One of the key polarities that manifests itself in political discussions today involves the most basic evils of our time that must be courageously struggled against. In other words, positions and allegiances get defined by where one stands on particular things like abortion, war, or poverty. Regardless of where one stands on these issues they tend to always be thought of as morally basic forms of political action. John Howard Yoder offers and important corrective to such trends:
“The falleness of the world is not just the fallenness of individual sinners; the world as structure is gone awry. Those of us who seek to ‘take charge’ of events by challenging the Powers at their own game, trying to manipulate events in terms of their own inherent dynamics, may be selling out morally and practically at the very point where they claim to be taking responsibility. By agreeing to play by their rules we grant their idolatrous claim to be in charge of history in JHWH’s stead. Our refusal to play the game by the agreed rules may be more morally basic than our courageous wrestling with things as they are. Jesus defeated the powers by refusing to meet them on that terrain, at the cost of his life.” (The Jewish-Christian Schism Revisited, 175)
In other words, our most morally basic political activity is refusing to strive to seize control of events, to carve out our own territory as if we were lords or delegates of history. Put positively, the most morally basic political action is prayer–or more comprehensively, doxology.