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The Functionalist Manifesto– By: Jeremy & Charlie Westerman

My brother Jeremy and I started a non-political political party last year as a joke on facebook. It’s called The Functionalist party… and the more we think about it, the less of a joke it is, and the more serious the idea has become as a set of ideologies to live your life by. With that in mind we decided to draft a Manifesto this fall.

I read some Manifesto’s for one of my English classes with my favorite professor Jon Hegglund and remembered thinking; “It would be cool to be passionate enough about something to write a Manifesto…” So yeah, I can at least cross one thing off my bucket list this year!

If you’re interested in joining The Functionalist Party email me at– cmdwesterman@gmail.com 

The Functionalist Manifesto

We are a political party that does not believe in politics.

We believe in doing what is functional.

Because what is functional is love.

And Love is the Most Excellent Way.

Therefore what is Functional is the Most Excellent Way.

We do not believe in unbridled capitalism.

We believe in capitalism in moderation.

Because capitalism has become an idea of excess.

And the only thing Jesus Christ believed should be excessive is moderation.

He is the moderation of justice and he is the moderation of grace.

He is the moderation of power and he is the moderation of humility.

He is the moderation of laughter and he is the moderation of tears.

We believe that there is obvious and undeniable proof that God exists all around us.
This proof might be big and it might be small–

But we believe if you look hard enough you will realize this is completely true.
We believe this to be true so strongly that we are either right or totally crazy…

We are ok with either.
The proof here on earth is God’s gift to us and drives our faith.
Our faith drives our obedience,

And we obey because we have sought to bring knowledge and deep understanding to our faith.
Our obedience drives living a functional life.
We believe a functional life is the best way to have a happy and fulfilled life here on earth.
We believe this life is only temporary and we will live the MOST functional existence in Heaven.
We believe the concepts of Functionalism are simple and clear.
We believe these concepts revolve around people and relationships.
We believe the relationships we have with people (and God) are some of the best proof of this.

We believe that while the people who believe in God fail all the time, God himself is not a failure—his son, Jesus Christ is the most functional being to ever walk the planet.

He is the Most Excellent Way.

Because Christ IS love.

And there is no fear in love.

And if we stopped successfully portraying him as a failure, his teachings could literally save the whole world.

We believe the only way to do this is through the power of authentic community.

We believe America has become a country that doesn’t value authentic community.

We believe we can change that through the power of communication, organization, genuineness, laughter and resonating the spiritual with the intellectual.

We believe in DEEP THINKING.

We believe you should know why you believe something.

We believe you can’t have authentic community unless you have authentic individuals…

This stuff isn’t rocket science.

We believe in the separation of church and state.

We don’t believe in the separation of Jesus and state.

Because we don’t need separation.

We need a united state.

We don’t think that concept is a coincidence.

Because Jesus was all about commUNITY.

And our country is fighting Civil War II.

Instead of Confederate and Yankee, we have Democrat and Republican.

We just don’t use guns, we use words.

We believe that it’s not a coincidence that God calls the Bible his Word, and that when Paul writes the full armor of God, he compares the Word to a sWord.

We believe that words are swords, so we may not be fighting a war with guns, but we are fighting a war with words

And as iron sharpens iron, so we sharpen each other with our words.

Therefore our words have to start sharpening each other for good.

We believe that the author of salvation is a hallelujah revolution.

Hallelujah means inexpressible joy.

We believe we have to start truly believing in that revolution.

We believe that he can take away all of our fear and worry.

Because as John says in chapter four of his first book, “God is love… there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

And as Jesus himself says in Matthew 6 “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? … Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

We believe that when we eliminate fear and worry from our lives we become more than conquerors.

Therefore we have to start using words that contain only absolute truth.

The only absolute truth is love and God is love.

We don’t believe God shows this love through our circumstances.

We believe his love is how to deal with and improve those circumstances.

Even when children die, love can improve that circumstance.

It’s the only way TO improve that circumstance.

You can either use that tragedy to make the world and your life a more empty place, or you can love the ones who are still with you better and bring beauty from the ashes (Our official party bird is the Phoenix).

We realize this is not an easy thing to do, however it is a necessary thing to do.

We believe that a lot of the information our culture gets doesn’t contain absolute truth.

(For example what the news reports about our government doesn’t always tell the full story)

We believe good communication reveals absolute truth.

We will only put information out into the world that we truly believe to be absolute truth.

This is what we call good communication.

We believe good communication happens in good relationships.

The only good relationships are functional ones.

The only functional ones are relationships that are built around honesty, selflessness and genuineness – aka LOVE.

We believe that Christ isn’t a religion he’s a relationship.

We believe that life is all about relationships.

Functionalists strive to have functional relationships with God, themselves, their family, friends, strangers, technology, time, music, sports, work/school, food, alcohol etc.

We believe humor is one of God’s greatest gifts.

We believe that a community where plenty of laughter is found is the sign of a healthy, authentic community.

We believe our party should strive to make the whole world laugh more.

Because the more we laugh, the less fear and worry we have.

We believe this party started out as a joke between two brothers who were fed up with a dysfunctional government.

We are dead serious when we say that this joke could change our country—and even the world– for good… God is ironic like that.

We believe that power is a responsibility, not something for our own personal gain.

We believe that if God blesses you with money, power, fame – that he has given you a responsibility to use those things for good.

To help the widows, the poor, the sick, the fatherless, the homeless, and all who feel powerless.

We are a party of compassion.

However we are NOT pushovers.

The men in our party shouldn’t be “nice guys” or “bad boys”.

They should strive to be “good men.”

They should be warriors for what is good and just in the world.

Being a warrior means we believe in chivalry, therefore we treat women with respect.

We strive to be good leaders, husbands and fathers.

The women in our party don’t go for “bad boys” or “nice guys.”

They go for “good men.”

They holdout for men who strive to be good leaders, husbands and fathers.

Because they are all too beautiful not to holdout for such men.

We believe that if we have good marriages, we have good families, and that if we raise good families, we will start to have more authentic communities, and if we do that, the problems in the world will start to fix themselves.

We believe that nothing is manlier than justice.

And that nothing is womanlier than grace.

And that if there’s a perfect balance of that in our marriages.

There will be a perfect balance of it in our world.

Because Jesus was the perfect balance of justice and grace.

And he was the most functional, influential human being to ever walk the planet.

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About ananiasgo

Charles Westerman is a freelance writer, songwriter, school bus driver and murder mystery theater actor living in Portland, Oregon. He grew up on a ranch in Chugwater, Wyoming as the youngest of five kids and graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Journalism and English Lit. in May 2012. In between driving his Jr. High minions back-and-forth from school, he is currently at work writing his debut literary novel, Where Heaven Meets Cheyenne and its sequel. A two-part telling of the story of his ordinary family that came together in an extraordinary way. For the past two and half years he has worked to tell this story with honesty, excellence and honor to the characters who made it possible.

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