More Election Reflections
As can be imagined, entire oceans full of ink have already been spilt on the US elections. This will continue for many weeks to come. Democrats will be salivating over their victories, while Republicans will be licking their wounds and going through the usual unpleasant post-mortems. Conservatives will be assessing where they went wrong, and who is to blame.
Here I offer just a few of the more interesting thoughts of conservative columnists. I especially want to highlight one political pundit who has a keen sense of humour. Ann Coulter is one of our funnier conservative commentators. (Hey, at times like this you gotta have a sense of humour.) But underneath her humour lies a lot of good political sense. Her remarks about McCain are worth repeating.
She begins with this comment: “Last night was truly a historic occasion: For only the second time in her adult life, Michelle Obama was proud of her country! The big loser of this election is Colin Powell, whose last-minute endorsement of Obama put the Illinois senator over the top. Powell was probably at home last night, yelling at his TV, ‘Are you KIDDING me? That endorsement was sarcastic!’”
She continues, “The winner, of course, is Obama, who must be excited because now he can start hanging out in public with Bill Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah Wright again. John McCain is a winner because he can resume buying more houses. And we’re all winners because we will never again have to hear McCain say, ‘my friends.’ After Bill Clinton won the 1992 presidential election, Hillary Clinton immediately announced that, henceforth, she would be known as ‘Hillary Rodham Clinton.’ So maybe Obama can now become B. Hussein Obama, his rightful name.”
And what about those Democrats anyway? “Have you ever noticed that whenever Democrats lose presidential elections, they always blame it on the personal qualities of their candidate? Kerry was a dork, Gore was a stiff, Dukakis was a bloodless android, Mondale was a sad sack. This blame-the-messenger thesis allows Democrats to conclude that their message was fine – nothing should be changed! The American people are clamoring for higher taxes, big government, a defeatist foreign policy, gay marriage, the whole magilla. It was just this particular candidate’s personality.”
Then she starts getting more serious about the main problems with McCain. He simply was not a real conservative:
“Republicans lost this presidential election, and I don’t blame the messenger; I blame the message. How could Republicans go after B. Hussein Obama (as he is now known) on planning to bankrupt the coal companies when McCain supports the exact same cap and trade policies and earnestly believes in global warming? How could we go after Obama for his illegal alien aunt and for supporting driver’s licenses for illegal aliens when McCain fanatically pushed amnesty along with his good friend Teddy Kennedy? How could we go after Obama for Jeremiah Wright when McCain denounced any Republicans who did so? How could we go after Obama for planning to hike taxes on the ‘rich,’ when McCain was the only Republican to vote against both of Bush’s tax cuts on the grounds that they were tax cuts for the rich? And why should Republican activists slave away working for McCain when he has personally, viciously attacked: John O’Neill and the Swift Boat Veterans, National Right to Life director Doug Johnson, evangelical pastors Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and John Hagee, various conservative talk radio hosts, the Tennessee Republican Party and on and on and on?”
She goes on to list the successes of real conservative governments, like that of Ronald Reagan, and the failures of Republicans who abandoned their conservatism: “I keep trying to get Democrats to take my advice (stop being so crazy), but they never listen to me. Why do Republicans take the advice of their enemies? How many times do we have to run this experiment before Republican primary voters learn that ‘moderate,’ ‘independent,’ ‘maverick’ Republicans never win, and right-wing Republicans never lose? Indeed, the only good thing about McCain is that he gave us a genuine conservative, Sarah Palin. He’s like one of those insects that lives just long enough to reproduce so that the species can survive. That’s why a lot of us are referring to Sarah as ‘The One’ these days. Like Sarah Connor in ‘The Terminator,’ Sarah Palin is destined to give birth to a new movement. That’s why the Democrats are trying to kill her. And Arnold Schwarzenegger is involved somehow, too. Good Lord, I’m tired.”
Other columnists – who may not be as humorous as Coulter – have also offered a range of reflections on what the election means. Consider the comments of just one more commentator, who looks at the role the churches have played in this election. Bob Burney believes America’s problem lies more in its pulpits than in its President. He notes some biblical passages on this theme:
“In my regular readings, I recently came across again the warnings God issued to the ‘shepherds’ of Israel in Ezekiel 34. God reserves some of the harshest language in scripture for His prophets who compromised the message He had given them. ‘Thus saith the Lord God; behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand…’ (v.10). God dealt with the kings (‘the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord’ Prov. 21:1) and put one up and put another down. God reserved his most severe criticism for the preachers of the day, the pulpit.”
He continues, “As this election is diced, sliced and dissected, don’t underestimate the role of America’s pulpits in the outcome. Within the last four years the ‘evangelical left’ has risen meteorically to a place of influence and prominence. Where evangelicals were once known for principle and conviction, under the influence of Jim Wallis and other emergent leaders – the evangelical community succumbed to compromise and a sort of ‘justice’ that no one can define.”
“Pulpits that once held high the banner of the gospel, standing strong for life and the family, started preaching equality and ‘common good’. The Kool-Aid of ‘Social-Justice’ was dispensed freely from fountains installed in Evangelical churches across America. The result? Hundreds of thousands of evangelical Christians marched into voting booths and pulled the lever for increased abortions, homosexual unions, socialism, loss of religious freedom and Marxism because the pulpit told them that it was okay because in doing so they would be ending poverty, homelessness and AIDS – not to mention the end of racial division and the beginning of world peace!”
He concludes, “How could Christians be so easily deceived when it is abundantly clear that socialism has never delivered anything it has promised? Look no further than the pulpit. America can survive a bad president. America cannot survive continued compromise in her pulpits. The solution to America’s greatest need is not in the next election – but in next Sunday’s sermon.”
There will be far more commentary on this election in the days ahead. I simply remind readers here of Santayana’s famous dictum: “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat its mistakes.”
18 Replies to “More Election Reflections”
See also Why McCain Lost by Michael Reagan:
Barack Obama is president-elect of the United States because the Republican Party and John McCain handed him the presidential election on a silver platter.
The Republican Party and the Bush White House walked away from Republican ideals and they walked away from Republican values.
George Bush allowed the Republican Congress to overspend in the first six years of his administration without once using the veto pen, blindsided the conservative Republican members of Congress on many occasions, and walked away from the base of his party on immigration reform and other issues such as Medicare and No Child Left Behind.
He refused to sit down and break bread with the conservative members of his own party on Capitol Hill, yet believed that he could break bread with the liberal Democrats in Washington the way he did with the Democrats in Austin, Texas. And when he discovered it didn’t work in Washington, it failed to stop him from trying and trying and trying over again what was obviously impossible.
John McCain wouldn’t stand up against the Democrats in Washington D.C. on the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac scandals, against expanding government, a $700 billion bailout, and going against the traditional values of conservative Republicans.
The economic collapse was the Democrats’ fault. Yet John McCain never bothered going after them on that. He let the burglars walk away with the loot because those were his friends, and with George Bush failed to point the finger of blame at the people who caused the financial collapse that has plunged the nation into a certain recession. Bush had the bully pulpit but failed to use it, and the Democrats walked away scot-free.
Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane
Jonathon Sarfati, thanks for this great analysis by Reagan.
Thanks Bill. Both of those commentators make excellent points. Bob Burney hits the nail on the head, and Anne Coulter’s comparison between the two Sarahs was brilliantly funny.
Thanks again, Bill.
I feel strongly after this U.S. election about the political left (“liberals” as my American friends call them) and their influence in public life, but more particularly in the church. I trust you will allow me the liberty of expressing those views, even if the language is going to be fairly strong at times.
The ideological left is, as you assert, quite pervasive in many churches, and even in the “evangelical” camp as well. Hence we have the so-called “leftist Christians” who marry those views to a Christian position. It is merely icing on the cake: Christian icing on the secular-left cake; Christian icing on the post-modern cake; Christian icing on the evolutionary cake; Christian icing on the statist, big-government cake etc. All these philosophies have been hatched and are promoted by the atheistic left, and the lefty Christians have, I believe, simply adopted those premises, sheared off their worst excesses, then served up the remainder for Christian consumption. But to a Christian who loves and knows his Bible, the dish is rotten, rancid, unfit for Christian consumption.
Bill, in your responses to these types on this site you have highlighted how their view of Scripture is defective. It is not only defective, but furthermore their use of Scripture time and again is simply non est – they quote Scripture very sparingly, if at all. When they do (e.g. on “the poor”) it violates the basic rules of exegesis. The “Christian leftist” phenomenon highlights the Biblical illiteracy so rampant in the Christian church today.
However, to focus on the view of Scripture is not enough. Permit me go further: what is an “evangelical”? Historically there have been a clear set of doctrines which define the position, as follows:
1. The verbal, plenary inspiration of Scripture as originally given, and its supreme authority in all matters of faith, world-view, and conduct.
2. The existence of God in one Being, within which exists eternally three Persons. These three share equal power, glory, and all the Divine attributes.
3. The Son became flesh in the man Jesus of Nazareth, and although He emptied Himself of His glory and majesty, He did not cease to be the eternal Son
4. As man He performed genuine miracles: raising the dead, healing the sick at a word or a touch, walking on water, and feeding a multitude with a small quantity of food.
5. The original creation of the world and universe in a perfect state, with man as its pinnacle, who had fellowship with God in the original Paradise.
6. The fall into sin of our first parents by a deliberate act of rebellion, leaving all their descendants under God’s wrath and curse; their expulsion from Paradise, and subjection to misery and death.
7. The sinful corruption of man’s inward nature, and his utter need of regeneration.
8. Christ made atonement by giving His life as a ransom for sinners, as our Representative and Substitute, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God.
9. The bodily resurrection of Christ from the dead, to seal His atoning work; and His ascension into Heaven to intercede on our behalf to the Father.
10. The expectation of a visible, personal return in glory of the same Christ who ascended.
11. The work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration of the sinner, and in the subsequent Christian life to work in him that holiness without which we will not see the Lord.
12. The absolute necessity for salvation of repentance from sin, and faith in Christ as the Perfect Saviour.
13. Justification of the sinner such that he is fully righteous in God’s sight because of the merits of Christ and His atoning work, and apart from any works or performances on his (the sinner’s) own part.
14. The Church as the congregation of believers in a given locality, and the universal Church, which is His Body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all.
15. The resurrection of the dead at Christ’s Second Coming, and the New Heavens and New Earth which believers will inherit.
Can our lefty Christians endorse all of this? I very much doubt it, particularly points 1, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 15. However, if they cannot endorse and wholeheartedly embrace these points, they cannot be called evangelicals. They are, in my view, simply “social gospellers” in a new guise, an outlook which in my young days was very definitely linked to the liberal outlook.
There is a great article here on BHO by English writer Melanie Philips: http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=623
She looks at how Britain has gone down the tube by pushing the same polices that BHO wants to push in America.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
It has been said that we must respect the decision of the American people to vote for whom they wish and that if they want to vote one way or another then it is no business of ours. Would that America respected the sovereignty of other nations and not try to impose their Hegelian version of democracy on other peoples.
It is also claimed, nay trumpeted that the American people are a free nation and that this election will have broken the last chains of slavery and oppression. But if William Wilberforce and Abraham Lincoln could have foreseen how that idea of freedom would have become so horribly perverted, they may well not have bothered. No amount of blood and sweat has been shed by our ancestors to fight tyrannies and yet what did they fight for? Was it for justice and righteousness? Apparently not.
The Americans have voted for debauchery and the freedom to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of their babies, each year on the alter of convenience and womens’ rights. Did previous generations really fight for the freedom to practise sodomy, buggery, fisting, rimming, water sports, felching, scats, coprophilia, sado-masochism, whipping, giving the gift and bondage and other dehumanising acts. Such bestiality does indeed lead to slavery and addictions that sooner or later lead to an early death. Slavery is on the way in America big time.
I hope that all those who voted for Obama are aware of the kind of freedom he has in mind. Just visit Folsom Street Fair in California, where homosexuals and lesbians perform sado- masochism, whipping, bondage, humiliation. It is a Fair where hundreds of men baring their genitals, masturbate and where orgies of men fellate and fondle each other in the street and where men and women beat each other with whips and women walk around with their breast exposed. The fair – which celebrates sadomasochism – has been running since 1984, and is now California’s third largest spectator event. There is no equivalent heterosexual event – as yet – on this scale of depravity any where in the world. How soon before it arrives in Britain with police protection from the Minority Support Police? No doubt Boris Johnson will give a congratulatory speech, at its opening, just as did the mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newson.
You foolish Americans.
David Skinner, UK
I am now 59, and every year that goes by, the more I see the truth in this statement
“a people get the government they deserve”
Bill,thanks for your devotion to keep us educated and enlighted on many issues and I would say that I am more comitted to following Christ today than anything else and I surely dont know how to mingle well with politics.
All I would say is that all leader are chosen by God, but not all them choose to do His will, Soul the the very first king of isreal failed. But that does not mean we should’nt give them a fare chance. Secondly evrey leadership comes with a meature of sucesse and a meature of failairs too.
It is as you say. If the Sovereign Lord does not punish these people, or bring them to profound repentance, He will have some explaining to do to Sodom and Gomorrah!
Yet the “Christian lefties” supported Obama, and see all this as admittedly distasteful, but in their fixation about “the poor”, women’s rights, and AIDS research ultimately see it as either no big deal, or outweighed by “social justice” issues. And so the abortion holocaust goes on, and these erstwhile agents of “social justice” make little or no plea for the defenceless and afflicted, which it is the task of rulers to do (Prov.31:8-9).
Yet these Christian lefties berate us about being obsessed with single issues, i.e. abortion, and homosexuality. They should talk to a mirror: they are the ones fixated on “the poor”, with the hidden and unquestioned assumption that it is the task of Big Brother state to help them by “spreading the wealth around” via the tax system, and ignore the issues of life and death which are foundational to everything else. The “single issue” boot is very firmly on the other foot!
Bill, did you know that the famous saying quoted by Obama, ‘government of the people, by the people, and for the people’ was not first said by Abraham Lincoln, but by John Wycliffe, 500 years before, 1384, in his Prologue to his first English Translation of the Bible (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Wycliffe)
Murray you raise the point that Christians are accused of being fixated by single issues. I would go further and say that maybe we suffer from Compulsive Obsession Disorder and have become boring to the those around us.
I found by chance a comment about myself by someone, called Brian, on Unbelief. org. which asked, “David, when you’re talking to people at parties, do you ever notice them sidling towards the door?”
Perhaps I have become nothing but a tinkling bell because in my own life I neither go to “parties,” as Christ did, or walk the talk. Romans Chapter 2 says that we have no right to judge the world because we too act like unbelievers.
Jesus said in Matthew 5 that we are the salt of the earth: “But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
However, before I allow the devil to accuse or beat me up, thank God for the Truth for it sets us all free. A strong search light is cast by Robert Gagnon on Obama’s misuse of the Sermon on the Mount, used to endorse homosexuality and by extension polygamous partnerships based upon commitment – a must read: http://republicansforfamilyvalues.com/2008/10/23/theology-expert-says-obama-grossly-distorts-scriptures-to-support-homosexual-cause/
David Skinner, UK
Andrew, an excellent reminder.
And it’s worth adding that Lincoln short-quoted by leaving out the first words: “THIS BIBLE is for”
Maybe he was assuming that everybody knew where the quote was from, but certainly everybody who has quoted it since has been deliberately avoiding the Bible as the source of all government.
The issue of computer hacking in election fixing, please watch this video of court preceedings.
This is an interesting 8 year review by Randall Hoven and I couldn’t help but think how it relates and has parallels to the Australian political situation where misguided Christian conservatives are ashamed to proclaim their positions (ie. pro life, pro traditional marriage and family, pro real origins science instead of evolution fantasy propaganda) instead of being Labor Lite and the same as the leftist socialists. If you won’t stand for anything you will fall for everything.
“But the really irritating theme to me was the idea that we need to work together with Democrats more. As if that has been the problem. Let us review the last eight years and see how often we did work with the Democrats and how that worked out for us.”
Bill – the Kiwi’s delivered. Hooray!
On a separate subject, John McCain stood for principle tempered in the cells of the Hanoi Hilton. Remember the guy was offered early release because of his important father but refused to take the easy route – I did a 2 day exxperience of being a North Vietnamese prisioner in our Army in 1972- I would not wish for a week of that let alone 5 or more years. John is a man of substance who would have been a worthy president.
Also John McCain stood againt congressionsal mark-ups (pork barreling) which squandered so much of theUS wealth, in dubious vote buying exercises. He urned the ire of even those on our side for opposing hand-outs to church supported causes. John had principle!
We here in Australia give to our places of Worship in post-tax dollars. In the US you get tax rebate for giving, and much – something I think that corrupts the intent of giving as expressed in Matt 6.
American conservatives should not forget the man who stood for them.
Couldn’t agree with you more in your assessment of the US election, and I share in the consternation with the increasing popularity of these left wing evangelicals. Just adding to the humour aspect, in the light of the election victory, there seems to be more than a nugget of truth in this I think.
Analysis by James White, prominent Christian apologist resident in Phoenix, Arizona, is given here in this video clip:
It is a very worthwhile listen, and White insists that Obama is NO Christian!
Thank you for this Murray; every church leader ought to see and hear this message.
However, I feel that even his message needs clarifying. Dr James White on his Video spoke only about a denial of God’s existence and moral order. He made no mention of God’s Truth.
Jesus said “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jn 8: 32
Romans talks about men suppressing the knowledge of God. Surely another way of saying that is to say that they suppress the truth of God which, by extension, includes all of existence – the created order. This not religious talk but just speaking the truth.
I believe that it is not sin in and of itself that angers God, but denying the truth. The fact that we sin is punishment itself. For many to be condemned to live a sinful life is heaven itself. But in reality it is a sentence for it leads to death. Romans talks about God releasing the reins, giving us up to our own sinful natures and corrupt minds.
The huge propaganda machine of the devil can only be encountered by telling people the truth, especially that found in Hebrews 9:27, which is that “ man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”
David Skinner, UK