Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. – Proverbs 14:34 (KJV)
As today is Sunday and I have left the site dark on Independence Day in the last few years – so this post will be atop my site for a somewhat extended period - I decided it would be fitting to use the subject of our message today as the subject of mine.
Rather than go through what my pastor said, though, I want to focus on the idea of righteousness. For Christians, the idea of what’s right mainly comes from Scripture, as the passage above clearly illustrates. But in our nation today, too often what is “right” comes from a number of different sources: a majority of nine unelected judges on the Supreme Court, a plethora of faceless bureaucrats toiling in Washington, D.C. or a state capital, or even popular culture itself. It’s said politics is downstream from culture, and I believe this is most true on the perception of what is right.
Obviously I can give a number of examples where these “rights” don’t coincide with the concept of righteousness: the Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade or the Obergefell case, the muddied divide between genders enforced by the standards of the federal Department of Education, or the #lovewins movement for same-sex “marriage” come foremost to mind. With the exception of Roe v. Wade, all of these examples have come during my adult life and there is usually a generational divide between supporters and opponents of these “rights.”
It’s not my intention to be bogged down in the minutia of these issues because I’m shooting for a fairly short post suitable for a holiday weekend when people are truly thinking more about the beach, fireworks, and barbecues, but I think the generational point is worth considering, too. Despite the fact Kim’s daughter goes to a Christian school and belongs to the church youth group, she and her peers aren’t truly insulated from the cultural wasteland we live amongst.
I think it’s worth reminding the Millennials that those of us who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s had only a limited number of options for cultural awareness and entertainment, such as AM or FM radio, the few cable channels that were around (living in a rural area nowhere near a cable service area, we didn’t even have that), magazines and newspapers, or the local movie theater. I had my roster of favorite TV shows like anyone else and my particular radio stations to listen to, but my listening and viewing was limited to what broadcasters wanted to provide at a time of their choosing. (If I wasn’t home and didn’t remember to tape WKRP in Cincinnati I was out of luck until the rerun came on, or if my radio station ignored Iron Maiden until the program director decided to put it on, I wouldn’t go buy the cassette because I didn’t know about them.) Now we have the technology where anyone can be a video or music producer and have content available anywhere the internet is.
So it’s no surprise that the seductive messages of what is “cool” rarely coincide with what is righteous because “cool” is a construct built to sell products and ideas. As it stands, believing in the tenets of the Bible and living a God-fearing life definitely doesn’t meet the prevailing standard of “cool.”
But it’s my belief that America should make itself worthy of being blessed by God. By no means does this imply being a theocracy, it’s more along the lines of just having a Judeo-Christian based moral compass that most of its citizens willingly follow. The more righteous we are, it follows, the more we should be blessed. It’s worth a shot.
As is often the case at holidays, I spend a few minutes several days ahead figuring out a message to fill my space while I do other things – in this case spend time with my daughter and son-in-law without getting too wet given the pessimistic forecast.
Of late I’ve been writing a lot about a different kind of dependence – the dependence on a party structure to attain political goals. When I fell short in my bid to stay on the Wicomico GOP Central Committee, I noted that there were some liberating qualities which could come out because I was no longer as tied to the fate of the GOP.
Don’t get me wrong: as a vehicle for conservative, limited-government change, its principles are difficult to beat. The problem is how little effort Republicans at the highest levels expend in putting those ideals into practice. Oh, sure, they’ll give the excuse that they are only 1/2 of 1/3 of the government but they have the power of the purse. They just back down when they have the chance to use it because there are personal goals which are more important, like re-election – principles be damned.
No wonder no one trusts Congress.
About two years ago I finished a book which has a passage that describes my political aspirations perfectly.
I noted earlier that I was not born to be a politician because my skill set isn’t the same as, say, a Sarah Palin, a Bill Clinton, or even a Herman Cain. Sometimes it’s disheartening to realize this because I think I have a lot of good ideas.
But it can be liberating as well. Since I’m not a legislator or seeking an executive-type post, I don’t have to deliver a lot of hollow promises. In fact, my political philosophy may turn some people off because I’m the sort who doesn’t believe that government in and of itself should enrich people nor do I think it’s a proper vehicle for wealth transfer. Unfortunately, it’s been noted that “a democracy…can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse out of the public treasury.” Since I’m opposed to that concept, there’s no way in hell I could be truthful about my beliefs and ever reach a high enough office to put these plans into action – at least not in the present-day political climate. And while that sort of double-talk and obfuscation is associated with those on the Left, I have no plans to switch parties and become a Democrat. I imagine that move would be the ultimate in reverse psychology.
The key phrase there is “present-day political climate.” There’s nothing that says we have to follow the same conventional wisdom.
At the highest levels of government, there is no Left or Right – only power. It would take a massive wave election unlike any we’ve seen to sweep all of that away; in essence, the entirety of the population which doesn’t believe the government or world owes them a living would have to be motivated enough to participate while the disinterested ones who are dependent stay home. And trust me, they would come out in force if they had to. So my goal is, as Walter E. Williams would say, “push back the frontiers of ignorance,” so that the rolls of the uninformed who don’t mind their dependence shrink.
It’s sad to think that many are chained to the government in ways we never thought about. But as long as we can think for ourselves, there is a chance things can turn around. That’s the message I want to impart on Independence Day 2014.
I don’t normally write a lot on Independence Day, for I know that most people have better things to do than celebrate the holiday reading my space. But it’s not like Christmas Day where I actually leave the site dormant for the day, because I have something to put in the space.
This year I wanted to point out that 2010 U.S. Senate candidate Jim Rutledge wrote a piece he sent to a number of conservatives around the state (I was one of them) and it was something I thought worth the link – in this case I linked to his Facebook page, where you can read what he had to say.
But this was also reposted in a number of locations, and in this case I’m going to steer you to the Right Coast blog that Julie Brewington hosts, with the reason being the comments afterward. There’s no doubt we have freedom of speech in this country and I’d be the first to defend Liberal Elite’s right to say what he/she wants. But I’ve seen this comment thread for three days now and I’ll still be damned to know what the objection to Jim’s subject matter was?
Now we can sit all day and debate some of the concepts and whether our freedom and liberty is put at risk by one party or another – while liberals are great at telling people what to do, the point made that certain conservatives do the same thing in certain areas of life is one well taken.
For example, as I note in a comment made I am pro-life and believe life begins at conception. But I would disagree with a Constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion because I also believe in the sanctity of state’s rights and, while it is acknowledged the right to life is endowed by our Creator as part of our Declaration of Independence, the Constitution is the actual law of the land and it clearly states in the Tenth Amendment that powers not specific to the Federal Government are reserved for the states or the people. (Moreover, the Fourteenth Amendment says that states can’t deprive anyone of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.)
Regardless, the entire concept of independence is more and more a moot question because many in our society have, as Rutledge says, “trade(d) his liberty for his rulers’ promises of health and welfare.” That’s simply part of the human condition, and no matter how noble the American experiment a sizable portion of people will be happy to be what others would consider a slave – just as long as they have a benevolent master. Personally I would lump about 90 percent of Obama supporters into that group, but that’s just me.
So the choice is more and more clear: are we free or are we slaves? No, I’ve not suddenly warped in time back to 1860 but the upcoming election presents a rather stark choice nonetheless. I sure have no desire to celebrate Dependence Day, but too many out there are happy to do so.
Since it’s the holiday weekend and not a whole lot is going on in Salisbury, I’d like to throw out a question at my readers.
I’m aware of Independence Day celebrations in a number of communities – Willards, Crisfield, and Laurel, Delaware immediately spring to mind. So why doesn’t Salisbury have a parade, or even fireworks aside from those put on by the Shorebirds? Who will put their (or our) money where their mouth is and step up to the plate?
I think your comments will be interesting. I’ll try to pop in from time to time to moderate, but I have plans for tomorrow so moderation will be hit and miss. Yes, I know that somewhat defeats the purpose of an open thread but there’s more to life than blogging.
Just let me know what you think!