May 31, 2010 in Featured
By REV. LUNA L. DINGAYAN
The LORD has firmly established me on the throne of my father David; he has kept his promise
and given his kingdom to me and my descendants. I swear by the living LORD
that Adonijah will die this very day! — I Kings 2:24
Moral and Political Crisis
Elections 2010 are over, leaving at least 18 people dead. Yet, government authorities described the elections to be relatively peaceful and orderly. This shows the level of moral standards government authorities have. Election-related violence for them seems to be just normal.
Perhaps, the use of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in these first automated elections in our country have made the counting of ballots faster, but apparently it could not put a stop to cheating, vote-buying, and election-related violence. Indeed, honest, orderly, and peaceful elections do not depend on machines; they depend primarily on the moral and political maturity of a people.
Election-related violence shows that we have a serious moral and political crisis as a people. Unless, this is dealt with seriously, no amount of computerization could make our elections better; it would only make election-cheating computerized.
King Solomon’s Violent Take Over
Violence related to leadership take over is not new. It also happened in the early stages of Israel’s monarchy (I Kings 1-2). When King David was already old and sickly Adonijah, his eldest son with his wife Haggith, declared his own self as successor to the throne and started celebrating with his supporters and followers. Unfortunately, King David already promised the throne to Solomon, his other son with his favorite wife, Bathsheba.
According to the Scriptures, King David fulfilled his promise and passed on the crown to Solomon and ordered the arrest of Adonijah and his supporters and followers. As soon as Solomon was crowned king, he ordered the execution of all those opposed to his throne. King Solomon was known to be the wealthiest and wisest king of Israel, but unknown to many he was also the most authoritarian king of Israel. He would not allow any opposition to his throne or to his policies, like high taxes and forced labor. He would order the death of anyone opposed to him, like Jeroboam. And yet he claimed that God was with him. He said, “The LORD has firmly established me on the throne of my father David; he has kept his promise and given his kingdom to me and my descendants. I swear by the living LORD that Adonijah will die this very day!” (I Kings 2:24).
The problem with authoritarian rulers is that the moment they stop listening to the people, they would also stop listening to God. This was what happened to King Solomon. He worshiped other gods. Kings of Israel were supposed to be servants of God and of the people, and not absolute rulers (cf. Dt. 17:14-20). But King Solomon somehow lost sight of this concept of kingship. Consequently, the ten tribes of Israel staged a rebellion after King Solomon’s death, and the kingdom was divided (I Kings 12).
We can learn from Israel’s experience. To lead is to serve. To serve God is to serve the people. This Biblical concept of leadership is not unknown to our modern-day politicians. As a matter of fact, we could hear them saying this in their well-crafted speeches during the campaign period.
But “know them by their fruits,” says Jesus Christ our Lord. Election-related violence raises questions on the real motive of those seeking elective positions in government. Certainly, the real motive of those elected using guns, goons, and gold is not really to serve the people, but rather to serve their own selves. This is sheer greed.
Unless there is genuine change in the lives of politicians and in the kind of politics they play, no amount of computerization could ever put a stop to cheating, vote-buying, and killing during election time. # nordis.net