Archive for the ‘ Politics & Government ’ Category

New American Motto?

This is what happens when Biblical principles are no longer our foundation.

A Massive Exercise in Self-Deception

So, the election is over. America has made its choice. The American people will now have to live with that choice for at least four years.

McCain & Palin: Concession Speech

John McCain’s concession speech was gracious, perhaps too gracious. I understand why he did it. You cannot appear to be a sore loser. He handled himself well. Yet I don’t think he ever clearly understood the Obama threat. Is Obama really an honorable man? Should we congratulate him on his victory?

Christians are not supposed to hold any grudges or slander anyone. I will do neither. But that doesn’t mean Christians are to act like nothing is wrong. Election to the highest office in the land does not erase the issues that led me to oppose Obama’s candidacy. We are to honestly face the facts, and here are the facts as I see them:

  1. Obama’s policies are radical. He wants to sign into law a bill that will remove all restrictions on abortion. He believes in the Marxist principle of redistribution of people’s incomes by the government. He will brook no real criticism by political foes. Prepare to see attacks on his foes either by the IRS, the FBI, or the Federal Communications Commission (for those in the media who critique him).
  2. Marxist dictators like Hugo Chavez of Venezuela consider Obama an ally. Chavez has destroyed political liberty and freedom of speech in his country. In the Middle East, Obama is far more attached to the Palestinian cause than the safety and survival of Israel.
  3. His friends, from whom he has tried to distance himself, reveal his true persona and philosophy: a domestic terrorist who now masquerades as a professor while spreading radical ideas in the classroom; a former spokesman for the PLO; a pastor under whom he sat for more than 20 years who is devoted to Marxist liberation theology and who uses race as the basis for all his reasoning (otherwise known as racism); the ACORN organization, which promotes voter fraud. There are others, but these are representative.
  4. Throughout his campaign, he positioned himself as a moderate, effectively concealing his radical philosophy. Now, with a compliant Congress, he will attempt to push the country further in his direction. He will not do so in a frontal attack, but gradually, making people believe that his ideas are good for them.

Americans, upset by the economy, decided to trash the Republicans, even though most of the blame for the current situation rests with the Clinton administration and Democrats in Congress. I was told by one student that a professor at a conference noted that most Americans have a second-grade understanding of economics. I believe we see evidence of that continually.

Americans wanted change. Now they have someone who wants to change the world, but not in the same way a Christian desires. It is purely political, not spiritual. And whatever spiritual nature is attached to it is more New Age than Christian.

So do I congratulate Obama for winning an election? Many people have won elections, but did not carry out God’s will in office. Winning an election means nothing. Do I respect him as our new leader? I must pray for him, for the government over which he will soon have responsibility, and for the nation as a whole. That is my Christian duty. And I will respect the office of the presidency. Yet I cannot respect the views he holds; if carried out the way he wishes, they will lead us to ruin–politically, economically, and spiritually.

What has occurred in this election, I believe, is a massive exercise in self-deception. People think they have found the answer to their problems. They will be disappointed.

America's Suicide Attempt?

Noted British historian Paul Johnson titled one of his chapters in his book Modern Times “America’s Suicide Atempt.” Johnson was talking about the 1960s and 1970s.

Assassinations (John and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King), the Vietnam War, race riots in the cities and student riots on campuses, the entire Watergate fiasco, and the miserable economy of the 1970s were his targets. We can add Roe v. Wade to that list. It was as if America had lost its mind.

Today is election day. Will we lose our collective mind again? Will this day usher in a transformed America? Not all transformation is good.

The 1960s and 1970s were followed by a recovery of sanity in the 1980s. Reagan was the human cornerstone for that recovery, but ultimately we need, as a society, to acknowledge the true source of all blessings for a recovery to take place. No matter what occurs today, a spiritual recovery will remain the crying need of the times.

Politics is only one part of a society. Government is not our savior. Yet both politics and government will heavily influence what our society will become. If they are going in an ungodly direction, the only thing that will hold this society together is the Christians’ commitment to real discipleship. If we are what God wants us to be, He can still do great things.

Let’s move forward in His Spirit.

Palin in Lakeland

My wife, Jan, and I attended the Sarah Palin rally held near our home in Lakeland this past Saturday. We also attended one in nearby Kissimmee the previous weekend. Normally, I don’t get too excited about going to political rallies. I’m one of those people who prefers to stay at home and avoid large crowds. But I am glad I went to these two events.

First, it was an encouragement to see so many people with the same concerns and desires that I have with respect to the upcoming election. My spirit, I have to admit, was lifted.

Second, the Lord used these events to help me concentrate even more on His purposes. What is He attempting to do with this nation? How does Sarah Palin fit into His plans? (The following pictures are from the Lakeland rally, courtesy of one of my students.)

While I don’t want to let emotions rule, it was truly an emotional time when she came out to speak. There is a love for her that flows from the people in a way I have not experienced since Ronald Reagan.

Now, rallies such as these are never times for candidates to say new things. This was her second of the day, to be followed, I understand, by three more. You can’t come up with new messages each time. Yet what amazes me is how fresh she seemed, speaking with real conviction on each point.

When she finished speaking, she stayed around for quite some time, talking with people and signing autographs. Yes, I know this is typical for all politicians. But in my spirit I sense that she is the real thing–the genuine Christian who is trying to do God’s will.

As I said more than two months ago when she was first chosen by McCain, she needs our prayers. And we need to pray that no matter what happens in this election, that God will use her to help turn this nation around. While we’re at it, we should pray for the Lord to raise up more like her. The tide can be turned if God’s people humble themselves, pray, and obey His Word.

Willful Blindness

This political cartoon pretty much summarizes the problem we are facing with the media this election year.

This is a willful blindness caused by an ideology that has rejected the Biblical worldview. We still have a few more days to pray.

Conservative Snobbery–Part I

I call myself a conservative, both politically and socially. Yet, as I’ve emphasized in previous posts, my conservatism does not stand alone. I am a conservative only because I am first and foremost a Christian. The principles I believe in, which are truths based on God’s Word, are my foundation. These principles then give rise to my political and social beliefs.

There are others, however, who are conservative but do not base their conservatism squarely on Biblical concepts. They may be churchgoers, they may even consider themselves Christians, but they are really more traditional than they are fervent disciples of Christ.

Christopher Buckley: Conservative for Obama

Christopher Buckley: Conservative for Obama

Without the firm Biblical foundation, conservatism can go astray. We are seeing some of that in this election. For instance, Christopher Buckley, the son of the guiding light of modern American conservatism, William F. Buckley, recently announced he was voting for Obama. Why? As you read his rationale, it comes down to a couple of issues. First, he was disappointed with McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin for his VP. Palin, according to Buckley, was not up to speed intellectually. Second, he seemed to feel he had more in common with Obama on the intellectual level. Forget for a moment that he supposedly disagrees with Obama on all policies; he nevertheless decided to vote for him because they are both comfortable in the same intellectual and social circles. This, in my view, is an example of conservative snobbery.

Conservatives like Buckley are at home in the DC-New York City crowd, regardless of political affiliation. They are estranged from what might be called the “down-home” conservatism of what many deem “flyover country,” also known as “the rest of America that doesn’t live in NYC, DC, or Los Angeles.” They disdain someone like Palin because she does not meet their expectations. She didn’t go to “their” schools. She hasn’t traveled in “their” entourages.

Gov. Mike Huckabee: Looked Down Upon

Gov. Mike Huckabee: Looked Down Upon

Mike Huckabee, when he ran for president in the primaries, received the same treatment. It was rare to find any positive comments about him in the blogs at National Review Online or Townhall.com. It’s almost as if his very name was a personal affront. Some tried to paint him as the second coming of Karl Marx. Again, he was a type of conservative who didn’t fit their preconceived ideas.

Currently, Huckabee has a program of his own on Fox News Channel (weekends at 8:00 p.m.). I have watched each one and found him to be witty, conversational, respectful of guests, yet committed to a Biblical concept of morality, government, and the economy. I have waited to see if any of the bloggers at National Review or Townhall will comment on his program. Thus far, it’s as if this program, which is furthering the conservative cause, doesn’t exist.

Sadly, I believe we are seeing a type of snobbery at work. It’s up to the Christian conservatives to provide the right type of leadership for this movement, all the while praying that we don’t fall into the same trap. More on that in the next post.

A Borrowed Pondering

Sometimes a commentator comes very close to saying what I wish I could communicate more effectively. Today, I want to “borrow” a commentary from writer and radio host Mark Levin, as posted in National Review Online on Saturday.

Mark Levin
Mark Levin

Levin begins his commentary with a statement of incredulity:

I honestly never thought we’d see such a thing in our country – not yet anyway – but I sense what’s occurring in this election is a recklessness and abandonment of rationality that has preceded the voluntary surrender of liberty and security in other places. I can’t help but observe that even some conservatives are caught in the moment as their attempts at explaining their support for Barack Obama are unpersuasive and even illogical.

He then moves on to examine the cultish flavor of the Obama support. I have commented on this as well, but he summarizes it with a specificity rarely seen:

There is a cult-like atmosphere around Barack Obama, which his campaign has carefully and successfully fabricated, which concerns me. The messiah complex. Fainting audience members at rallies. Special Obama flags and an Obama presidential seal. A graphic with the portrayal of the globe and Obama’s name on it, which adorns everything from Obama’s plane to his street literature. Young school children singing songs praising Obama. Teenagers wearing camouflage outfits and marching in military order chanting Obama’s name and the professions he is going to open to them. An Obama world tour, culminating in a speech in Berlin where Obama proclaims we are all citizens of the world. I dare say, this is ominous stuff.

Next comes an analysis of the media’s role, which he calls more brazen in its one-sidedness than anything he has ever witnessed in previous elections:

It’s as if the media use the Obama campaign’s talking points — its preposterous assertions that Obama didn’t hear Wright from the pulpit railing about black liberation, whites, Jews, etc., that Obama had no idea Ayers was a domestic terrorist despite their close political, social, and working relationship, etc. — to protect Obama from legitimate and routine scrutiny.

Further, he contends that the double-standard that has been applied in the media is unprecedented:

And because journalists have also become commentators, it is hard to miss their almost uniform admiration for Obama and excitement about an Obama presidency. So in the tank are the media for Obama that for months we’ve read news stories and opinion pieces insisting that if Obama is not elected president it will be due to white racism. And, of course, while experience is crucial in assessing Sarah Palin’s qualifications for vice president, no such standard is applied to Obama’s qualifications for president. (No longer is it acceptable to minimize the work of a community organizer.) Charles Gibson and Katie Couric sought to humiliate Palin. They would never and have never tried such an approach with Obama.

And what of the voters? What is wrong with them? Can’t they see the damage that will be done with an Obama presidency?

But beyond the elites and the media, my greatest concern is whether this election will show a majority of the voters susceptible to the appeal of a charismatic demagogue. This may seem a harsh term to some, and no doubt will to Obama supporters, but it is a perfectly appropriate characterization. Obama’s entire campaign is built on class warfare and human envy. The “change” he peddles is not new. We’ve seen it before. It is change that diminishes individual liberty for the soft authoritarianism of socialism. It is a populist appeal that disguises government mandated wealth redistribution as tax cuts for the middle class, falsely blames capitalism for the social policies and government corruption (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) that led to the current turmoil in our financial markets, fuels contempt for commerce and trade by stigmatizing those who run successful small and large businesses, and exploits human imperfection as a justification for a massive expansion of centralized government.

His ending is chilling:
Unlike past Democrat presidential candidates, Obama is a hardened ideologue. He’s not interested in playing around the edges. He seeks “fundamental change,” i.e., to remake society. And if the Democrats control Congress with super-majorities led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, he will get much of what he demands.

The question is whether enough Americans understand what’s at stake in this election and, if they do, whether they care. Is the allure of a charismatic demagogue so strong that the usually sober American people are willing to risk an Obama presidency? … And while America will certainly survive, it will do so, in many respects, as a different place.

He diagnoses the problem well. The only thing missing is what I mentioned in my previous post: the spiritual nature of this conflict.

 Keep praying!