifics, and as far as I can tell, without merit?

-accusing me of questioning Mike's commitment to Life-- something I have never done. I have merely pointed to the "inconvenient truth" of his votes for Planned Parenthood funding in budget bills-- and said I would never do that. He has publicly admitted this and explains it by saying it was part of a big budget bill. Should I have just politely ignored the issue-- or should I have pushed this in 2006 to get this out of the budget? (Note that the 2007 "Pence Amendment" is an attempt to get it out of the budget-- and came after my efforts in 2006. Causation or correlation? I don't know.) Finally, what issues should I ignore that are inconvenient to Baron Hill?

-making a weird tangential reference to adoption and dragging my family into this?

-reflecting a willingness to ignore the relevant (polling) data?

The writer was "just disagreeing" with me?

I don't think so...

At October 27, 2008 at 11:57 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

I suppose I may risk offending some people who don't know what I mean by "idolatry toward politics". If you are familiar with the term idolatry and think about the phrase, it should be easy to get an idea. From there, think about examples of what it would look like...

For instance, when people say every election is "critical"-- or when they say they're moving to Canada if X wins...


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