I feel a sense of relief today as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby in regard to the HHS Mandate requiring employers to provide birth control and other abortion related services. The split decision of 5-4 clearly indicates the divide in our court system and in our country as a whole. It is sad to think that "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" can be under such attack in our time.
I don’t get heavily involved in politics on a regular basis, but I have had a few occasions to testify before various committees at the state capitol on moral issues coming before the legislature. Some of the typical comments I hear after each testimony can be expected. I will leave out the colorful words used in these attacks, but the general message is simple. “Keep your religion to yourself.” Please understand that I am not advocating for a theocracy. I am simply asking for some solid Christian moral principles to be kept in mind as legislation is drafted, discussed, and passed.
If each public official has to check his/her Christian principles at the door when he/she walks into work, is it any wonder why we have seen the moral decline demonstrated in our legislative bodies as well as in the judicial system? If agnosticism and atheism are the only two world views permitted in the decision making process of political officials, we can expect nothing less than a continued moral deficit that becomes more pronounced with each passing day. The very dangers anticipated by the Founding Fathers of our country are coming to pass in our own generation. This republic form of government will not last without the guiding principles of Christianity as the foundation of our country.
Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, left or right—what does it all mean in the big scheme of life? Whatever happened to the common good?
There are certainly going to be differing ideologies in regard to how society will best be served. A liberal mindset will typically welcome more government influence into the mix while a conservative will look to the private sector. Thus, approaches to various matters will be quite different based upon the political leanings of the individuals involved. Years ago a statesmen would typically arise from within the ranks. This individual would successfully bring parties and individuals together to reach a consensus on a particular issue after negotiations and compromises were skillfully and respectfully navigated. The current political climate would suggest that those days are over.
There are some good people with honorable motives who run for political office. Some of these actually win their races. However, it is not long before the discouragement and disappointment can be seen in many of these newcomer’s faces. The reality of the world in which they have entered can take a devastating toll on the emotional and spiritual resilience of even the strongest person. That is truly a sad commentary about the state of politics in our world today. Some of the veteran legislators smoothly navigate the churning waters of politics to hold onto their position, power, and prestige. A former legislator spelled it out clearly to me a few years ago to help me understand. He asked, "How does a legislator know when it is time to stop running for re-election?" I responded with a simple , "I don't know." He said, "When a legislator starts looking at things from the viewpoint of doing well rather than doing good it is time to go."
Working for the common good is an honorable goal. However, if a person starts to look at issues and events from the perspective of personal gain the legislative system spirals downward quickly. The individual legislator does well, but the good is not necessarily pursued for the people. How many of our legislators at the state and national level are doing well?
Unfortunately, the majority of the population has bought into the myth of the separation of Church and State. A clear study and understanding of the historical context of this issue is a necessity. It is too lengthy of a topic to cover in this post, but knowing the history and the writings of the early era of our country would serve us well as we move forward. Allowing the agnostic and atheistic viewpoint to completely hijack the process has not served our country well, and the consequences will be felt in dramatic ways for decades, if not centuries, to come.
The dysfunctional political machinations of our country are only a symptom of deeper societal problems. Recent surveys reveal time and again the continued cultural shift as more and more behaviors once looked upon as immoral, or even deviant, are now accepted, promoted, and celebrated. The progressives have been very successful in orchestrating a concerted effort to achieve these goals through the use of media, educational institutions, and billionaires throwing a lot of money to organizations and individuals in line with their ideology. The marketing prowess and expertise has resulted in a very complex system of individuals, institutions and structures working independently and cohesively toward a common goal of undermining the moral influence of the Church upon society. If the moral authority of the Church is diminished there are less obstacles to achieving acceptance of "alternative lifestyles" in society.
What is the bottom line? There is a profound need for a renewed call to holiness. Baptism cannot simply be viewed as a ritual devoid of meaning. It has to be etched into our hearts and minds as a call to discipleship. If we have any hope of being “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” Christians will have to lead the way by faithfully living out the Creed they profess.