We Got What We Wanted
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I am very proud of my Christian and Conservative friends and how they responded to the disappointing outcome of this year’s elections. What I perceived from them was not a spirit of bitterness or blame-shifting. Rather, much of what I heard and read displayed a sense of genuine hope, honesty, and determination. Obviously, we would have liked a different outcome with a different President. But if we’re truthful with ourselves and our beliefs, that’s not what we really need.
While I believe Mitt Romney could have led our country well in many respects, I am nevertheless realistic at our prospects. It’s impossible to know now, but I reckon that having Romney in office would do precious little to stave off the rising tide of extreme social liberalism. Why? Because a democratic Republic is by the people and for the people; and the people of the United States, by and large, are set on their course. John Adams is often quoted as saying, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Yet despite claims to the contrary, 21st century Americans are an immoral and irreligious people. In the words of Jesus, we are an “adulterous and sinful generation” (Mark 8:38).
Though conservatives have scoffed at Obama’s assertion that Washington can’t change from the inside, it’s actually true! And having strong, moral conservatives in office can do nothing to perpetuate a moral society on a people who don’t want a moral society. There are enough Americans who will buck up against such leadership until that leadership capitulates or until they can elect new leaders who will promote their views.
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The late Charles Colson wrote in 1989’s Against The Night: “We must remember that in a democracy, people get the government they deserve.” He went on to say, “American politics simply mirrors the loss of character in the American people. If the citizens are not willing to put the civic good above their own, they can’t expect their leaders to do it for them.” In the quote’s context, Colson addressed a mentality among Americans that was “either totally illogical or completely selfish.” The polls of that day showed that a wide majority of Americans favored increased spending on government programs and that roughly the same number opposed higher taxes. Bearing witness to this fact over 20 years later, Mike Huckabee wrote on his Facebook upon the announcement of Obama’s decisive victory: “Tonight’s results only remind me that our country has slipped into a deeper state of dependence on government than I wanted to believe. Where the Goliath of government has grown, so too has our dependency.”
One could argue that we voted for the candidate who promised us the most “stuff”—free love, free welfare, free birth control, and the like. But I think it’s deeper than that. The fact of the matter is, Americans believe in Obama. They desire his vision. They share in his values. And still others who don’t agree with his values are willing to acquiesce in the name of affordable healthcare.
November 6th was certainly a pivotal election day in that it affirmed and cemented a moral/social path America had been traveling for decades. With Obama in the driver’s seat, we will mash on the gas moving forward, pardon the pun.
With Barack Obama reelected, expect to see a veritable onslaught against Judeo-Christian values. Policy speaks louder than promises, and Obama has made it very clear where he stands in the culture wars. Unprecedented advances will be made for gay activism, Planned Parenthood, and other decidedly radical special interest groups. Conversely, people of faith in the realms of church, state, business, and education will be compelled to violate their creeds and consciences through various mandates and court rulings. I anticipate a shocking suppression of First Amendment rights under an uninhibited, second term Obama administration. This is the world we live in, like it or not. It is post-Christian—and we have voted accordingly.
So what then is there for us who strongly disagree with Obama’s vision, especially those of us who claim to be Christ’s disciples?
Whether or not we have a President who upholds our values, it should not affect our moral and sacred obligation to be “salt and light” in the world. I am partially glad that “our guy” did not gain the White House. It may have served to lull us into a false security, as it did in the Reagan era. As Christians, our hope was never in “our guy” to begin with.
No matter who leads this nation, this much remains true: life has to go on. Many of us are already heading back to our jobs, taking care of our families, and serving in our churches. Things may be harder in some ways, but we will make it somehow like we always have. Equally, I am reminded, as I prepare to lead an outreach at an abortion mill, that this too will go on. The outcome of the election could not change the fact that women have not only the legal right but the propensity to visit these places and terminate their pregnancies. There is still a world of hurt behind these “procedures”—a culture of fatherlessness, promiscuity, and selfishness. There is still a generation indoctrinated by years of cunning “pro-choice” rhetoric, repeated over and over again. Romney doesn’t have an answer for that.
Any woe of our society you can think of doesn’t have a political solution. Our Lord set the standard. He didn’t run for office. He didn’t picket or petition or hold rallies. He rolled up his sleeves and “went about doing good and healing all those who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38). You could say Jesus was a grassroots kind of guy. Jesus was a difference-maker wherever he went, and he beckons us to do the same! Real answers for this hurting nation require real work, real sacrifice, and real perseverance—on the part of the people, not the politicians.
Here is a challenge to my Christian and Conservative friends. It’s easy to cast a vote every few years; it’s harder to volunteer on a regular basis for years at a time. It’s easy to post online and argue about the issues; it’s harder to look someone you differ with in the face and speak the truth in love. It’s easy to berate abortion; it’s harder to plan adoption. It’s easy to point the finger at same-sex marriages; it’s harder to be faithful in our own marriages. It’s easy to condemn welfare as government handouts; it’s harder to invest in someone’s life to give them a hand up. It’s easy to trust in a charismatic leader to solve all our problems; it’s harder to hit our knees and surrender to Almighty God in the midst of our problems.
To the reader, I adjure you: go to God in prayer and ask Him “What can I do to make this nation great?” And then get up and do it.
Photo credit: Dan Jacobs (Creative Commons)
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