“Surviving Alabama Politics…Till The Storm Passes By”
To my surprise, Alabama Politics has turned out to be a stormy place for me. (I know, I’ll go ahead and say it, that’s saying a lot from someone coming from a career that involved Jefferson County Politics.) I am far from perfect. But, how can so much controversy be generated from within Alabama Politics by a group of individuals who largely profess to be following the path of Jesus?
I was recently reminded of the Bible story in the Book of Matthew where Jesus cast the demons out of the two men who were living in the tombs. The story tells us, in Matthew 8: 28-32, that the demons knew who Jesus was. And, they asked Jesus to put them in the nearby herd of pigs. However, when Jesus placed the demons in the herd of pigs, we know that the entire herd ran into the sea and were drowned. Then we learn how the people of the nearby city acted when confronted with the herdsmen telling them how they had lost their entire herd. (A pretty good example of the reaction of most people when they are confronted with the possibility of loosing their worldly possessions or following Jesus.)
Matthew 8:33-34 The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men. (34) And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.
You know, when you think about it, some of the Representatives in the Alabama State House probably do represent some of the people in the communities that elected them. However, I believe most elected Representatives get to the Alabama State House and simply choose to take the well worn, clearly marked, WIDE PATH of the old political system. Believe me that’s a much easier path than the very narrow, SELDOM WALKED, path you would have to walk to change it. (I know, that sermon has been preached before.)
￼Without a doubt, at times, the deafening silence of my colleagues in the Alabama State House has been my biggest surprise and my greatest disappointment. Why do so many professing Christians choose to turn their heads and remain silent, at times, once they are elected to a political office? Are they afraid of “The Storm”? Or, are they more afraid of becoming separated from some of today’s wealthy political herdsmen? (You thought I was going to say Pig Farmers, didn’t you?)
I can’t say enough about the professional resumes of the men and women I serve with in the Alabama Legislature. Educators, business owners, engineers, lawyers, law enforcement officers, pharmacists, and medical doctors. A lot of really good, successful people. But, once they get to Montgomery, they seem to transform into just another Alabama Democrat, Republican, Committee Chairperson, and Caucus member. Why have so many successful individuals been willing to step away from the things that have made them so successful to be a part of the well oiled Alabama Political Machine? (It is like they loose sight of the things they know are right and wrong.)
I believe there is an old saying about how power corrupts. It is like stories in the Bible, there are words of wisdom that have been passed down from generation to generation. (Modern technology is great, but it is a mistake to turn our backs on proven fundamental truths.)
The other day I was standing in my garage looking at some old woodworking tools that had belonged to my great-grandfather. He was a carpenter. A builder and fixer of things made of wood. (I only have a few stories of him and some of his tools in a handmade wooden tool chest.) As I was standing there looking at one of his old wooden Stanley levels I suddenly thought about Jesus. Yes, the carpenter we should always turn to when we’re trying to build and fix things in our lives. (There are no coincidences in a Christian’s Life.)
My great-grandfather’s level and square will give us the same results as the carpenter tools used with wood when Jesus walked the
earth. Level is always level when the bubble is center, 90 degrees is always 90 degrees, and plumb is always exactly straight up and down. (So, when did Right and Wrong change?) They haven’t.
I had walked out to the garage trying to get my mind off of the upcoming Republican Caucus Speaker’s election. Six good men all wanting to be Alabama’s next Speaker of the House. Will we vote for the best person to fix a broken system? Will we vote to replace Mike Hubbard with someone from the same Alabama Political Herd? Or, will we vote for the State Representative willing to tell the Alabama House we are no longer level or square, and our foundation is beginning to crumble? Personally, I believe my great-grandfather’s level would fit well in one of those hands.(Thank you Lord, I feel better.)
Luke 6:49 NLT “But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”
God Bless America!!!
Allen Farley represents portions of Jefferson and Shelby Counties in the Alabama Legislature’s House District 15. Representative Farley can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (205)-960-7526.
Representative Farley’s blogs can be viewed at