Archon

“in ancient Greece, the chief magistrate or magistrates many city-states.”

There were several things I found interesting about the selection and use of archons.

Potential archons had to be examined for these qualifications:

1)  birth qualifications

2)  physical fitness

3)  treatment of parents

4)  military activity

At the end of their term, they “underwent an examination of their conduct, especially financial, while in office.

It’s interesting to think how American politics would change if these practices were adopted.  Birth qualifications, to me, still matter.  The requirement to be an American citizen protects us from people with divided loyalties.

What if, instead of periodic checkups to see that President will not die in office, we required our Presidents to be physically fit?  Physical fitness could be a measure of character, since it takes a great deal of discipline to remain fit, especially as one gets older.

Treatment of parents!  I wonder how many of our recent Presidents would fail or pass on this test?  This reminds me of the Biblical requirement in I Timothy 3:4-5 that a church leader must “manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (After all, if anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)”  Management of one’s own family would be an even better test for our political leaders.

Military activity, particularly leadership, seems like a good requirement for anyone purporting to be our Commander-in-Chief.

An evaluation of a political leader’s financial performance after his term in office might leave us both “a day late and a dollar short,” but I am struck by how little financial performance matters when America evaluates its potential leaders.  I wonder how many members of Congress have their personal financial affairs in order?

Finally, regarding the use of archons. The chief religious officer presided over the homicide court.  What an interesting idea, as if homicide is so important or is such a spiritual matter, that a “priest,” let’s say, is the best person for supervising that court.

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