Tag Archives: President

Politics and Civility

eyeseeyouOkay, I get it, a bunch of Americans don’t like Obama.  You have made your point clear.  A bunch of Americans didn’t like Bush either.  In both cases, the muck-throwing has been prodigious!  Shame on us!  How fortunate we are to be citizens of a country where they don’t lock you up or knock you off for criticizing the president/prime minister/king or dictator.  If we lived in one of these nations, a bunch of people would now be behind bars or deceased.

How privileged we are to be able to vote for the president and congress (the Supreme Court is another matter).  Come the next election, we can vote-out those we disagree with and vote-in those we think better represent our values.  Historically this is a new paradigm bestowed upon the world by the Mother of Parliaments and not every nation is ready or able to live within this concept.  Yes, we are indeed fortunate to live in a nation governed by and for the people.

In a couple of years, we will be able to express our opinions of Mr. Obama and his party by voting in an election.  We can go to the polls and fire those we disagree with.  In the meantime we can make our opinions known in letters to the editor, blogs and in the various forms of social media.

Unfortunately, what I have been reading across the political spectrum is distressing.  Never have I seen such hatred and invective.  So much of it is offensive, disrespectful, divisive and downright ungodly.  Some of it is simply false.  And, to make matters worse, too much of it comes from people who call themselves Christians.

It is possible to disagree without spewing hatred.  The lengths to which some go to express their hatred is astonishing…especially from those who should be known for speaking the truth in love…whether that truth is related to the gospel or any other subject.

How would you like to live under a Roman emperor or a cruel king or governor?  Well, as a matter of history, Christ and his followers lived in such a time.  And yet, we fail to see them respond with anything but Godliness.  About the strongest language I can recall is when Jesus called Herod a “fox” (Luke 13:32)  I challenge you who claim to be Christians to re-read some pertinent passages.

John 19:10-

  • ·         Pilate’s authority (when he reminded Jesus that he had authority to crucify him) was given to him by God.

Romans 13:1-7

  • ·         All authority is from God and we are to be subject to them.  We are not to resist their authority…to do so is to oppose the ordinance of God.
  • ·         Authority is a minister of God to you for good.
  • ·         It is necessary to be in subjection for conscience’ sake.
  • ·         We are to render tax, custom, respect and honor to whom it is due.

1 Timothy 2:1-4

  • ·         We are to pray for kings and all who are in authority.
  • ·         We are to pray for them that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
  • ·         This is good and acceptable in the sight of God.

1 Peter 2:13,14

·         “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.

1 Peter 2:17

·         “Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”

We live in a wonderful time when we can voice our opposition and act upon it in word and deed when we go to the polls.  But we must do it with honor and respect, praying for those in authority whether we agree or disagree with their policies.  It is high time we begin acting like the one we follow.

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Seems Pretty Simple

It seems pretty simple to me.

  • If you want to keep sending our sons and daughters to die in more doomed-to-failure nation-building efforts around the world
  • If you want to keep sending billions to nations that hate our guts
  • If you want to keep printing money that has no backing
  • If you want to keep a speech-making failure in office
  • If you want a hypocritical, pompous ass as the leader of the free world
  • If you want an out-of-touch person who has demonstrated a lack of critical thinking to be making decisions for our nation
  • If you want to put a “Washington Insider” further inside
  • If you think the Constitution was a quaint, nice beginning but now it is time to “move on”
  • If you want to continue indiscriminate welfare payments to aliens and people who can work but will not

Then vote for Obama, Gingrich, Romney or Santorum.

Or, you could vote for Ron Paul, the only candidate with a proven track record who will deal with these issues.

The truth is: none of them can save a nation seemingly bent on racing toward its own downfall.  But President Paul can definitely help put the brakes on.  Seems pretty simple to me.

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Religious Right or Wrong?

It is the turn of the year and I don’t know about you but I’ve already got a gut full of politics.  I have just about “had it up to here.”  The most disturbing aspect of all this is the antics of the so-called Christian “leaders.”  The “Religious Right” is in grave danger of becoming the “religious wrong.”  Along with the disgusting concentration on pre-election politics is the equally disgusting lack of concentration on what really matters: following Christ.

I have to believe that Jesus really meant it when He said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting…but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm” (John 18:36).  His life, ministry and teaching were decidedly “not of this realm.”  His emphasis was the Kingdom of God, eternal life and preparation for it.

Yes, He was deeply concerned with justice, mercy and love for neighbors and enemies.  When it came to earthly kingdoms and their governments, however, he was decidedly silent.  Can you imagine Him endorsing a candidate — even in our time?  Yet we read stuff like this:

“The Rev. Donald E. Wildmon is making an urgent plea to Christian voters in Iowa to vote for Newt Gingrich in their caucuses on Tuesday in what he describes as the “most critical” election in American history” (Newsmax.com, December 31, 2011).

This, in spite of repeated warnings by the Holy Spirit not to put our hope in human beings (Psalm 118:8-9; Proverbs 20:6; Jeremiah 17:5).

The only thing that can change this world for the better is the spread of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and the values of His Kingdom.  Earthly kingdoms, empires, nations and governments can never approach the power for good resident in the Kingdom of God.  Faith, hope and love are not the results of the legislative, judicial or administrative processes.  So, why are our leaders seeking to manipulate earthly politics?  Could it be because they have lost faith the Kingdom and its King?

It is the right of all citizens of all democracies to participate in the government of the people, by the people and for the people.  As Christians, we should consider the issues and the candidates and vote according to our Christian consciences.  At the same time, we must beware of placing undue trust or emphasis upon or in this process.

Our emphasis must be upon Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  We must seek to influence our cultures by trying to live, look, love and smell like Him (2 Corinthians 2:14).  To put our trust in politicians is to risk stinking like them and, considering our present congress, behold, the stench thereof rises to high heaven.

You shepherds of your flocks, put your hope and trust in Jesus, the only one who can change hearts and minds and thus change our world for the better.  Proclaim Him.  Emulate Him.  Gather disciples to Him.  Don’t place your trust in some flawed human being.  Only Christ can turn this capsized world right side up.

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A Note to Politicians, Especially Current Candidates

I would exhort you to be brave enough to be true to what you know is right and wrong (that some of you don’t seem to know the difference is troubling).  When November comes, I intend to vote my conscience.  I hope it has been trained to discern right from wrong.  I intend to vote for the person who, in the face of pressure from special interest groups (be they national or international), the press and the pollsters, holds firmly to his or her beliefs.

To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled (Titus 1:15).

If you messed up in the past, come clean about it!  No one is perfect or has a pristine record so don’t try to justify yourself.  I intend to cast my vote for the person who is honest enough to, in the face of contrary evidence, admit his or her mistakes.

It may well be that there are enough ethical Americans to respect that kind of openness, honesty and courage and put such a brave man or woman into high office.

James Freeman Clarke (1810 – 1888) US minister, theologian, author.  “Conscience is the root of all true courage; if a man would be brave let him obey his conscience.”

 

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Walk Like an Egyptian

We’ve all been watching the events in Egypt (you have to, that’s about all that’s been on the news) with rapt attention.  The non-stop rally in Cairo’s Tahrir square has us (or, at least the news casters) spellbound.  Would Mubarak step down?  What would happen if he did not?  How would control be reestablished?  What will be the outcome of this semi-peaceful revolution? Will “…free and fair presidential elections,” really eventuate?  So many questions answered only in time. Speculation about the future is largely just that.

But I am impressed with the people, aren’t you? They finally had enough. They demonstrated that in the only way left to them: demonstrations. Too many died…too many were wounded but the demonstrations were mostly non-violent. Their demands were amazingly cohesive.  Primarily, they wanted an end to the thirty-year autocratic rule of a man who clung to power like it was his lifeline.

It all made me thankful to live in a real, live democracy where we, the people, can bring about change by going to the polls. Yes, we demonstrate, but we call them “political rallies.” Whether or not you agree with the “Tea Party,” you have to give them credit for bringing about change in a peaceful manner. There comes a time when the people (last I checked, this is still a government of the people) must say, “Enough!  We demand change!” The major flaw in our system, it seems to me, is when our judicial branch unilaterally decides what is best for us (another topic for another time).

The people of the Middle East have thrown a big rock in the autocratic pools of their nations beginning with Tunisia. The ripples will be felt for years to come. All reasonable people hope the resulting waves will be peaceful. Indications from Yemen and Algeria, however, point to something more violent.

Because of the internet, people around the world who are fed up with dictators and repressive regimes are taking to the streets. Freedom is in the air. Let’s hope that oppressed souls everywhere will have the courage to walk like an Egyptian.

My Blogs:
Whitticisms:
dwhitsett.wordpress.com
In the Charamon Garden: charamongarden.wordpress.com
Whitsett Carving: whitcarv.wordpress.com
Mission South Pacific: missionsouthpacific.wordpress.com

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Thoughts on Obama’s Strategy

dheadshotFrom one man-on-the-street.

I have always believed that artificial props are just that…artificial. Artificial means: false, unnatural, and inauthentic hence, unwieldy and untrustworthy. We ordinary citizens have to bear the consequences of our bad or untimely decisions.

Years ago, I went into a business linked to real estate. I took that leap just when that industry was crashing. Even though I had some big jobs, they were not enough to offset the slump. Furthermore, I was under-capitalized. Eventually, I had to close our doors. No one was there to bail me out. If a bailout had been available, it probably not have worked. It was just the wrong climate…especially for a “start-up.”

I think government subsidies artificially prop-up bad business. Our agriculture industry has been in a mess for years because of subsidies. If you can’t sell your crop at a fair market value, don’t grow it…grow something that will sell. Among other evils, subsidies have resulted in huge corporate farms and an unhealthy glut of corn and soybeans that we have find uses for.

Now, the auto industry is in a mess. Foreign car-makers (“foreign” is almost a misnomer since most of them are built here with American parts) are taking over the industry with high-quality automobiles built with superior efficiency. “The Big Three” are in trouble because they didn’t meet the competition until far too late.

We suffered when our business closed and I and my employees quickly had to find another source of income. Why should any business be any different? If the government is going to throw money at something, why not help the out-of-work automobile workers for a year or so while they search for another job or career? In my thinking that is far more prudent (and compassionate) than prolonging the agony by trying to save their failing industries (to say nothing about the obscene bonuses they pay their executives) by chunking billions at them.

Now, poor Obama is in a no-win situation. If he continues to lob billions at bad businesses he will be condemned. If he does not he will still be condemned. It would have been better to say, “Fellows, you got yourself in this mess and it is not the government’s business to get you out of it.” Upheaval, confusion and suffering may be the result, but if it is not a law, it ought to be: Bad business practices will result in failed businesses. When the dust has settled, things will be different but the economy will be healthy. The deficit and national debt will not be impossibly immense and we will not have cursed our children and grandchildren with its terrible burden.

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President and Prayer

prayer1I write this article as the votes for President of the United States are still being counted. We don’t know yet who will be the chief executive of this declining nation. We do know there has been great fear.

I won’t begin to categorize the fears but the response of many evangelicals has been to fall on their knees in prayer. Prayer is always a good thing. But will prayer change the vote? Would God manipulate the supporter of one candidate to vote for the other “divinely chosen” one? Sorry to be such a heretic, but prayer right before the election is a matter of “too little too late.” I certainly believe that Christians ought to bring this election (and all elections) to the throne.  We need to remember, however, that God does not change people against their will.

As I wrote my daughter a few days ago, our nation is, as the phrase aptly describes, “slipping its moral moorings.”  What happens on Election Day will be a reflection of this.   I am more concerned about our overt approval of homosexual lifestyles, abortion, and the erosion of civility and ethics than who becomes president.   If McCain or Obama is elected to preside over an increasingly immoral nation, not much has been accomplished.

Unless something happens to draw the citizens of our nation into a relationship with their Creator, we are in big trouble. Prayer draws upon the power of heaven to do God’s will. He has told us what His will is…reconcile men and women to Him who loves them.  We steadfastly refuse to do it!  While we have hidden in our buildings holding “worship services,” Satan has been winning the hearts and minds of those we have ignored.  Our prayer ought to be that God’s people will finally do God’s will.

None of this will, of course, make sure that we get the right president. But does it really matter? After Election Day Jesus will still be the same. The job He gave us will still be the same. We need to pray our prayers and then get up off our knees and do that job!

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