And the Republicans still wonder why they cannot get a healthcare bill to fly…I admit I don’t know about rocket science, but even I know most folks want our government to help us. And in most cases that means not throwing 32 million of our citizens under the bus.
Close to 50% of citizens refused to participate in the last election for the President of the United States. That is their right. But the cost, ever more apparent to the entire world, is not only painful, it is far more damaging than we can imagine.
Our right as citizens is one of the greatest gifts we have been given. To choose not to exercise our right to vote is the ultimate disrespect all of those whose sacrifices have given it to us. Choosing to not participate, even at the most basic level, in politics is what guarantees that we have the government we deserve.
“[T]here remains [in some parts of the country] a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Govt. & Religion neither can be duly supported. Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded against.”
― James Madison, James Madison: Writings
Madison’s words are as true today as when he originally penned them almost two centuries ago. Our nation’s founders separated government and religion to guard against this “corrupting influence on both parties.”
Today we are living with the results of not defending against this old error. Madison warned us to ever guard more closely against this unholy alliance. We should have heeded his words.
Over 80% of white evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump to be our country’s next president. They knowingly agreed with, and endorsed Trump’s clearly stated anti-Christian values.
This is a clear and present danger. The majority of those voting in this election claiming to follow Jesus Christ cast their vote for a lying, racist, fear-mongering, bigot. They supported a xenophobic, bullying, braggart who is the antithesis of the love of Jesus Christ reflected in the gospels.
How and why this happened should ring alarms for leaders throughout the faith community. When this large a percentage of “believers” abandon the teachings of Jesus to vote for hate and fear, it is a statement that something is drastically and critically awry.
Personally, I see this as a failure of leadership, itself. There has been a significant lack of courage to address the deep divisive issues of our society from the pulpit. Christian leaders have not led by example, and have played it safe and “made nice” rather than confront un-Christian values in our congregations.
And so now, one cannot tell the believers from the nonbelievers without a program. We have met the enemy and they are us.
After just recently rereading 1984, I am struck by the timeliness of this statement by Orwell. All of us have heard the old saw that we have the government we deserve. Orwell states it even more directly.
In a democracy we have the ability to choose. We don’t have, however, the guarantee that we will necessarily choose wisely. None so blind as those that refuse to see. And most of our nation has become so afraid that they refuse to open their eyes. And a people that willingly swallows lies can never be set free by the truth.
We are not only on the road to hell, we are helping pave it as we go.
Terrorism, like everything else, a matter of perspective. For the majority of our human family who always lives in the shadow of poverty, who are stalked daily by hunger, and who can never escape the claws of disease, terrorism is being forced to watch your children suffer needlessly while you realize you can do nothing to help.
The true terrorists are those of of who can change the lives of millions, yet do not care enough to help and are too busy to get involved. The true terrorists are those of us who have sufficient resources yet refuse to share.
True terrorism is turning our backs on those that need our help the most while we quietly sip another latte at Starbucks.
I am not sure that Thurber’s quote is entirely appropriate for the situation in which we now find ourselves. Looking around with any degree of true awareness, fear and anger will almost certainly be two of the first emotions that come to mind.
I once had a bumper sticker that read, “IF YOU ARE NOT OUTRAGED YOU ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION! Sadly, it has gone the way of all old bumper stickers.
How I wish I had that bumper sticker now. Never has it been more relevant.
I am paying attention. And I am outraged. I am disgusted with the lies and the slander and all the deceit in the current Presidential campaign. But, I am more outraged that all of us who so loudly proclaim to live by Christian values don’t.
I am tired of all of us who play church, but do not live in love, who refuse to be peacemakers, and who really worship at the altars of wealth and power. When I look around in awareness I am saddened to realize that we actually have the government and the leaders we deserve.