I find myself just a bit depressed by the tone of political debate in America. The Left seems to demand the abolition of every traditional American and Christian value, including – almost especially – our right as free people to hold and express our faith as we see fit. The Party which speaks so much of ‘Tolerance’, shows none at all in practice.
But the Right has gone wrong, as well. Lately, the extremists in the Conservative Media, especially the Blogosphere, have produced a series of litmus tests for political reliability, a la the old Political Officers of the KGB – now there’s a model for you! – so that only the people saying the right things, and in the approved way, are deemed worthy of support. So it is that many who can talk the talk but never show any results, are lionized as some kind of ‘Champion of the Right’, even when their tactics and brittle ideology shuts down any chance for constructive dialog. And so it is, that many who do serious work, whose hearts and minds are devoted not to their ego but to the work they promised their constituents, are attacked and demeaned, even by their self-proclaimed “base”, for the sin of not playing puppet.
It seems to me not only that Condi Rice would make a good President of the United States, but that at this time in history we very much need someone of her character and abilities. It also seems to me, sadly, that she understands all too well what a nest of vipers inhabit the RNC and the various outlets of “Conservative” media, and that a person of true integrity and steadfast commitment to the nation will find few friends there. Consequently, Dr. Rice would rather have a series of root canals than enter that modern version of the Inquisition we call the Republican primaries.
This, by the way, is why the President has such trouble with getting his programs through Congress. The Rabies Wing of the GOP hates him because they claim he is not a real Conservative, which is debatable, and the Liberal leaders of the Democratic Party (Hypocrites since 1969) hate him because he is a Christian leader, and a very real one.
Even as I type that, I can hear the howls of outrage from those who deem themselves the gatekeepers to ‘True Christianity’. To my mind, that very outrage proves the falsity of such egos; Christ owns His kingdom and knows His servants, and no man has the right to hate a professed Christian. As an example, while I take issue with many specific instances of his personal conduct, I do not deny that Bill Clinton is a Christian. But looking closer, the real distinction is that aspect of Leadership. I believe President Clinton meant well, but he acted as a man, thinking and deciding on the course of the nation according to what he personally wanted to do. President Bush takes his commission as a Christian seriously, and so take the caution to consider his course in the light of Scripture, and with prayer ahead of the decision. If nothing else, this allegiance to God first has helped Bush maintain a vital sense of balance through a number of crises. In 2000, while Gore raged and both parties ranted, then-Governor Bush was surprisingly calm; the media did not understand that Bush had put his trust in the Lord, and would accept whatever God commanded. So also after 9/11; for all the lies thrown out that Bush wanted to ‘rush to war’, the plain fact evidenced by the record was that he was careful, deliberate, and made sure to warn America not to hate Islam for what only a few extremists had done. As for the war itself, I know that many on the Left cannot accept that God would command a Christian leader to go to war, but the Bible bears abundant testimony that the Lord is a King of War as well of Peace, and once one accepts that the Lord has plans for specific nations, the leaders of those nations owe their obedience to the Lord.
But there is a direct and personal responsibility for the Christian to accept. Some people choose not to vote, much less support a candidate in elections, because they do not accept that God has granted dominion to Man. Yet again, we are reminded many times in Scripture that until Christ returns to the Earth to begin His reign, God will appoint and select certain people to rule as regents; God alone is to be worshipped, but even Caesar is to be obeyed and honored. If pagan leaders are so to be obeyed and respected, how much more should we accept the leadership of a brother in Christ who is assigned his place by the Lord?
It is not right to love Democracy so much, that one demands God should step down, but the freedoms granted by God should not be abandoned simply because a man leads the country. So then the political duty of every Christian is to work for the election of men who serve God, to obey the law and work for any needed change through prayer but also through campaigning. And when God allows a man to take office through His wisdom, it is not fitting that a Christian should mock that man, for to do so is to mock God’s will. Better we should honor him whom God allows to hold authority, and to listen closely for the Lord’s will and desire. Especially when a man serves the Lord better than men are willing to admit.