Senior Professionals 9/17

The Council of Senior Professionals seminar for today, September 17 (2:00 - 4:00 p.m. in SCC 103), features Jim Patterson on "A Christian and a Politician: Comfortably Compatible or Uncomfortably Incompatible?" Faculty and staff are invited to attend as guests of the Council.

The question of whether one can be a Christian and a Politician has been answered differently over time, in part depending upon the political system in which Christians lived, in part by how they interpreted the New Testament. The question was most starkly posed during the Reformation when Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin believed that one could be both, and the Anabaptists believed one could not. Their perspective has been a minority one, but even for those Christians in the majority it has not always been easy to be both. Catholic politicians have been castigated by their bishops for being pro-choice on abortion, Mainline Protestant politicans have been criticized by Evangelicals for being unbiblically liberal, and Evangelical politicians have been taken to task for reflecting Republican ideology more than biblical values. 

Patterson is someone who is a Christian and a Politician, and has had to balance those two roles in a lengthy political career. He served as Mayor of Fresno for eight years (1993-2001), and he has represented the 23rd Assembly district in the California Legislature for seven years (2012-present). What has his political journey to the Legislature been like, and what kind of spiritual challenges (if any) has he encountered as a Mayor and an Assembly member?