Monday, December 21, 2009
Not meaning to offend
I'm heading into politically incorrect waters with full knowledge that the way I feel about the current state of things is not necessarily shared. Still, I feel like I need to write some things down, because they are weighing so heavy on my heart right now.
I was driving to my office this morning when I heard on the radio that the 60 votes needed to pass the senate version of the Obama/Reid health care bill had been reached. A vote for cloture had occurred at 1:00 AM - the very dead of the night.
I burst into tears.
I feel the greatest sense of fear and loss and helplessness in a way that I have never experienced as an American before. I do not understand how elected senators can move ahead when a large majority of the country so clearly does not support government-run health care. I do not understand how so many people can stand by without a word of dissent as 1/6th of the American economy is poised to be taken over by the government. I wonder how they will feel when our taxes continue to rise, our health care is parsed out, we end up paying for the death of babies and old people are not considered valuable enough to provide proper health care for.
I love my young 20-something friends but I can clearly see that they have no real clue what this loss of liberty will mean. They are all about starting their careers, establishing themselves. They are not paying attention and it is at their own peril. Our freedoms, our constitution are being trampled on. We are becoming a society that wants to be taken care of instead of the country that grew to be great on the initiative, creativity, imagination and hard work of it's amazing people. My own boys would prefer that I not talk about the president, his policies, the health care debate or anything even remotely "political" around their friends for fear that I might offend. I try to play nice, I really do.
It reminds me about a group I used to speak for: Christian Women's Club - a national women's ministry that seeks to win women to the Lord through luncheons, fashion shows and a compelling speaker. There were "rules" about what the women were able to discuss - "age, weight, politics and religion" were forbidden table talk. The age and weight rules were inserted to lighten the load, so to speak. Let's be careful to not step on toes or question a contrary opinion.
But this is so much bigger than politeness and politics. I believe in this past year, America has moved at an incredible pace toward a country that, if unchecked, will become unrecognizable as the country our forefathers envisioned. I am fearful that every freedom that I hold true as an American citizen will continue to slip away. With the government monitoring health care - every aspect of our lives will come under their scrutiny: What we eat, what we wear, how we spend out leisure time, what kind of jobs we're allowed to have, how much we are allowed to earn. Couple health care with the new religion of the environment and I see a nightmare of unequaled magnitude: The government will also tell us what cars we can drive, what kind of televisions we are allowed to have in our homes (already happening in California), even something as benign as when and if we can barbecue: sounds pretty silly and petty, doesn't it? Wait until it happens.
Sometimes I feel like the crazy old man you always see in a horror or science fiction film. The one who warns of doom and gloom and yet, as sure as the sun will come up tomorrow, the main characters will ignore as they blithely go on their merry way toward death and destruction.
I don't think things are perfect. I know some reform needs to happen. I know over the past 234 years some American leaders have made terrible mistakes: choices based on power plays, personal agendas, prejudices, weakness, on and on. But as a whole, America has survived the bad by staying true to the Constitution, the Bill of rights and the Amendments. For the first time, at least in my lifetime, all of that is being threatened.
Still, when I shake off the heavy-heartedness that blankets me and makes me feel like I can barely breathe, I find hope in a couple of things.
One: We can change things with the vote. There's a great line in the move Dave delivered when Kevin Kline, playing the presidential imposter, says to the country, "I forgot that this is just a 'temp' job and that you put me here for just a temporary piece of time". It's true. All the elected officials from the president to the senators to the congressmen who are pursuing this strangling, liberty-stealing health care bill are only there at the whim and will of the American people. There will, I pray, be a reckoning in November 0f 2010 and 2012 should it pass. I heard a senator say on the news today, "I know the Americans think they don't want this bill but once it's passed they will see how great it is". Great indeed. Everything else not withstanding, the truth that my my tax dollars will be used to kill innocent, unborn babies is devastating to me. The incredible conceit that an elected official thinks he knows better than his constituents is the worst kind of self-delusional buffoonery.
Second: As I know and experience with every other aspect of my life, prayer not only matters, it can change things. God has promised in 2 Chronicles 7: 14 "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
If you believe, as I do, that our nation is walking down the wrong path, won't you join me in prayer for our nation, and our leaders?
Lastly (and this is really important) I want to say a word for those of you who absolutely couldn't disagree with me anymore if you tried: you like the current administration and think we are heading in the right direction. If you know me at all, you know that I am a true student of the American Civil War. One of the things that has always intrigued me is the depth of faith on both sides of that war. The south had incredible men of faith fighting and praying, utterly convinced they were doing God's will by fighting for the south. Looking back now, 150 years later, that seems difficult - how could anyone who loved the Lord defend a nation that embraced slavery? Yet, from General Robert E. Lee to Stonewall Jackson to many, many others, their faith guided them, led them and kept them strong. Now don't misunderstand, I am not saying that if you disagree with me, I am comparing you to someone who supported slavery. I'm just saying that I don't think the conservatives hold the spiritual edge here (except in the case of abortion - there is no possible justification for the purposeful death of an innocent child).
The fact that I feel so strongly about this issue and this current government does not get in the way of my love or friendship for you. If you disagree with me - ok! In fact, I would love to talk about it with you - with all my politeness in place.
Now... I need to go pray.... there's still the tiniest piece of hope that we can stop this debacle before it goes any further.